Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Living A Balanced Life (A Mindful Journey To Success)

By George M. Graham Jr.

The state of the world today appears to be more chaotic, more dysfunctional, and more challenged than at any other time in the history of mankind. Evidence of this can be seen by watching television, listening to the radio, surfing the internet, or by reading newspapers and magazines.

We are inundated with more information than our minds can possibly handle with news of environmental disasters, economic crises, political disharmony, and growing epidemic health issues. We are bombarded with so much negativity that it literally has repercussions and consequences on our well being, whether we realize it or not.

This is often amplified even more by issues that occur with our jobs, crises that occur within our families, and/or personal financial, medical, or relationship problems. When we are exposed to this negativity on a daily basis, we can feel like we are constantly being thrown out of balance within our personal lives. We may feel out of control, overwhelmed, or at a loss as to what to do.

How can we take charge of our lives to be able to feel grounded, peaceful, and in harmony among such turmoil and strife in the world today? The purpose of this article is to provide insight and guidance on how you can bring a sense of balance and well being into your life during these challenging times.

Stephen R. Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People describes the four dimensions of human nature as body, mind, heart, and spirit. Unfortunately, due to the everyday demands and distractions, we are unable to devote the time and energy necessary to be able to renew ourselves in each of these categories. In order to have balance in our lives, it takes our continuous effort in each of these aspects - body, mind, heart and spirit. This effort will vary somewhat from individual to individual and can vary at different seasons in our lives.

This requires us to become knowledgeable of the basics in each of these four dimensions. After gaining knowledge of the basics, one must consistently practice to maximize the best results that an individual is capable of achieving. This process can be understood in light of the following quote by Coach John R. Wooden, "Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."

Covey shares insight as to what are some of the basics in each of these dimensions. When referring to body, an individual would need to learn and master the basic principles of health such as eating properly, getting appropriate exercise, and getting sufficient sleep. When referring to the mind, we are talking about growing and increasing your ability in such areas as reading, writing, and continued education. Heart, which can also be referred to as the social/emotional dimension, means such things as making connections with others that are meaningful. The spiritual dimension is covers a number of different aspects which could include prayer, meditation, spending time in nature, and service to others.

Living your life in balance requires taking the necessary time and commitment to renew yourself in all these areas of your life. It is about making good choices and decisions. It is about having the desire and perseverance to follow through on a consistent basis.

By focusing your time and effort in each of these four areas, you will promote growth in your life. You will find that you have more energy, better health, and that you are better able to cope with difficulties and challenges. You will also be happier, have more peace and harmony, and feel more grounded and in control of your life.

When you are living a balanced life, you will know it because you can actually enjoy yourself. You will find that you can be yourself and be happy with who you are. You will be better equipped to overcome negative, stressful circumstances and feel more optimistic about outcomes. In essence, you will sense a feeling of freedom that you may not have experienced in your life for a long time.

As you are on your journey of life, be mindful, aware, and observant of the present moment. Do not worry about the past or the future. By being vigilant to this moment, you can put your focus where it needs to be - on achieving growth in each of your life domains, making the effort to do your best, and becoming the best you are capable of being.

Your journey is about being mindful, exercising patience with yourself and others, simplifying your life, being compassionate and kind, being open to change, and having an attitude of gratitude. Above all, do not compare yourself to others. You are a work in progress. Focus your efforts on you and do not let yourself be distracted by others.


You can find information about incorporating positive, practical practices to help you in achieving balance in your life by referring to these previous blog posts:

Dare To Do Your Best: See It Big, But Keep It Simple - Part I (April 21, 2013)

Dare To Do Your Best: See It Big, But Keep It Simple - Part II (May 4, 2013)