Hope all is well with everyone. Lately I’ve been trying to figure out how to drive traffic to this blog and haven’t been as focused on content, but now that I’ve had some success with that I’d like to ease back into content while simultaneously working with new ways to grow traffic.
My past 10 posts have been the foundation of the principles I wanted to discuss. Now I’d like to hit a few more refined ideas that really go deeper. The title of this post is “Creating Balance With a Focus On Purpose.” I want to talk about the importance of a balanced life in which you are living every day in a way that brings you one step closer to fulfilling your purpose.
This is something I’ve been conscious of for awhile now, but the problem is, things aren’t nearly that simplistic. When you strip “purpose” down to its core meaning, I believe we all have the same purpose in life; to be happy. But what constitutes happiness?
Happiness can come from many different sources for different people. And to take that a step further, happiness can come from many different sources for you as an individual. Some common sources of happiness are recreational activities, hobbies, achievement, helping other people, relaxing, sports, music, socializing, traveling, getting out there, meeting new people, reading, learning about your personal interests and growing as a human being to become the person you want to be.
So if your purpose in life is to obtain sustainable happiness and on one hand you’re gaining that happiness from relaxing, and on the other hand you get it from working hard and achievement, clearly there are some conflicting motives. The answer is balance. You need to live a balanced life and be sure to make time for all the things that bring you joy in life.
The dilemma most people have is they don’t truly know what they want out of life. They don’t know where they’re headed or what their purpose is. They just wander blindly hoping to one day stumble upon happiness. Without a sense of direction, the odds of achieving this are slim to none. So we all need to decide what we value most, what we want out of life and come up with a plan of action to get to where we want to go.
If you’ve read any of my other posts, then you’ve heard this one before. Life’s too short and because we all have an expiration date, we need to stop wasting time on things that do nothing for us. Some things that are a huge waste of time are excessive TV watching, aimlessly browsing the internet for hours on end, wasting time on social media, basically anything lacking a purpose.
Sitting down and relaxing can serve the purpose of giving yourself a rest and a break from a busy day. Hobbies serve a purpose of enjoyment and what they do for us emotionally. Working serves the purpose of producing value in exchange for money, which enables us to do and obtain the material things we want. Watching hours of TV on end serves no purpose. They say your brain waves while watching TV are comparable to your brain waves while you’re sleeping. Your level of consciousness is very low when you’re zoned out in front of the TV. And half your time is spent watching advertisements on top of it all.
I value flexibility and the option to do what I want, when I want. Unfortunately for me, my work schedule is fairly set and I don’t have the luxury of doing what I want, when I want, for a good 9 and a half hours every day between my commute, work and lunch break. I’d like to one day own my own business, which among many other things would give me more flexibility.
It’s something to work towards. But when it comes to balance, this locks in a big portion of my day. When I get out of work I like to get to the gym at least 4 days a week. After work and the gym there’s usually some time left over which would ideally be spent reading, focusing on a hobby, going out with friends, working on this blog, or just relaxing when I feel it to be necessary.
The reality of the situation is that I’m not always as productive with my time as I should be. When I should be spending a few minutes playing the drums, since I get a lot of enjoyment out of that and like to keep my skills sharp, I may be browsing the internet aimlessly. When I should be searching for new career opportunities, I may just lounge around not doing much of anything. And again, the key is balance and sometimes these things serve a purpose, but when you get out of balance and are excessively slacking off, you are slowing your progress in life and ultimately, the level of achievement you’re going to reach.
Anything can be destructive in extremes, whether you are pushing yourself to work to an extreme, or taking it easy all the time, neither will lead to happiness. This is how the human condition was designed. Even if your goal is to be in excellent physical shape, if you’re in the gym too much you will over train and the results will be counterproductive. We need to identify what we want out of life, what matters most amongst those things and what takes priority.
Only then can we design or day to day activity to move us in the right direction in all aspects of our lives. This includes professional interests, relationships, hobbies, interests and the like. Neglecting any one of these areas will have just as horrible a consequence as putting to much emphasis on any one area.
We need to experience a variety of emotions and a variety of physical activity. With variety comes balance. There are many things we gain from these different activities and states that can be used to fuel other areas of our lives. The right amount of sleep gives us the energy we need to be productive and on top of our game. A hard day’s work gives a sense of fulfillment that can drive us to get to the gym and work hard there. Going to the gym gets your blood flowing and releases endorphins which again, keep you feeling good and enable you to do more. All these activities contribute to one another.
Variety and balance are completely necessary to become successful and to obtain happiness. When you’re frustrated running the daily grind of life, whether it’s at work, or some other routine activity, keep your purpose in mind. Think about why you’re doing what you’re doing, what you hope to get out of it and what you ultimately want to achieve. Keep your purpose in mind. Think of how great you’ll feel when you finally do reach your end goal.
Know what’s important to you and plan your day to include all that matters to you. Make a schedule and stick to it. Stay motivated and keep moving forward even when you reach a plateau in life. These can be frustrating, especially if they last a considerable amount of time. Don’t get frustrated, be persistent and keep pushing to get to the next level.
Make sure to have variety in your life, to try new things, to travel to new places and to meet new people. Balance will provide you with the variety necessary to bring you happiness and motivation to keep on moving forward and growing throughout life. It all comes back to knowing what you value, knowing what you want to accomplish and consciously planning your day to day activity to keep moving in the right direction.
You have so many different pieces that make up your life between interests, relationships, your career, and you need to keep moving them all forward. This requires you to pay attention and dedicate time to each piece individually. If you ignore certain pieces, they will get left behind. If you put all your focus on one piece, when you reach your destination, you will have lost all the other things that used to matter to you. They will have been sacrificed for one specific achievement and nothing should ever have to be sacrificed in life.
By keeping balance in mind, you will benefit substantially. Identify the things you’ve been neglecting and do what you have to to correct that imbalance. Also be aware of activities that you may be putting too much focus on at the expense of what really matters. If you make time for other things, it may actually put you in a better state to do more with less in the area that’s been monopolizing your time and energy.
While writing this post, I’ve realized that motivation is tied into everything I’ve discussed. This is a subject that would require a post of its own so I avoided diving into it for that reason. Maybe my next post will be on motivation, and if not, it will be in the near future.
Thanks for reading. As always, any comments, feedback, stories are welcome and you can always get in touch with me through facebook, twitter, or email.