finding balance

The Importance of Balance: 8 Tips to Live a Balanced Life

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Having balance in life is very important. Working too much and always being on the go can be detrimental for you. Likewise, being lazy and ignoring responsibility can make it hard to achieve your goals.

In this post, you’ll learn about 8 tips you can apply to live a balanced life.

finding balance

Becoming better as a person, or becoming better in a certain interest can be overwhelming. Balancing new information, past experiences, and the rest of your life can be difficult.

Balance is something I think about most these days when looking to live a fulfilling life.

I ask myself, “am I in balance or do I need to reassess where I’m at in my life? Do I need to take a break, or should I push through?”

What I’ve learned is balance is incredibly important in life, and in this post, I’ll be sharing with you why balance is so important, and 8 tips you can use to create more balance in your life.

Balance is Very Important in Life

Balance is one of the most important things to create in your life. This may be obvious, but having balance is very hard to do in practice.

For example, too much work will result in becoming burnt out.

Too much play will result in no work getting done.

Spending too much time with friends could lead to a lack of identity.

Spending too much time alone could lead to loneliness and one way of thought.

Too much sleep can lead to a number of health issues.

Too little sleep and your energy and work will suffer from lack of clarity and focus.

Doing too much exercise will lead to overuse injuries, and sitting on the couch all day will lead to small muscles and droopy skin.

You probably know the saying, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing? Well that’s what we are talking about here 🙂

Balance is key and important in life because with many things, being extreme is typically a detriment to living our lives the right way.

Many of these things we know, but don’t take action to find the right balance.

balance in lifeThe Many Areas Where Balance Can Be Ruined

While it might be impossible to be completely balanced in life, there are many areas, some of which we’ve touched on earlier, where balance could be ruined.

The areas where you need to focus on balance the most are the following:

  • Work
    • Getting yelled at by your boss, working 80 hour weeks, or not having work at all might not be the best for your long term well being.
    • Balance at work is having time for development, some busy times, some fun times, and opportunities to do what you want with your time (as ultimately, you spend more hours at your job than you probably do anything else other than sleep!)
  • Sleep
    • Always being tired, because you go to bed too late, or sleeping in every day might not be optimal. Over time, over and under sleeping can take a toll on your body and mind.
    • While on the weekends, it is nice to sleep in once and a while, doing so every day can affect your focus and productivity.
    • Likewise, too little sleep, and you really will be dragging!
  • Exercise
    • This might be an obvious one: sit on the couch all day, and you’ll quickly find yourself out of shape. Work out all day, and you may get injured from overuse.
    • A balance between activity and rest will lead to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Eating Habits
    • Another seemingly obvious one: eat only junk food, and you’ll get a stomach ache. Eat too much, and you’ll start to put on pounds. Eat too little, and you’ll lose muscle. What about too healthy? Eating too healthy… well, some things can be good in moderation!
  • Relationships
    • Sometimes it’s great to see your friends, and sometimes to great to be alone.
    • If you are with your friends all the time, work and responsibility will be put aside.
    • If you spend a lot of time alone, sometimes that will keep you narrow minded and not in touch with reality. There’s a lot of world to see out there people!

Like I said above, there are many things in life we need to balance, and this is just the start.

Finding balance is an exercise in self-awareness and knowing where you are in life.

I’m going to share with you where I am in my life with my thoughts and actions, and then will talk about the tips for you to find balance in life.

finding balance

Finding Balance in My Life

Over the past few years, I’ve been trying to find balance in my life in my work, my play, my exercise, my diet, my sleep, and my hustles.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about balance in my work and play, and also in my sleep.

I’m pretty busy, with a few side hustles, and a day job.

During this past winter, I got into a habit of going to bed between 11:30 and 1, and getting up at 8 am, right before scrambling off to work. With the usual winter morning darkness, I struggled to wake up at any time earlier than 7 (even if I went to bed early), and decided that it would be better for me to stay up later and sleep in.

