They say that the key to a happy life is being able to find a way to balance our time and energy among all the things that are important to us.
A little bit like a well-balanced diet, we need a little of some things and bit more of others to keep us going, but finding the right balance isn’t easy, and if you’re lucky enough to get it, you’ll probably come to realize that it’s also pretty tough to maintain.
Now, I could write a post on how I try each week to get the balance just right in my life, but I think that there’s more to it than that. Because finding a way to balance time between family, friends, work, studying, pilates, running, supermarket runs, housework, me-time, and everything else is kind of superficial when it comes to what we should really be carefully managing in our lives, so here’s my take on it all.
1. Embrace your freedom while you have it, but don’t be reckless with chances.
There are many things in life that bring us freedom and we all have some to a certain degree, regardless of our circumstances. Yes, it varies from one person to the next but it also depends greatly on how you chose to live because you see freedom isn’t just an absence of commitments. Security, qualifications, experiences, family, and love each bring us a great deal of freedom either by presenting us with opportunities or making us strong enough to tackle them and then, of course, there are money and wealth the things that we used to hold accountable for freedom.
2. Make time for the most real people in your life, but always keep some free for yourself.
Time is precious and memories, well, they can last a lifetime, so be mindful of who you choose to spend your days with. Life can get pretty crazy at times and we feel as though we need to be split into 10 different pieces to give all that we have to various people but it’s true that you can’t pour from an empty cup, so be sure to have some time just for you. That might be just five minutes in a quiet corner of your home, going out for a run, or finding a cozy coffee shop to read a book, it won’t take up much time but it will benefit you in so many ways. Be kind to yourself and you’ll have so much more to give to others. The most important relationship you’ll ever have is going to be the one you have with yourself so treat yourself with the same kindness you share around and do things that you love or make you feel good.
3. Don’t lose your authenticity, but be open to change.
You’re the most ‘youist’ person there’s ever going to be and so you shouldn’t waste time comparing yourself to anyone else for a single minute. On the face of it, they’ll have all that you think you don’t but if you were to spend some real time around them you’d soon see that we all have our flaws. This, however, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t learn and grow and change as you work your way through this life. But, scrutinize your own actions, morals, and opinions, reflect on the person you are and become a better version of yourself. You’ll learn a great deal about the person you want to be from being around others too – that goes without saying – but whatever you do, don’t lose sight of your authenticity.
4. Travel, get lost, find new places to call home, but don’t forget where you came from.
Whatever you do, don’t spend your entire life in one place. Explore and educate yourself while you’re at it. When you visit somewhere new, allow yourself to become surrounded by everything that makes that place different from the rest, talk to people, visit the places TripAdvisor tells you are the best around there, but also find some hidden spots of your own too. Be adventurous and book an open return flight once in your life, after all, home will always be waiting for you when you’re ready to come back and it’ll probably look incredibly similar from how you left it. No matter where your passport takes you, though, always remember the place where you first found your feet because this will make you appreciate each journey you embark on even more.
5. Always strive for more but appreciate what you already have.
Aim high and set high expectations for yourself, but don’t forget that you’re incredibly lucky to have all that you’ve already got. There will always be a better job and more qualifications that you could work towards, no matter where you get to in life and it’s so important to keep moving, to push ourselves, and see what we can achieve, but it’s equally important to sit back and just enjoy your life as it is right now. Knowing that you will never have everything that you could have had but that you’ll always be better off than someone else will humble you, so don’t forget to take stock once in a while and be mindful of your journey, set yourself some goals but be careful not to let these overcome all the things that you should be thankful for.