“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony”. – Thomas Merton
One of the most important aspects of our existence is having a balance in life. It is common sense that creating and maintaining a balance in anything we do is extremely important. However, this is rarely the case. Life is tough, hard, hectic and busy where everyone is running after their own set of goals, desires and wishes. No one has time for their friends, their families, their own selves and even their GOD. Everyone has their auto pilot switched on and they just keep on going on and on until it is too late to realize what they have missed out on.
It is only after the damage is done that we become aware of what has been missing and what we have been neglecting all throughout our lives. Therefore, it is important that we identify the areas of life that need to be taken care of. Once these areas have been identified, we then set our targets and see where our strengths and weaknesses lie. It is essential that we know what needs to be done and then it is our duty to be conscious of these facts and implement them in our daily lives. You will see that once we start doing all the right things, it gives us major confidence as we feel complete as human beings and improve and prove ourselves better then our surroundings. Our target should always be to become better and superior at whatever we do in life.
It is important to note that all areas of our lives are interconnected and interwoven. If one aspect of our life is neglected, it will affect another aspect of our life and therefore, the balance will be broken. It is more like a table standing on 4 legs. Even if one leg is damaged or broken, the whole table loses its balance and is useless. Similar are our lives.
Haider Al-Mosawi’ writes: “You can advance your career by having good social connections and you can enhance your family life by having good health and vitality.”
“Your family life can also suffer if you are neglecting your health and live in a state of exhaustion.” There are different aspects of life that need to be balanced. You can also depending on your preferences and priorities change the order of these or even reduce or add more aspects to better understand and better control your lives. I have personally divided the aspects of my life into 10 divisions. These include the following:
1. Health & Fitness
2. Mental development and Education
3. Work, Career and Finances
4. Home & Family
5. Social Life and Relationships
6. Life Purpose and Contribution
7. Character, Integrity, Ethics and Virtues
8. Daily Habits and Routines
9. Emotional Control and Development
10. Spiritual and Personal development
Looking at the above, we see that these divisions more or less cover all aspects of our lives. In order to simplify life, we only need to focus on these 10 factors. The lesser the aspects the easier it is to simplify life. Even if you add more aspects, those will more or less always fall under the above categories so it is better to stick to less yet cover every aspect.
To start off with, attach a certain percentage to each and every of the above aspects. For example, think what level of accomplishment you want to reach in every aspect and where you stand at present. If you are satisfied you can give 90% satisfaction in that area and if you feel that you have not quite reached there yet, you can maybe say 50%.
Once that’s done, you know which areas you are satisfied with and which areas need improvement. Then slowly we need to start working on the aspects that are not right. As we commence balancing the rest of the components of our lives, they help in achieving even better results in the other components. We start to feel that our life is under better control and we feel comfortable and confident within ourselves. We start performing better at work, our behavior with colleagues and family improves dramatically, we are relaxed as our guilty conscience has a sudden relief and we start to have more confidence in our way of life. All this gradually converts into a calmness and peace within our minds and soul. This positivity and change takes us in a constructive direction and ultimately has a huge effect on our overall happiness, success and helps us enhance our life to an altogether higher level.
We all need goals and a particular direction in life. We need to have these goals created in all the different aspects. We have certain major goals to attain and then we develop smaller steps, actions and achievements that will combine together to help us obtain the final goal.
Personally, taking the above mentioned components into consideration, the smaller goals that will help me reach my final goals include things like, I need to exercise daily and reach a certain weight by a certain deadline. Similarly I have my goals mapped out as to what education I want, what skills I want achieve, what financial status I need to obtain, how I want to treat my family and what kind of relationships I want to have with them, my social life, my purpose of life (like contributing to the world through my writing and by helping the poor), the way I want to live my daily life, the principles and virtues I want to live by, the character I want to have, the closeness I want to have with my GOD and the improvement that I constantly need to make every day to make my life a life worthwhile.
When assessing my life, I assess my day. When I see that my day includes work, learning and development, health, 3 healthy meals, prayers, social life, time for hobbies and my passions, my family, friends, daily routine and chores, my spiritual and personal development and that all these components are carried out with integrity, honesty, values, ethics and good character, it gives me the greatest pleasure in the world to know that I am striving to live a balanced life and once this much needed balance is obtained, everything starts to fall in place. I will finish by quoting the following quote that summarizes the whole message.
“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them”. – Thomas Kinkade
Talha Tashfeen Qayyum is a full-time postgraduate business student at the University of Birmingham, UK, and a freelance writer. He intends to contribute to life, society and Islam through his writings on self improvement and personal development with the vision to positively affect other people’s lives. Talha can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Life Discovery: Living, not merely Existing: talhatashfeen.blogspot.com. This article cannot be re-published without permission.