The One Tool You Need to Lead a Balanced Life
Editor's note: This is a guest post from Haider Al-Mosawi of Personal Growth Map.
Leading a balanced life is commonly seen as the light at the end of the tunnel. We convince ourselves that once we have our work under control, we can then make time for family, health and hobbies.
But let's take a look at an approach to life and personal growth that will allow you to start leading a balanced life today.
Why You Need Balance Today
Before we look at how you can achieve balance, it's important to know why you need to have balance in your life in the first place.
1- Every Life Area is Important: Imagine neglecting your health for one year while you focus on your work. You will suffer the consequences of that decision during that year and the years ahead. In fact, that decision alone can limit the number of years you are likely to live after that. That might be a harsh way of putting it, but you know it to be true.
2- Life Areas Reinforce Each Other: The idea that each life area is compartmentalized, and has no influence on other life areas is untrue and extremely damaging to your life success. You can advance your career by having good social connections and you can enhance your family life by having good health and vitality. All life areas are connected, and if you neglect some life areas, you could be sabotaging the success you wish to achieve in the area you are focusing on.
3- Problems In One Area Can Be Caused By Other Areas: If you've ever attempted to become more productive by trying to motivate yourself, only to fail miserably, then you will appreciate this point. The fact is, being productive at work might not have anything to do with your work. It could very well stem from a health issue (i.e. what you eat, how active you are and a possible illness). You can try every productivity tip and trick in every book, but if you neglect your health, you won't be able to overcome the limitations you are experiencing.
4- If We're Not Managing All Life Areas, We're Not In Control: One of the main reasons why we experience stress in life is because we feel we don't have control over our lives. And by neglecting any life area, we give up that control. We feel that there is something in our lives that we're not giving attention to and not managing properly. This stress can bring a sour taste to our entire lives.
5- No Need to Put Your Happiness On Hold: We have a very simple choice in life. We can either experience happiness today, or postpone our happiness for some time in the indefinite future. By avoiding balance today, we delay our own happiness. This doesn't have to be the case. We can begin enjoying our lives today without further delay!
Use a Personal Growth Map
Now that you know you're in desperate need for balance in your life today, let's how a Personal Growth Map can help.
The idea behind the Personal Growth Map is very simple: You need to be aware of all life areas, and advance in each one of them every day and on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, etc).
Although we may have been struggling to achieve life balance all these years, but the strange thing is, we don't know what we've been trying to balance. Is it work and family time? But what about our health? And how about our hobbies? And where does world peace fit into all of this?
The Personal Growth Map recognizes seven life areas that make up our lives. You can see these life areas as categories where we can put our activities and goals in. The life areas (categories) are:
If you've been struggling to balance only two life areas, you might be surprised to know that juggling seven life areas is actually easier.
Why? Because these life areas are more accurate in defining your actual needs in life, without ignoring the important details. If you thought that balance is only about work and family time, then you were ignoring your spiritual, intellectual, psychological, recreational and physical needs. That's not real balance, is it?
Having a more accurate understanding of your needs as a human being will enable you to satisfy those needs without neglecting anything that's important to you.
Using the Personal Growth Map
There's a lot to mention about how the Personal Growth Map should be used for maximum effect. For now, use these 3 simple steps so you can achieve results immediatelyh:
1- List all the activities you can do to advance each life area: That is, start with Spiritual. What can you do to advance your life in the area of spirituality? Read a specific book about spirituality? Meditate? Pray? Speak to a spiritual teacher you know? Join a campaign to promote world peace? List all the options open to you in that area. Be as specific as possible, then move on to every other area to write down a similar list.
2- Consider activities that stretch across several life areas: This is where the power of the Personal Growth Map is really felt. You can satisfy several needs through a single activity. For example, rather than exercise in the gym, play football with your friends. This will advance your Social, Recreational and Physical life areas all at once! Be creative in coming up with ways you can advance several life areas at the same time.
3- Select the activities you want to carry out for each life area: Choose the options which you can apply today (or during the next week or month) from the above lists. Make sure that you cover all life areas!
No matter how minor the activity is, as long as you are advancing each life area, you are making progress and experiencing a degree of balance in your life. You are gaining control of your life and satisfying all your needs.
With the Personal Growth Map, you will realize that the tunnel you've been living in is of your own making, and you can start living in the light and leading a balanced life today.
Read more from Haider Al-Mosawi at his blog, Personal Growth Map, or follow him on Twitter.