This is an excerpt from a longer post at Zen Habits. It's been in an open window on my desktop for the last few days, and I keep it marked "unread" in my feed reader. It summarizes so succinctly the kind of life I long to have, and am slowly achieving. Have a read, and see if it resonates with you. Head over to the original post if you want to read it in it's entirety.
If you want to live a balanced life then there are 5 essential habits that you need to develop.
- Awareness and mindfulness. Awareness is the key to balanced living because it lets you see every moment of your life and appreciate it. A mindful person lives in the present and does not get obsessed with the future or the past. It’s important to plan for the future and learn from your mistakes in the past, but it is even more important to appreciate who you are right now and find joy in this state.
When you are aware of this moment you are calm and you do not make any decisions that you might regret later.
When you are mindful you are in balance with the universe.
- Appreciation of your body. By “appreciation” I mean taking care of your body. If you are grateful for the very first gift that you received in your life (your body) then you must take care of it. It means making healthy choices in life, exercising and being generally active, eating a balanced and healthy diet, letting your body rest when it’s tired and pampering it every once in a while.
Your body is the tool that lets you experience so many wonderful moments in life and you need to do your best when taking care of it.
Clearly, balanced living is not possible without a balanced body.
- Creativity. Every day we face a lot of challenges and choices in life. Some of these challenges might be easy while others will be more difficult. If you approach each of your challenges with creativity then your life will be filled with adventures. Conversely, if you turn off your creativity, then your life will turn into torture.
Creativity is a wonderful tool that lets us turn our dreams into reality, turn play into work and work into play, and enjoy life even when it seems empty.
Creative people are the ones who can make the exquisite setting for the diamond of their life.
- Patience. With patience we can overcome almost anything whilst without it we can ruin almost anything.
Patience can help us turn our dreams into reality (losing weight, starting a business or blog). It can help us be better parents, spouses, friends and even strangers (sometimes a smile from an understanding stranger can make the biggest difference when you are having a bad day). If you are patient you do not have to worry about the minutes spent in traffic or in the line at the grocery store. With patience you can see results in all your endeavors and you do not have to spend the precious time of your life getting mad or infuriated.
Patience leads to mindfulness and mindfulness brings you in balance.
- Simplicity. Simplicity is probably the most important part of life balance. When you build your life around simplicity you reduce the number of out-of-balance things that can disrupt your happy living.
In balance everything is simple. There are two opposites (like black and white) and you just have to pick something in the middle:
- Simplify you work schedule so that you do not have to think about a hundred things at the same time.
- Simplify your relationships by connecting with people you truly care about and getting rid of the ones you don’t.
- Simplify your diet by choosing simple healthy ingredients that are part of balanced nutrition.
- Simplify your social media exposure and enjoy living life and getting things done rather than wasting time online.
Simplicity makes life balance simple.
I'd like to make a postcard or a small poster or something to remind me of these five habits. A silver bangle engraved with the five words would work!