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"Doing too much or too little leads to failure."
—J. Paul Getty

Life is difficult. Many people rely on you: your boss, your colleagues, your customers, your spouse, your children, your parents and others. Their demands pull you in all directions, and you can’t meet them all. It’s often difficult to decide whom to gratify and whom to disappoint. The decisions require a delicate balancing act.

You can’t perform this balancing act on pure instinct. Your decisions must be made consciously, and this requires an awareness of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Once you have learned to act consciously, your thoughts and your actions will become so integrated that you will make appropriate choices naturally, without agonising over them.

The meaning of Life Balance

The whole of Creation is founded on balance. All its diverse elements have come together in just the right proportion to create this beautiful and fleeting moment in time and space that we call life. Creation, in its innate wisdom, never favours one and excludes another—because everything brings its own unique hue to the kaleidoscope.

And were it not for the delicate balance within each, life wouldn’t be as we know it.

Speaking on a balanced life, the Indian mystic Osho said, “A tree’s roots go down into the earth, and its branches spread towards the stars. Its blossoms flower into the sky, its nourishment comes from the deepest part of the earth. It is always balanced; higher the tree goes, the deeper it’s roots. You cannot have a Cedar of Lebanon, a 400- or 500-year old tree, rising so high in the sky, with small roots—it will fall down immediately. Life needs a balance between the depth and the height.”

To know what Life Balance means to you, it’s essential to know what areas of your life are most important to you

Life Balance can be viewed in many ways. It can be a balance between home and work. It can be a state of balance in one’s physical, mental, emotional, financial, and spiritual health. When you have a balanced life, you are able to spend sufficient time, both qualitatively and quantitatively, in areas that you have defined as important to you. Life Balance is a state of feeling and being. You know intuitively that you are doing the right things, and you’re able to navigate through the many opportunities and challenges. You know what is important to you and you are able to choose appropriately.

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Parts of this article were excerpted from the book Life Balance The Sufi Way by Nido Qubein and Azim Jamal.


A version of this was first published in the October 2013 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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