“If only I had more time”
“I wish I was earning more money”
“I’d like to be less busy”
“I know when I have that, I’ll be happy”
Most of us feel like this at least some times. We think that if we have more of something or less of something, then we’ll be happy. The truth is, we now live in a world of too much, following millennia of too little. We are still in the mindset of constantly striving for more – we are living in bigger houses, we have an overload of information, we are eating too much and desire to own more things. We assume we will succeed by communicating more, working more, making more money and owning more things. But “more” no longer works as a strategy professionally or personally. It just makes us more and more busy and not fulfilled!
“Busy” doesn’t mean successful. A lot of “busy-ness” is driven by a sense of helplessness – that we have no control nor choice over our lives – “If I do more, I’ll be successful and therefore happy”. What we need to be aiming for is sustained focused attention, deep engagement in conversations and activities that matter to us and having the space to think and enjoy a moment. And all we ever have is the moment – so we may as well enjoy it!
If you are too busy – if almost every moment is taken up with a commitment – your life is going to be out of balance.
The most common areas where people struggle with maintaining balance are:
Career – work Vs home life
Relationships – connection Vs space for self
Children – rules Vs freedom
Health – daily demands Vs time to self
Things – too much Vs too little
Time – busy Vs boredom*
We know our lives are out of balance when we get ill, if we are feeling stressed, if our relationships are strained, if we have mounting debt or are experiencing any kind of crisis.
Creating balance in our lives takes self-awareness and it’s something that only we can do for ourselves. No one will do it for us, because no one completely has our best interests at heart except ourselves – not our boss, not our kids, not even our partner! I know that sounds unkind but it’s true – everyone in our lives will have their own agenda to some degree.
Balance can only be created when we begin to establish a healthy relationship with ourselves! It is created on the inside first! It may seem that all the imbalance is happening on the outside, but it’s first created on the inside. Therefore the more peaceful, calm and spacious we feel on the inside, the more we will create it on the outside. The more loving and accepting we are of ourselves, the more balanced our lives will become. Taking time out for ourselves to re-balance is a valuable investment – activities such as meditation, time in nature, prayer, quiet contemplation, yoga, writing, an artistic pursuit – all these activities help bring us back to ourselves and to reconnect with who we really are.
I mentioned “boredom” a little earlier. Boredom is the fertile ground for creativity! We are all so addicted to busy-ness and afraid of stopping because we are not sure what will happen if we do. We are afraid that if we stop, we’re going to fail. We can’t see that if we stop, we may discover something that we couldn’t see before because we were so busy!
So allow some empty moments and make friends with the moment. The most important relationship you will ever have is with the present moment! You just may find it’s where the treasures lie.