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Work, Life, Play Balance

If you find yourself short on time and unable to do all the things you want, then you are not aligning yourself for happiness. Happiness requires that you have attainable goals for self satisfaction. This is why people that are given everything, often are not happy. Having obstacles that are too challenging and unable to be conquered also make one unhappy. Finding the balance, the sweet spot, the goldilocks zone, is how we find lasting happiness.


Let's start with work. Most people find work to be a necessity to get what they want. What they really want is money, so they can afford desired things. These things can be objects like cars, shoes, artwork, or phones. They can be experiences like vacation trips, lift tickets, or music concerts. It might be that money is only desired so they can take time away from work to spend time with family or friends.


While work is necessary to gain money for all these benefits, work does not have to be a negative experience. Finding the right work that gives you satisfaction everyday will provide more happiness than a big paycheck. Having work that is challenging, but that you can be successful at, makes work feel like an enjoyable game that can help yourself while helping others.


Moving along to life. Life can be defined very differently depending on your own background, likes, and dislikes. Life can be an enjoyable adventure, or life can be a tortuous sentence. What changes how life is defined, is our own perspective. Even those who have lived lives in what others may consider horrid conditions, have found happiness and satisfaction with what life they had. Being happy with life does not require all the newest, fanciest, and best things. That's only a perspective that some people have, and often a perspective impressed upon us by others.


Life has a few things that are necessary and make it good.


Life is meant for living. That means having an adventure regularly, exploring something fascinating, or learning new things. Life is for participating, and sitting on the sideline is not very satisfying. Being involved is more exciting and rewarding than watching. Get involved in life!


Life thrives with relationships. Having life allows us to interact with others to both teach and learn. Another key component of happiness is having meaningful relationships. Relationships require work and commitment, and the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. If you don't try to build your relationships, they won't grow on their own.


Life is a journey. It has a beginning and an end. Our individual lives don't last forever, but during the time we have life, we make of it what we want. Life has opportunities, good and bad. Recognizing those opportunities and taking them leads to more happiness than standing by and expecting something to happen for us.


Play. Play is how we do all the parts of life. When you were a child, you were meant to play. Play teaches us about ourselves, others, and our environment. It is a natural discovery of what can and cannot be done. It's open exploration that allows creativity and thought progressions. Play does have wins and losses sometimes, but always a lesson is involved. Something that can help us move forward and progress who we are.


All of these things need to have balance. If work, life, or play overtakes our time, happiness fades. Overlapping of these three aspects leads to satisfaction and happiness. We need to work, we need to have life, we need to play.


If we only worked, we would burn out, not nurture our relationships, we would miss new opportunities, and would lose our natural discovery of the world.


If we only lived, we would miss out the opportunity to overcome challenges, we would limit our learning, and we wouldn't afford the objects or experiences we desired.


If we only played, we would lose purpose, tarnish relationships, and be forced to wait for others to give us what we wanted.


Each aspect is necessary, and each requires varying time commitment at different times of life. However, we should not lose any of these aspects, and we should consistently check with ourselves to make time for each, as each provides us with an opportunity to be happy everyday.


Here are a few tips that help to maintain balance so that one aspect, usually work, doesn't consume others leading to an unhappy life.


  1. Schedule yourself to work smarter, not harder. Blocking your day to have committed times to work tasks, life adventures, or play time keeps you from being consumed and neglecting any one area. This even goes for maintaining relationships, which is work to some extent. Have time committed to calling someone back, reaching out with an email, or dropping by to see them. Commit time to play, including recreational activities or exercise.

  2. Create boundaries between each aspect. When you are at work, work. When you are living life, do that. When it's time to play, don't think about anything else. Don't feel guilty for being so strict. It is what will make you more productive and more consistent, which will lead to more happiness.

  3. Get a life. If all you have is work, then all you will do is work. Find a person, a place, or an activity that you like. Make it part of your routine. It's factual that stepping away from work actually makes you more productive when you come back. Be smarter with your time by allowing yourself to change gears.

  4. Disconnect. It's fine and safe to be away from the world at times. People have lived thousands of years without knowing every detail during every minute. If you're not working, don't check your work messages. If you're not playing, don't worry about what you did or didn't do last time you played. If you're not busy living, then focus on what you're doing so you can clearly engage in life when the time is right.


Notice all these tips have to do with disciplining yourself all for the sake of your own happiness. You choose if your life is happy or not. You choose if you have balance or not. If you think you don't have the choice, then look back at yourself and reflect on the choices you have. You can always make a better choice to change your life, and changing your life, can change your happiness. #snowbeastperformance

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