USA Today determined that the average American would need forty-two hours in each day to accomplish everything that experts say is required of the well-rounded, health-conscious individual. We don’t have forty-two hours so now we are forced to fit all the demands and obligations into our lives.
We all want balance in our lives. A balanced life is the key to joy, peace, and effectiveness.
How do we find the ability to balance? Let me offer a few suggestions.
1. Admit that you are part of the problem.
A man unpacked his lunch and complained to his coworker: “Bologna again! For the fourth straight day!”
“Why don’t you tell your wife you’re tired of bologna?” asked the coworker.
“You don’t understand,” the man said. “I’m single. I pack my lunches myself.”
So it is with us. When we look at a schedule that’s full of bologna and a life that is out of balance isn’t it true that we pack much of it ourselves?
If our burdens and schedules are a jail, then we are the jailer who holds the key to freedom.
2. Stop to consider what you are doing.
To stop this frantic pace we are living we need to cease our activity for a time to determine what we are doing and why. We are not merely to slow down, but to stop. There’s a difference.
A man was pulled over for running a stop sign. He argued that he’d slowed down and looked both ways. The officer said he had to stop. They continued this discussion until the policeman said, “Get out of the car.” Then the policeman began beating the driver with the billy stick. After a while the officer said, “Sir, would you like me to stop or just slow down?”
We are to stop from our busy and hectic schedules to examine what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Some questions we need to ask ourselves are: Is the frantic pace I’m on worth it? How is it going to impact my family? Will it matter for eternity?
3. Do some soul work.
The reason many people’s lives are out of balance is because of something internal not because of something external. Not because of something physical but because of something spiritual.
Tad Bartimus was one of the most successful reporters of her generation until she was crippled by both carpal tunnel syndrome and lupus. She now teaches journalism, lectures to writers and reflects philosophically about her former globe-trotting, fast-paced life. She said recently, “We will be remembered as ‘The Generation That Tried to Do Too Much.’ Why? Maybe it is because as we juggle all our disparate parts what we are really seeking is connection with our own lives and with each other. We figure if we keep piling it on, acceptance and a feeling of belonging will follow.”
Our compulsion of doing more and more is to fill a void that burns within our soul. We long for satisfaction, acceptance, and belonging. We can’t find that ultimately in people, places, promotions, or prestige. We can only find that in a relationship with Jesus Christ. We have been so bent on making everything right in our external world that we have neglected our soul. The wisest man in the world wrote, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” When the heart, the soul, is in proper alignment with God then the life will be balanced. Just to read books, listen to tapes, and attend seminars on the easy steps to achieve balance in our life is worthless if you neglect your soul.
4. Take the necessary action steps.
Here are 7 steps to finding balance
Be decisive in what matters most.
Ask for help.
Live with margin.
Attitude means you are willing to wait before you decide if something is bad. Never lose your focus.
Concentrate on your gifts.
Eliminate the unnecessary.
With the proper attitude, the right look on life, and the helping of discipline, perhaps we will discover that 24 hours in a day is sufficient to do what needs to be done and be who you need to be.
Did you know that if we practiced love our relationships would be stronger, our jobs would be more meaningful, our ailments would be fewer? Earlier this year I wrote an encouraging book on love called Chapter 13: The Excellence of Love. The book gets its title from perhaps the greatest statement ever made on love by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13. It provides a guide to love, if practiced will make us well and whole. Click here to claim your copy.