We live in a success-obsessed world. Many of us chase after success in our careers or business at the expense of family, relationships, health, and spirituality. We fail to understand that success cannot be compartmentalized. When one area of your life suffers, all the other areas will follow suit sooner or later. If you want to be successful in life, and not just in your career, you need to strive for balance.
The good news is that you can get closer to balance in your life with 7 very simple daily habits:
1. Start your day with prayer or meditation
Achieving balance in your life starts with your personal choice and decision to change the way you live your life. It requires your attitude and discipline to make it happen. That’s why achieving balance in your life requires that you have a very strong core. If you don’t like who you are, where you are, or what you do, chances are you won’t like the other areas of your life either.
Make it a habit to start your day by praying or meditating. Praying or meditating in the morning helps you feel that you are more than you think you are, that you can do more than you think you can, and that there is more to life than what you’re currently doing. Connect with yourself, know yourself, affirm yourself more, and understand that you are meant for greater things.
2. Be fully present when you’re with your family
Family life is the area most often associated with work-life balance. Having a great family life is like the pinnacle of achieving work-life balance. After all, it is your family who sticks with you through thick and thin. When all is said and done, some friendships fade, but your family will remain.
Start making a difference in the world by first making a difference in your family. Spend more quality time with them. Eat breakfast with them. Be more physically and emotionally present in their lives. Do one thing with your family today in which you’re fully engaged. Yes, you can make a huge dent in other people’s lives, but start small by making a dent and being more involved in the lives of the people already around you.
3. Reach out to one person you already know
In business, having a strong network helps you spread the word about your company. It also helps you get more things done. In your personal life, a strong network helps you grow in the different areas of your life. Which is another way to help achieve balance. By expanding your network and building strong connections, you get to learn from other people, widen your perspective, and even stretch your vision for your life.
Everyday, contact at least one person you already know. It’s always easier to start expanding your network with someone you already know. Tell that person what you’re up to and ask if there’s anything you can help him or her with. Then, ask that person if he or she can help you with something, even something as simple as spreading the word about what you’re doing. People are willing to help more than you think. Asking for help also builds trust. To keep the ball rolling, don’t forget to ask if he or she can introduce you to someone who can help you as well.
4. Spend fifteen honing your expertise
For Bill Gates, it was computing. For Michael Jordan, it was basketball. For Albert Einstein, it was theoretical physics.What did these three successful gentlemen share? They knew what they were great at.
If you want to succeed in life, excelling at one thing is a must. It’s better to be great at one thing and suck at everything else than to be average at everything.
Spend at least fifteen minutes each day improving what you’re already good at. If you’re into blogging, spend fifteen minutes reading articles on websites like Problogger. If you’re good at marketing, spend fifteen minutes studying the latest marketing tools and trends and visiting blogs like Seth Godin’s. If you’re great at sports, by all means, practice! Whatever you do, make sure you strive to become better each day.
5. Do something creative
Even though the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory has been debunked, the world still enthrones activities attributed to the left-brain, such as logic and measurement, while “right-brain” activities like creative pursuits get short-changed. Most jobs today require analytical thinking more than creative thinking. Many people also deem creative pursuits impractical and give up on them.
No matter what your job is, you should keep going after creative pursuits. If you’re employed or if you have a business, create a plan to get more customers, to get more things done, to introduce more products, and to grow the business. Notice how your blood will get pumping and your adrenaline rushing. Only “right-brain” activities or creative pursuits have that effect in our lives. More importantly, it is only through creative pursuits that you stretch your vision and redefine what’s possible for your business and for life.
If you’re more of an artist, engage in creative activities that excite you like drawing, painting, playing music, writing music, animating, writing a story, or even starting a blog! It helps achieve balance in and add color to your life after a long, monotonous, “left-brain” dominant day.
Don’t just control, using your analytical “left-brain.”Create using your “right-brain” as well.
6. Take a 30-minute walk
The first five things you need to do each day focus on your emotional, relational, and personal success. But, in order to achieve and enjoy all those successes, you also need to succeed in the area of your physical health. You cannot enjoy all the success you’ve worked so hard for if you’re lying sick in bed.
Make it a habit to get yourself moving. Take a 30-minute walk, go to the gym, take Zumba classes, or even stretch for ten minutes after every hour of sitting down. Just get yourself moving! There are so many different benefits from physical activities and so many different ways to do it. Find what works for you and do it consistently. Small, consistent action beats one big effort followed by a big crash every time.
7. Do one thing to reach out, give back, or pay forward
We all know the expression, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Whatever successes you are enjoying right now, you didn’t achieve them on your own. You were given unique opportunities by your parents, your family’s history and background, different circumstances, the people you met, and “angels” you’ve encountered along the way. Success is not only a personal achievement. Success is also being given many opportunities to succeed.
Unfortunately, not everyone was given the same opportunities you were given.
If you are reading this article, chances are you are living a more privileged life than many others out there who don’t even have internet access. Be that small flicker of hope to someone today. Be the “angel” who will give that person the same opportunity that you had. No matter how you help, whether in educational, business, or even financial support, keep in mind that what you’re giving someone is an opportunity to succeed.
Helping someone also doesn’t have to be big right away. You can start small by simply reaching out and giving that person an opportunity to have an emotional support in you.
Finally, Malcolm Gladwell put it very nicely in his book, Outliers: The Story of Success:
“Because we so profoundly personalize success, we miss opportunities to lift others onto the top rung… We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail. And most of all, we become much too passive. We overlook just how large a role we all play—and by ‘we’ I mean society—in determining who makes it and who doesn’t.”
Put It on Paper and Take Action
Now that you’re finished reading, don’t let your own ideas of achieving balance in your life slip away. Write them down, make a clear, actionable plan, act on it, and live a remarkable and more balanced life.
Featured photo credit: Military Maneuvers by JD Hancock via flickr.com
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