Now, I’m finding that with the sun coming in at 5 am, I’m able to wake up if I need to, and also sleep in if I please.

Some days, if I’m really busy, I’ll get up at 5 am. Other days, if I’m tired, I’ll sleep in and get up around 7:30 or 8. I’ve found a balance between more sleep and less sleep.

Similarly, I’ve found a balance in my diet and exercise, where I eat well most of the time, and exercise a few times a week. With this, I’ve stayed relatively in shape, and am still able to play pick-up sports and not be too tired.

I’m sure you have some of the same thoughts about activities in your life.

You want to become a Rich? Drop the 9 to 5 and Start Working 95

About a year ago, I came across an interesting article talking about Grant Cardone, a super salesman, entrepreneur, and millionaire. In the article, he says, “Most people work 9 to 5. I work 95 hours (per week). If you ever want to be a millionaire, you need to stop doing the 9 to 5 and start doing 95.”

This quote has stuck with me ever since, if wealth accumulation is my goal, then it’s crucial for me to start putting in more and more hours to get to this goal.

I want to become financially independent. At the end of the day, ultimate failure to me is not being able to support myself and my family.

If I could have 1 thing in life, the ability to provide for my family is the only thing I could ever ask for.

As my wealth and abilities grow, my tune has started to change. I feel very confident I can become rich without sacrificing as much in the short term.

I can sleep 8 hours, exercise, see friends, and still reach my goals.

My mindset towards grinding has changed through reflection and reading.

My friend Matt, the founder of Optimize Your Life, talks a lot about finding balance in life. Matt says,

“If we want both success and happiness, we need to make sure to give attention to all of the different areas of our lives. We cannot ignore our marriage to further our career success. We cannot ignore our health to have more time for our relationships. Ignoring our finances to further our friendships will not lead to success.”

I’m trying to find balance in my life right now. I have my goals and my purpose. There’s so much I want to experience, to learn, and to do.

At the same time though, I need to be cognizant of what is also important to me: my relationships, my health, and my finances.

Now, I want to discuss an interesting topic: the pressure of expectations.

The Pressure of Expectations – are they Internal or External?

In a number of conversations I’ve been having with friends about their thoughts on their goals, I’ve been bringing up balance and trying to discuss the expectations around the situation.

When I set out to do something, a lot of it is from within and what I want to do with my life. Maybe I’m a little bit of a rebel, but these days I try to stay grounded and not influenced by outside opinions or expectations.

I stand up for what I believe in, and stand down for things I need more information on.

With some of the struggles of balance I’ve been learning about with others around me, I try to understand a little more and ask if the struggles are coming from the inside or outside.

Are you driven from within to go and accomplish your goals, OR are you driven to accomplish your goals because you are trying to impress others and make other people happy?

I’ve found that rarely will looking to impress others leads to a happy and fulfilling life.

At the same time though, at work, there are tasks I have to get done for others and I’ll do those happily because my paycheck helps me achieve my financial goals.

After figuring out if the pressure is internal or external, you can start to go down the question rabbit hole.

If the pressures are external, is there anything you can change about the situation to reduce this pressure? Could you change jobs? Change scenery? Is the community you are surrounding yourself with the right community?

If the pressures are internal, why are you expecting so much out of yourself? Could you do more? Are your priorities in the right place? Are there things you could be doing which would allow you to work smarter, not harder?

Starting with this question can help with the question of how to balance your life to better align your actions with a less stressful and more fulfilling experience.

Now, let’s get into the tips for creating balance and living a balanced life.

How You Can Find Balance in your Work and Leisure

Are you looking for more balance in your life? Here are 8 steps you can take to live a more balanced life:

  1. Breathe and relax
  2. Figure out what’s important to you
  3. Take actions to reduce noise in your life
  4. Become more self-aware and understand yourself
  5. Understand the purpose of setting goals
  6. Let things go
  7. Understand progress takes time and it’s okay to take breaks
  8. Live life at your own pace and adjust over time

Let’s dive into each of these 8 balanced living tips below.

