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Balance Brings Comfort

Balance Brings Comfort

    Comfort is associated with balance. We feel most comfortable when our lives are in balance. Looking at our world today and the chaotic busy lives we lead, you might think that we are most comfortable with busyness. But, few of us would say we’re comfortable with the pace of our lives. I suspect we have lost sight of balance and don’t know how to get it back.

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    One way to consciously commit to a life of balance and the comfort it brings is to strive for balance in the energies of our homes and offices. What the heck does that mean?  Feng shui teaches that what we have in our living and working spaces anchors energies that affect what happens in our lives. So, if we want more balance in our lives, let’s create more balance in our environments.

    We know what being out of balance looks like in our personal lives. We have too much work and too little play, too much work and too little family time, too much rushing around and too little relaxation.

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    Let’s see what being out of balance in your environment looks like. If we look at being out of balance as having too much of something that is not desirable and too little of something that is desirable and apply it to our living spaces, what we find are spaces with too much stuff and too little storage, too much darkness and not enough light, too much clutter and not enough order. What immediately comes to mind for me is closets packed to the gills, attics full of stuff that is rarely touched, piles of paper and other clutter, more things than storage room. Other ways it shows up is having too much furniture for the size of a room, rooms that have white walls, and rooms that have very little color in them.

    Balance, by the way, is relative. Balance for one person may not be balance for another. For example, a few years ago I visited a friend who had taken great pains to create a lovely, comfortable, clutter-free home.  Everything in the space was carefully chosen to be in the space. There was plenty of storage space for all of her belongings even in her small house. I was so impressed. And yet, her house seemed stark to me. It may have been perfect for her, but I needed more in my space to soften it up and make it feel cozy.

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    Seeing her space, however, and feeling the pleasure that comes from a space with fewer items talking to me (the energy of things actually communicates with us), I realized that I did want more of that. I came home motivated to go through parts of my house and clear out things I no longer wanted or used. By looking at her house, which to me seemed a little stark, I could see that mine, though attractive and generally comfortable, was still out of balance in terms of the ratio of stuff to space.

    Do you have balance in your life and in your home? The question to ask is “how comfortable am I?” How comfortable am I with the pace of my life? And, how comfortable am I in my home? You are the only one who can improve the balance. Take at least one step today to bring your life into better balance!

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    Last Updated on November 5, 2019

    How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

    How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

    Assuming the public school system didn’t crush your soul, learning is a great activity. It expands your viewpoint. It gives you new knowledge you can use to improve your life. It is important for your personal growth. Even if you discount the worldly benefits, the act of learning can be a source of enjoyment.

    “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

    But in a busy world, it can often be hard to fit in time to learn anything that isn’t essential. The only things learned are those that need to be. Everything beyond that is considered frivolous. Even those who do appreciate the practice of lifelong learning, can find it difficult to make the effort.

    Here are some tips for installing the habit of continuous learning:

    1. Always Have a Book

    It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or a week to read a book. Always strive to have a book that you are reading through, and take it with you so you can read it when you have time.

    Just by shaving off a few minutes in-between activities in my day I can read about a book per week. That’s at least fifty each year.

    2. Keep a “To-Learn” List

    We all have to-do lists. These are the tasks we need to accomplish. Try to also have a “to-learn” list. On it you can write ideas for new areas of study.

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    Maybe you would like to take up a new language, learn a skill or read the collective works of Shakespeare. Whatever motivates you, write it down.

    3. Get More Intellectual Friends

    Start spending more time with people who think. Not just people who are smart, but people who actually invest much of their time in learning new skills. Their habits will rub off on you.

    Even better, they will probably share some of their knowledge with you.

    4. Guided Thinking

    Albert Einstein once said,

    “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

    Simply studying the wisdom of others isn’t enough, you have to think through ideas yourself. Spend time journaling, meditating or contemplating over ideas you have learned.

    5. Put it Into Practice

    Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on C++ isn’t the same thing as writing a program. Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush.

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    If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice.

    In this information age, we’re all exposed to a lot of information, it’s important to re-learn how to learn so as to put the knowledge into practice.

    6. Teach Others

    You learn what you teach. If you have an outlet of communicating ideas to others, you are more likely to solidify that learning.

    Start a blog, mentor someone or even discuss ideas with a friend.

    7. Clean Your Input

    Some forms of learning are easy to digest, but often lack substance.

    I make a point of regularly cleaning out my feed reader for blogs I subscribe to. Great blogs can be a powerful source of new ideas. But every few months, I realize I’m collecting posts from blogs that I am simply skimming.

    Every few months, purify your input to save time and focus on what counts.

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    8. Learn in Groups

    Lifelong learning doesn’t mean condemning yourself to a stack of dusty textbooks. Join organizations that teach skills.

    Workshops and group learning events can make educating yourself a fun, social experience.

    9. Unlearn Assumptions

    You can’t add water to a full cup. I always try to maintain a distance away from any idea. Too many convictions simply mean too few paths for new ideas.

    Actively seek out information that contradicts your worldview.

    Our minds can’t be trusted, but this is what we can do about it to be wiser.

    10. Find Jobs that Encourage Learning

    Pick a career that encourages continual learning. If you are in a job that doesn’t have much intellectual freedom, consider switching to one that does.

    Don’t spend forty hours of your week in a job that doesn’t challenge you.

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    11. Start a Project

    Set out to do something you don’t know how. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging.

    If you don’t know anything about computers, try building one. If you consider yourself a horrible artist, try a painting.

    12. Follow Your Intuition

    Lifelong learning is like wandering through the wilderness. You can’t be sure what to expect and there isn’t always an end goal in mind.

    Letting your intuition guide you can make self-education more enjoyable. Most of our lives have been broken down to completely logical decisions, that making choices on a whim has been stamped out.

    13. The Morning Fifteen

    Productive people always wake up early. Use the first fifteen minutes of your morning as a period for education.

    If you find yourself too groggy, you might want to wait a short time. Just don’t put it off later in the day where urgent activities will push it out of the way.

    14. Reap the Rewards

    Learn information you can use. Understanding the basics of programming allows me to handle projects that other people would require outside help. Meeting a situation that makes use of your educational efforts can be a source of pride.

    15. Make Learning a Priority

    Few external forces are going to persuade you to learn. The desire has to come from within. Once you decide you want to make lifelong learning a habit, it is up to you to make it a priority in your life.

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    Featured photo credit: Paul Schafer via unsplash.com

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