I am sure you have experience times when you found different people or interests like partying, reading, studying or free time to be totally enthralling for a while but then gradually the excitement has died down and you’ve lost interest. One minute you feel totally fulfilled doing something and then the next; it’s the most frustrating and annoying thing you could be involved in. To be fulfilled we need to balance each area of our life.
If you are like the majority of people you probably concentrate on only one or two areas of your life at a time, putting everything you have into making them work, but almost wholly neglecting other areas (e.g. Health, relaxation). The challenge is balance. Although you may have one area of your life, which is awesome, you will never feel truly fulfilled unless all the areas of your life are catered for. Many people don’t realize this and eventually become very dissatisfied with life. They begin to feel that there is no point in them trying to do anything because, as far as they can tell, no matter how hard they try, they never get what they want.
The solution is to divide your efforts into various areas of your life. The idea of balance should not be a daunting one. Balance doesn’t mean that we have to do great things in many areas; it just means that we have to be aware of the areas of our life and make sure none are neglected. Having all the areas of your life attended to at a level that is fulfilling will make you feel much better than if you had one or two areas going excellently and the rest poorly.
The areas of focus for most people are:
Social, family, mental, physical, financial, spiritual, career, relationships, emotional and contribution.
Typically teenagers focus much more on the social, relationship and learning areas than any of the others. All of these areas are important, it pays to make at least a small effort in each of these areas. Developing the habit of checking up on each area of your life, setting goals in each and making sure that you do have a balance is one of the greatest life skills you can learn.
A good way to measure balance, particularly when you are first trying to manage your life better is to rate where you are, in each area of your life, on a scale from 1 to 10. From day to day notice which areas of your life have the lowest score and focus on them. This way you will work on the areas that you need to rather than boosting areas that are already quite high. An hour’s effort, spent improving an area of your life that has a score of 2 will make a much larger change than an hour spent focusing on an area that already has a 7 or 8.
Balance doesn’t always have to be a formal system. Once you have an idea of where you are in each area of your life, you are able to instinctively assess what areas you need to spend more time working on. If you have spent most of a weekend with friends, you will come to realize that time spent alone or with your family will make a big difference to how you feel.
This information comes from our own experience. We have started many things in our life. At first we would be happy and we would think to ourselves “this is it” (it being something that made me happy). However after a short while we would decide “this isn’t it”. I became so disappointed by my cycle of satisfaction followed by inevitable dissatisfaction, that we went through a period where we were extremely unmotivated and felt there was no point doing anything.
We felt it wouldn’t be long until we lost interest in whatever it was we were doing and there was no point in doing anything because we would just end up dissatisfied. We began to think maybe nothing is “it” until one day we realized it’s all “it”. We realized no one thing would be the answer to our fulfillment, but all of them would be. We started to focus our attention on all the “it’s” in my life and pretty soon we felt really fulfilled. Any time we felt like we were beginning to get bored with a particular area, we would just change our focus to something else we hadn’t focused on in some time.