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What Is A Balanced Life?

What Is A Balanced Life?

Many people think that life should be ‘balanced’, but what does that really mean?

In the strict sense, ‘balance’ means equal on each side. For instance, left and right sides of the body may be equal in size. 

From a structural point of view the whole body is balanced. When we think of the concept 'justice' we also think of a set of scales that are 'balanced.'

Balanced Life: Justice

However when we look at our lives, it is difficult to define what is ‘balance’ - there are things we favour in life and those we don’t.

Does ‘balance’ mean equal quantities of both? Most people would not agree. They would like more of the things they like and less of the things they don’t like, thus leading to an imbalance.

Nevertheless, we all acknowledge that sometimes we have to put up with some things we don’t want in order to get the things we do want.

Perhaps this is the inner meaning of a ‘balanced life’ - ‘swings and roundabouts’, so to speak.

You may also have heard of a concept called ‘The Wheel Of Life’. This concept divides life into 8 different sections.

Each of the sections is given a score out of 10 and the whole wheel is examined to see if they are equal or not. 

Continuing the wheel metaphor, a very unequal wheel would result in a bumpy ride... an equal wheel results in a smooth ride.

Balanced Life: Wheel Of life

What Else Is A Balanced Life?

Another definition of ‘well balanced’ could be ‘a life that has all the resources and activities that you most desire.’

According to this definition, a balanced life largely avoids feelings of sacrifice. A balanced life isn’t for those that want to be the best in the world at something.

It’s not for the people that live on the edge or the fringe. It’s for regular people that want to enjoy all aspects of life, rather than focus on one thing.

According to the definition above, all balanced lives have several things in common:

1. Finances

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, your life isn’t balanced. If you can’t do the things you most want to do for financial reasons, your life isn’t balanced.

Can you afford school supplies? A new transmission for your car? Do you spend all of your waking hours trying to make enough money?

You may not need to be wealthy to have a balanced life, but you do need to have enough money.

2. Transportation

Can you get where you need to be, when you need to be there?

Transportation can take the form of walking, public transportation, ride services, friends, or your own vehicle.

Reliable transportation is an important part of living a balanced life.

Balanced Life - Friendship

3. Friendship and A Balanced Life

You might need ten friends, or one might be plenty. However, we all need at least one friend. You can’t do everything alone.

4. Intimate relationships

This one may be optional for many people, but it can be entirely necessary for others.

Most of us do better if we have an intimate relationship, or a relationship with the potential to become intimate.

Busy people often neglect this area of their lives, but that can be a mistake.

5. Good Health

Poor health can quickly take the wind out of your sails. A well-balanced life includes a healthy mind and body.

While your health isn’t 100% under your control, you have more control over it than you’ve probably been exercising.

7. Time And A Balanced Life

If you don’t have enough free time, your life isn’t well-balanced. How much free time do you need?

That’s up to you. However, if you don’t have time to do the things you really want to do, you don’t have enough.

8. Fun

Everyone needs to have some fun once in a while. Can you quickly answer the question, “What do you do for fun?”? If not, you have some work to do.

9. Personal growth. 

Progress is part of enjoying life. We feel great when we’re making progress. How have you grown and changed in the last six months?

10. Career

Money is one thing. Your career is another. Though, they can be closely related. If you make plenty of money, but hate how you make it, your life could be better.

The Buddhist Wheel Of Life

The Buddhist Wheel of Life - click or tap this image for more information

So do you have a balanced life? 

It’s easy to know. Do you have the money and time to take care of yourself, your family, and to do the things you most want to do?

Is your social life desirable? Do you have enough time in your week to have fun and grow personally? Do you enjoy your career?

You already know if your life is balanced or not. If it’s not, what are you going to do to re-balance it?

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