Yourself, the health of your body, the stillness of your mind, and the peace in your soul: in which of these do you have balance in your life?
What about work, your spouse, your family, your health, and, of course, yourself? For a well-balanced life, the most important issue is to determine the priorities in our lives and look over the structure of our lives.
Are We Aware of Our Priorities?
When identifying our priorities, Stephen Covey’sbooks are extraordinary guides. According to Covey, we are mostly occupied with uncovering things that we regard as “urgent.“ These so-called urgent things may be important or unimportant to you. The crucial part is to eliminate these things and replace them with ones that are important but not urgent. This means that tasks can even be planned in advance and they will not become urgent. This also needs preparation. Then we finally have more time for the really important things in our life.
Now, we come to identify the things that really have priority for us. Do we ever think about what really matters to us without considering what other people think about us and without the belief systems that we learned from our families, peers, and society?
Are we aware of the following: the job we would enjoy, the relationships with each of our family members and friends, our bodies, our nutrition, the things we read, and the spiritual and mental activities we engage in.
As we become aware of the above, we can feel joyful and highly motivated, and we can move our lives in a more energetic way. Our lives then start to flow with ease and joy.
First of all, we can get rid of the time-killers, such as watching television, reading newspapers, streaming endless TV series, being sports fans, playing games in an extreme way, spending too much time online, and of course the latest addiction, I share therefore I am! I’m talking about taking photos and sharing them continuously, the craziness of liking and re-sharing of other people’s shares, checking in everywhere we go, and telling the world about all the food and drink we have!
The second thing we can do is to recognize the energy-killers, like drinking too much alcohol, over-exercising, eating too much food, drinking too much coffee, consuming too much sugar and other carbohydrates, over-thinking, and sleeping too little or irregularly.
How Is Our Life’s Structure?
Once we recognize the priorities, great! It’s time to build a structure that we can live to accordingly. What kind of mentality and belief systems do we have? We have a tendency to think and behave using the previous mentality and belief systems that we learned. These automatically create our thoughts and emotions, ultimately leading to our habits.
The first great step is observation. A minimum of a week or as much as a month should be spent on observing ourselves and taking notes: What are we doing? What kind of reactions do we give? What do we generally think and feel? Start to be a watcher!
The second step is to locate the source of these patterns, whether it be parents, school, culture, religion, or whatever. The moment we identify the source and the reason is the moment that we are free! We are no longer a part of that external belief system.
The next step is to replace the automatic thinking patterns with ones that we prefer, surely with positive ones according to our own values. It needs discipline and intimacy to change, as well as some patience. What’s more, be aware that the old habits will try to come back. Be alert, and get accustomed to being vigilant all the time.
During these stages, comparing ourselves with other people, rushing to achieve results, and setting overly ambitious targets in the short term will decrease our motivation. Besides, the ego, which hates any kind of change, will also try to bring us back into the comfort zone we sat in before.
Be Able To Say “No”
People who frequently cross into our boundaries and steal our time will not like the progress that we will make. In some cases, these people can be the closest ones to us. With a calm manner, it is proper to express ourselves and say “no” to them. This is the thing we need to learn, and sometimes we should even learn to say no to ourselves, specifically the fake personalities we have inside!
While performing all these steps, we may need some help. When the student is ready, the master will appear. We can consult people who inspire us. On the other hand, we should never forget that simply replacing the current situation with a guru or teachings will change little.
The balance in our life can only be established by us, and we already have whatever is needed within us.