THE BLOG

Achieving a Work Life Balance...Is It Possible?

12/12/2014 02:00 GMT | Updated 10/02/2015 10:59 GMT

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Feel happy about where you are going, and feel good about howfar you've come.

Pause for a moment now to consider the balance you currently have in your life...and the balance you're striving to achieve.... The most common areas of consideration are family, work, health, friends, and spirit...all of which you try to "juggle" at the same time. Imagine now that each area is a ball that you're attempting to keep up in the air... and with five balls to juggle, dropping one or two is a real possibility... so consider the consequences.... If the ball you drop is work, you'll discover that it bounces...it's a ball made of rubber...but, if the ball you drop is family, health, friends, or spirit, it may not bounce back so easily...it may be damaged...or it may break beyond repair...it's a ball made of glass....

Learning to balance all five balls is essential...

Successful people are happy people, and as you know already, success for one person is not necessarily success for the next...your definition of success is unique to you...so what's your definition of happy...? Remember, your subconscious mind works to specifics, so if it's your goal to be happy, what does that mean...exactly...? Just as, if it's your goal to be successful, what does that mean...exactly?

Is there a perfect balance...?

It's a common ambition of many young people to become richand famous...win the X Factor, Big Brother, the lottery...or marry a footballer...! But if they did...would that make them successful...and would it make them happy...? Well, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that wealth does not buy happiness...and you already know that wealth and success are not necessarily one and the same. However, money can open many doors of opportunity...and even when wealth is not your "end" goal, money is very often the "means" to achieving whatever your goal happens to be...

"If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it." - John D Rockefeller

For example, money can help you......if it's your goal to work less and spend more quality time with your family....if it's your goal to travel the world....if it's your goal to start your own business.

But, money isn't everything. The results of several studies indicate that people in loving, stable, committed relationships are happier than those who are not, and having a close circle of five or more friends can make you 50 per cent happier than those with fewer or no close friends. Science has also proven that doing things tends to make us happier than having things, and we're happiest when we're doing something that represents a challenge...physically, mentally, or both. Working towards a challenging goal...a challenge you perceive to be hard butnot impossible...can lead to becoming totally absorbed in the task or project.

In NLP terms, this is known as being in a state of "flow"...the state where you are focused only on the details of the task in hand, and everything else around you becomes a blur.... This is also described as "doing without doing" in Taoism...when things appear to fall into place...or happen effortlessly...

Remember the last time you found yourself totally immersed in an activity...what were you doing...and how did you feel after you were done with the activity...? Did the fact that the activity required all of your attention...and stretched your abilities...add to the sense of satisfaction you experienced afterwards...?

Activities or tasks that lead to a state of flow make us feel good. Flow is a source of energy...it can focus attention...and motivate action...so setting stepping-stone goals that induce a flow state is an effective way of getting "effortlessly" across the pond. Of course, achieving a flow state is something that's going to take time...dedicated practice... and persistence.... Flow is not something you can "force" or make happen, it just happens...and it's only by persistently doing, that you can experience the sense of effortlessness that is "doing without doing"...

However, the more something is practiced, the less challenging it becomes, and without the correct level of challenge, flow will not be experienced. Something that becomes too "easy" no longer focuses your attention or motivates action...and the same applies to something that you perceive to be too "hard".... But, with that said, even mundane tasks can be made more stimulating by simply doing things differently.... Give your mind something new and something of interest to focus on.

For example, make doing your household chores more interestingby changing the order you normally do things in. Give your mind something new to focus on by challenging yourself to experiment with new routines or to find a more efficient way of doing things. Even mowing the lawn can become more stimulating by changing the "route" you normally take...!

Having an interesting job is one of the Top 5 items listed as making us happy, according to a worldwide "Happiness Survey" carried out in 2005. The others are...

Top 5 Happiness Factors:

  • 84 per cent - health
  • 60 per cent - owning own home
  • 48 per cent - children
  • 46 per cent - an interesting job
  • 36 per cent - free and leisure time

Your definition of happiness is unique to you...so what are your Top 5 happiness factors...?

Wealth is not necessary to be successful, and wealth is no guarantee of happiness. The combined results of numerous surveys and scientific studies have found that the following factors are most likely to bring happiness into our lives...

Love: Research has found that those who are married are generally happier than those who are unmarried.

Flow: Science has proven that those who work in jobs providing just the right level of on-going challenge and fulfillment, or have a hobby or pastime that requires skill and concentration, are happier than those who don't.

Pet: It's a scientific fact that owning a pet can make you happier. Some hospitals use visiting animals to lower the stress levels of long-term patients, and generally bring some "cheer" into the hospital environment. Caring for animals can create the same feel-good factor generated by helping others and giving.

Gratitude: Having a grateful attitude and truly appreciating what you have is known to increase the level of happiness you feel over the long-term.

Memories:Reflecting on positive events and recapturing positive emotions is a powerful way to boost your mood.

Small Pleasures: Little things such as having the opportunity to have lunch outdoors on a sunny day...walk barefoot on a beach...drive with the top down...or watch a spectacular sunset...can bring joy and happiness into your life.

Sociability: Opportunities to spend time with others...significant others, friends, or complete strangers who may become new friends...are opportunities to increase happiness. As humans, we are sociable creatures, and although time alone can be enjoyable, long-term happiness is known to revolve sharing your life with others.

Make Your Story

What do you dream of achieving...? When you turn a dream into agoal, you begin your journey to realizing your dream and achieving your goal...so what's your goal...? When you know your goal, you can set stepping-stone goals in place to help you reach it.... When you know what matters most to you in life...and know what makes you happy...you know what is going to motivate you to keep taking those steps. This not only brings the potential to speed your progress...it most definitely brings the potential to also enjoy the journey...

  • My dream is...
  • My goal is...
  • My first stepping-stone on which I must take massive action is...
  • My motivation is...

"First, have a definite, clear, practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end." - Aristotle

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