1. Take a deep breath

First, take a deep breath and collect yourself. Everyone gets stressed out from time to time, and that’s okay.

Breathing allows you to slow down, get your bearings, and relax.

Your brain needs air to think and process information! Give your brain what it needs! 🙂

simplify life2. Figure out what’s important to you

Next, it’s important to figure out what matters to you, and to assess where you are in your life right now.

What’s causing the imbalance in your life right now? What would your life look like if you were in balance? How would you feel?

Figuring out what is important to you and aligning your actions with your goals and wants is something I think is a necessary ingredient to happiness and fulfillment.

3. Take actions to reduce noise in your life

Many times when we get out of balance, it’s because we have taken on too many things with work, at home, or with friends.

Reducing noise can help you focus and allow you to not be distracted or overwhelmed with negativity and stress.

For me, I’ve removed noise by not watching the news or TV, by unsubscribing to marketing emails, and through spending time only on things I want to do.

What makes you happiest? How are you spending your time? Is your time being spent in a way which brings you happiness, or is it being blocked by other things in your life?

By reducing noise, you can start to do more of the things you like, and spend less time on the things you don’t like.

4. Becoming More Self Aware will Lead to What You Want in Life

After you’ve taken a deep breath, reduced noise, and came up with a thought for what you want in life, now it’s time to make some adjustments.

Self awareness, maturity, emotional intelligence – all of these things develop over time and have been a constant struggle for me.

There are times where I get wrapped up in a conversation and all of a sudden, I lose focus for a second and get annoyed by some minor comment or action. I’m sure there have been times where you’ve had a similar experience.

It’s tough to always be on and present in the moment but can be worked on.

Similarly, I’ve had experiences where I’m so focused on getting my work done and I lose track of time. All of a sudden, an hour later, I notice I’ve been sitting for a few hours straight – something not good for my health.

Or if I’m exhausted and keep pushing. It’s okay to take a break and sometimes very necessary! There’s no point in pushing through exhaustion if it will lead to a cold or the flu.

If the people around you can’t handle you taking a break when necessary, then maybe it’s time to surround yourself with other people (people with demanding and unrelenting bosses, I’m looking at you 😉 )

My point with this post is to focus again on that it’s okay to relax and have a break from the grind. Of course, action is important, but again, balance is what will lead to great success.

5. Understand the purpose of goals

I want success in my career and finances at a relatively younger age, and through these overarching thought, I’m someone with a lot of goals and ambition.

Some of my goals are a little over the top, and if I don’t hit one, sometimes I feel down.

That being said, here’s the thing: life happens. It’s okay if I miss a goal, or a sub-goal.

Goals are so incredibly essential for someone who wants success.

One of my main mantras and principles which I live my life by is “simple daily actions and disciplines WILL result in massive success over time”.

Do some sort of exercise each day and I’ll be fit.

Read each day and I’ll grow my knowledge base.

With this philosophy in hand, ideas become actions. Actions become habits. Habits become my or your life.

At the same time, it’s okay to take a break if you need it.

Going 100 miles an hour to get to some arbitrary mark or goal might not be the most beneficial or sustainable if it’s going to rob you of your energy, time, health, relationships, or focus.

It’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to not always be on with your A game.

6. Let Things Go

Speaking a little more generally here, it’s okay to not always be on in terms of personality, exercise, relationships, money or work.

One of the keys to my success has been the ability to let things go and move on to other things that matter.

Some people might call this apathy, but the ability to simply shrug things off is a great ability to have.

There are so many triggers out there waiting to get you… social media notifications, controversial news headlines, an accidental bump by a passing stranger…

The other week after work, I was walking to my bus. To my left, there was the patio of a bar downtown and to the right, the tall office building.

Up ahead, I saw a guy walking and talking on his phone. The interesting part here was he was talking on his phone and walking backwards on a busy sidewalk.

