How To Balance Life
Balancing life can be as difficult as stapling water to the wall. Sometimes we just feel like we do not have enough hours in the day to do all the things we want to, need, or enjoy. Something I have been working a lot on the past few months is balancing my life. I took my hobbies too seriously, scheduled my life too strict, and treated everyday the same. It was consistent, but had absolutely no balance, enjoyment, or surprises (both good and bad). I have been (and still am) adjusting to balance my life and after a conversation I had yesterday, I thought I would share with everyone how I am changing my ways in order to live a more balanced/happy life (and how you can too).
The Time We Are Given
One day I was watching a Youtube video that really caught my eye. A powerlifter was explaining a philosophy on his channel comparing life to filling a bucket. Below is the life lesson that changed my perception of balancing life.
The Life Lesson:
The teacher cleared off his desk and placed on top of it a few items. One of the items was an empty mason jar. He proceeded to fill up the jar with golf balls until he could fit no more. He looked at the classroom and asked his students if they agree that the jar is full. Every student agreed that the jar was indeed full.
The teacher then picked up a box of small pebbles and poured them into the jar with the golf balls. The pebbles filled all of the openings in between the golf balls. He asked the students if the jar was full. Once again, they agreed.
Now the teacher picked up a bag of sand and poured it into the mason jar. The sand filled in all of the empty space left between the golf balls and pebbles. He asked the class again if the jar was full. The students agreed it was technically full.
Finally, the teacher pulled out two beers from under his desk and poured both of them into the jar filling the empty space between the sand. Now the students began to laugh wondering how far this was going.
The teacher waited until the laughter stopped. "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life," he started. "The golf balls represent the important things. Your family, children, health, friends, and passions. If everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles represent the other things in life that matter, such as your job, house and car. The sand---that is everything else. The small stuff. If you put the sand in first, there is no room for the pebbles or golf balls.
The same goes for life. If you spend all of your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are most important. Pay attention to the important things in your life.
Enjoy time with family. Go to dinner with your spouse. Play games with your kids. There will always be time to clean the house or take yourself shopping.
Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. The rest is just sand. You are dismissed."
Before the students left, one shouted out. "You never mentioned what the beer represents!"
The professor smiled and said, "Well I'm glad you asked. The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room to have a beer with a friend."
Quoted from: http://www.sunnyskyz.com/feel-good-story/111/A-teacher-s-life-lessons-using-a-jar-and-some-golf-balls#WzODSvHCHeeKfcBp.99
Think Longer Term
Some days in life we really do get too busy to even do something we want. What we need to realize is every day does not have to be the same and you can sort your life weekly or even monthly. Work your butt off this week, but then go enjoy the weekend with your friends. After work today go hit the gym, then after work tomorrow go to the bar with friends...You do not have to do EVERYTHING all the time, but you can do everything you want to in life. We tend to think of "balancing life" as doing everything we need/want all the time. Balancing life is about balancing your approach towards everything thing you do. You do not focus all time and energy in one aspect of our life. Some of you may say "f*** balance, I want to be successful" and to you I say, not everyone wants to dedicate their life to wealth or fame. Some of us enjoying family, some enjoy helping others, and some enjoy just going wherever the wind blows them. As talked about above, how you fill that bucket of life is really up to you. Just realize much like the bucket only being able to hold so much, life itself can only hold so much. We have a limited number of years to live that we really do not know when it will end. We have to balance our life to enjoy all aspects of life until the time comes where we can't enjoy any of it.
Hobbies Are Hobbies
This is something that hit me pretty deep while recovering from my injury (still in physical therapy). I dedicated my mind, body, and soul to powerlifting. I ran routines as a drug free lifter that most drug free athletes are scared of. If you know these programs this may put a perspective on that. I ran the Smolov base mesocycle (squat 4 days a week for 5-10 sets 9-3 reps for an ungodly perentage of your one rep max, sometimes taking 5-10 minutes in between sets to ragain my soul back to my body before the next set) for 4 months nonstop taking my squat from 375 for 1, to doing 425 for 10 sets of 3. I developed elbow tendonitis, hip flexor pain, and insomnia from overtraining my nerves. Guess what? At that time it felt more than worth it. All I cared about was the weight on the bar each day and absolutely nothing else! I never regret how far I put my mind into lifting, What happened was I let the rest of my life slip from me. All I literally did was wake up, eat, train, eat some more, sleep, and repeat daily. I didn't hangout with friends, go out on dates, or venture into anything exciting. I was consistent, I was content, I was boring as all can be. The past 6 months really opened my eyes to how far I was taking lifting. With my injury I decided to slow down on my excessive lifting mindset. Starting talking to people about things other than health and fitness. I started dating more. I started actually going out an doing stuff. This year was the absolute first time I have ever gone ANYWHERE without family, without a strict diet plan, and without a daily routines.....We just did what we felt like that day. I got to see what it's like to actually go out and enjoy your life away from your daily routine. Kind of "out of my shell" to be exact. Guess what? It was the best time I had ever had and I will never forget it. We tend to preach so much on social media about consistency, but with consistency comes stagnation and boredom. Sometime we must be consistent when necessary and spontaneous when life is just too consistent. Hobbies are hobbies and we must realize that there is much more out there in life for us to experience.
Value The Priceless
Last but not least you must value what is priceless. Money comes and goes, but memories will always be there to be cherished. Form friendships, get into relationships, spend time with family, do everything you love, and value what does not have a price. In a money driven world, we forget the things that have more of an emotional value/benefit. Being happy deals with placing value on what satisfies the soul. We place so much emphasis on "making it" that we feel empty along the way. Sometimes we must remind ourselves to enjoy the little things in life. The all-nighters playing games and drinking Dr.Peppers while talking about life with your brother, the play wrestling and holding each other without saying a word but you know exactly how they feel, and the movie nights with family that always end in some little argument but you always love each other anyways. These are the times we must value in our life. Money and fame can never bring them back nor create the memories for you. They are something that must be experienced. They are something priceless.
Balancing life can sometimes feel like a circus act. Juggling different tasks, emotions, and priorities daily. We have to learn to balance life in order to life a fulfilling life to all aspects of our well being. By balancing our approach towards like we can enjoy each aspect, for which have no regrets and never lose opportunities. This is something I have struggled with in the past, but have been working on (and will continue to work on) so that my life is more fulfilling, enjoyable, memorable, and successful.