Thursday, December 1, 2016

Balance - What is it really?

Balance by definition is "a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions."* Balance is clearly identifiable in tangible objects. However, when it comes to life, balance is not so clearly seen. The elusive concept of balance is highly regarded and sought after. Balance can contribute to general contentment, decrease in stress and overall, a happier life. I believe that balance is not necessarily and equalizing of all the elements in life, but rather, a prioritizing of elements in life. I also believe that balance is different for different individuals.

The dictionary definition of balance cited at the outset, said elements are "equal or in the correct proportions." Clearly, it would be absurd to spend the same amount of time and energy on each facet of life. Hypothetically, a person may sleep eight hours a day. Sixteen hours remain in the day to be divided between working in secular work, exercising, enjoying recreation, relaxing, focusing on spiritual health, caring for responsibilities and whatever else comprises a life. It's not feasible to divide theses elements equally. Therefore, the skill of prioritizing is essential to achieving balance. A person must decide which elements are most important to overall well-being and prioritize accordingly. An element that is higher priority does not necessarily have to take up more time, but it will come first. Time can not be created so people must make the best use of time while realizing that some things, lower on the priority level, may not get accomplished for quite some time. Sacrifices have to be made, but what a person sacrifices is a personal decision based on their priorities.

Since individual priorities differ greatly, the concept of balance is reflected differently in different individual's lives.  Some individuals may derive satisfaction and joy from a regular exercise regime, while others may choose to spend more time enjoying recreation. Their activities would therefore be balanced differently. However, each individual must give careful consideration to what they truly value. Personal mental and physical well-being is important. An individual with a type-A personality may lead themselves to believe that they enjoying working long hours at the office. While some may truly derive satisfaction from a long day at work, others might be pushing themselves too hard and taxing both their physical and mental faculties. Individuals should not compare their idea of balance with others. Attention should be given to what is beneficial to the specific individual mentally, physically, and spiritually, both for the present time and in the long term.

Achieving perfect balance may continue to elude the masses. However, with proper prioritizing, self evaluation, and recognizing that individuals' needs and priorities vary, balance is not so unattainable. Rather than following the juvenile trends promoted on social media and other platforms, a person should consider sources of genuine contentment, pursue them, and continue to progress to a more balanced life.


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