As we got closer, I was minding my own business just going to my bus. We ended up bumping shoulders a little bit because the sidewalk was tight.

After a few seconds, I was crossing the street with a bunch of other downtown walkers and I hear, “Hey! Watch where you are f***ing going you b****!”

I could have turned around and yelled back. Maybe I should’ve said something first.

I just kept walking and didn’t let it bother me. It was after work, I just wanted to get home safe, and if someone bumps into me on accident, I’m not going to get worked up over it.

While obviously that guy should’ve been watching where he was going, accidents happen. Recognizing accidents or random meaningless things are happening to you and being able to move on is a great skill to have.

There are many things we can’t control in life, but also many things we can control.

7. Understand Progress Takes Time

Nobody is an overnight success.

Things take time to develop and take shape.

Working through the struggle and working towards balance will take time, but it definitely will be worth it 🙂

As I’ve looked to simplify my life a little more, I had a thought which I’m going to share with you now: you can take a break if you need one.

There’s a quote I’m sure you know: Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Your six-pack and dream body is not going to get created from 100 push-ups done 1 day.

You probably aren’t going to become a millionaire in the next month.

Just by mindset, you might not be able to overcome your fear of public speaking.

However, do 100 push-ups for 30 days in a row, and you’ll see progress. Save and invest $500 a month for 20 years, and you’ll be close to a million dollars. Practicing your public speaking over time will lead to more confidence.

Things take time, and being patient will lead to you feeling good about your progress.

8. Live Life at Your Own Pace

Finally, it’s important to live life at your own pace if you want a balanced life.

When looking out into the world, it seems that everyone is going one million miles an hour and you need to do the same.

Even though I’m someone who prefers taking action and getting out into the world, first, it’s important to start by asking and understanding what YOU love doing and what will bring YOU joy.

You and I only have one life (as cliche as that is, it’s true).

The key to balance is living life at your own pace. 

Figuring out that pace might be a little bit rough at first, but it will be worth it for living a fulfilling life.

There is absolutely NO reason why this should make you feel like you should live at a faster pace (if that’s what you want).

If you want to take it easy on a weekend, do it! Splurge on that ice cream shop down the street! Do what’s necessary to keep you sane and happy!

At the same time, if you are goal driven and want to live intentionally, then it’s important to get back to work after you’ve had your fun.

Balance is so critical in life for leading a fulfilling and happy life. Balance in all areas (relationships, work, money, stress, etc.) can be managed, but will require you to turn inward and seek the truth from within your powerful mind and spirit.

What’s important? What isn’t important? What makes you happiest?

Balance has been on my mind and will continue to be on my mind. I’ll figure it out and I hope you will too.

While you can be successful without balance, it will be very tough to sustain that success as a large wind can blow you off the balance beam at any time.

Figure out what’s important to you and look to find balance between work and play, friends and alone time, creation and consumption, healthy food, exercise, and junk food.

Find Balance in Life and Live a Fulfilling Life

Now, it’s time to take actions to figure out what’s important to you and how you can reduce the noise of what’s bothering you to let the signal come through.

Take a deep breath and collect yourself. Everyone gets stressed out in life from time to time (and that’s okay).

What’s causing the imbalance in your life right now? What would your life look like if you were in balance? How would you feel?

Many times when we get out of balance, it’s because we have taken on too many things with work, at home, or with friends.

Out of these things, what’s important? Is there anything you could remove to get back your time and energy for what matters?

After reducing the noise in your life, think back to what what’s most important to you and your life. Focus in on what makes you happiest, and you’ll start getting back into balance.

Unfortunately, this process may take a few weeks.

Rarely will things happen overnight.

Maturity and patience is required here as things take time to develop and take shape. Working through the struggle will be worth it though 🙂

Readers: how do you keep balance in your life? How do you decompress? Do you find there needs to be a balance between work and play, friends time and alone time, and creation vs. consumption?

Erik

Living A Balanced Life

Living A Balanced Life
Living A Balanced Life

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