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Forget "Balance." The Secret to Happiness is Alignment.

Balance

Balance

Most people believe that balancing their lives, making sure everything is in the right proportions, whether it's work, family, social life, finances, etc., is the key to happiness.

The problem with 'balance' is that it is based on society's norms and values.

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Forget "Balance." The Secret to Happiness is Alignment.

Forget "Balance." The Secret to Happiness is Alignment.

https://medium.com/@VernaMyers/forget-balance-the-secret-to-happiness-is-alignment-ae91b7879d51

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Balance

Most people believe that balancing their lives, making sure everything is in the right proportions, whether it's work, family, social life, finances, etc., is the key to happiness.

The problem with 'balance' is that it is based on society's norms and values.

Alignment

Creating a joyful and fulfilling life isn't about balance, but about Alignment. An Alignment of our lives can:

  • Clarify our values and priorities.
  • Remove any noise or distraction of other's expectations.
  • Help us find the flow in life.
  • Make us let go of things that cause friction.
  • Bring order to life, rather than just trying to be everywhere, doing everything for everyone.

Taking Responsibility for our Life

Most of us have been bought up to behave in a certain socially acceptable and normal way, and we simply stick to the script and 'fit' ourselves in a certain mold, living a stereotyped life.

We need to take responsibility for creating a life that makes sense for us, as we are the authors of our own lives.

Asking for Specialized Help

The people we normally speak to regarding our lives: our partners, friends or family members, usually have their own set of agendas and assumptions.

Getting professional help to sort out your life is one of the best ways to heal and remember who we are.

No Fear

Aligning your life requires courage. Deciding what you care about and not being afraid to make difficult choices is the way forward.

We all have our logical reasons and excuses postponing difficult decisions, but true courage is in making the right move.

Direction

Life isn't perfect for anyone, and being your best self makes the daily challenges, struggles, and stress easier to handle.

You need to step back and look at the big picture, finding out if the elements of your life are lined up with what matters to you and what you believe in. Alignment is not about perfection, but direction.

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10 Behaviors for Happiness
  1. Let go of the need for specific outcomes
  2. Define your own success and happiness
  3. Fully commit to the things that make you happ...
The Four Burners Theory

Imagine that your life is represented by a stove with four burners on it: family, friends, health, your work.

The Four Burners Theory says that “in order to be successful you...

Life is made a tradeoffs
Everyone has constraints on their time and energy. And every choice has a cost. You cannot have it all. You have to choose. You can be mediocre in everything, or excel in some and ignore the rest
Options to maximize all areas of life:
  1. Outsource Burners: you can keep the burner running without spending your time on it.
  2. Embrace Constraints and try to be effective within those limits. Well designed limitations can improve your performances.
  3. Break your life into seasons: You don’t have to give up on your dreams forever, maybe you need to let go of something for this season.
Happiness can’t be a goal in itself. Therefore, it’s not something that’s achievable.

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” - Ralph Waldo Emerso...

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness. You don’t have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than you were born. When you do little useful things every day, it adds ...

Happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness. You don’t have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than you were born. When you do little useful things every day, it adds up to a life that is well lived. A life that mattered.

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Living with a minimalist mindset is:

1. Choosing quality over quantity. Weed out possessions, people, or thoughts that don’t serve you and focus on what adds value to your life. 

2. Being responsible (financially and otherw...

Balance is not the same as rest

It’s not about rest and finally getting that much-needed break, though it does include these aspects.

Balance is about distributing demands so we can stay on track. And sometimes that...

Balance is dynamic

Momentum helps us stay on course. It’s the same for all the corrections and adjustments we make along the way. 

Balance requires tweaking our schedule, task lists, and more. If you have it right one week, it still requires attention the next.

Balance is intentional

We have to make purposeful decisions and actions if we want balance. It’s not accidental. 

Those decisions and actions will look different for each of us, but they’re essential for all of us just the same.

A Distracted Life
A Distracted Life

Most of us live dissatisfied, distraction-filled lives, as there is no clarity as to what we want and need to do. A lack of clarity affects us and those around us deeply, causing stress, inaction, ...

How To Get Clarity

A few pointers to help you get clarity in life:

  • Create some space, carving out a few hours or a weekend when unclear about something.
  • Write daily, giving yourself an outlet, and a space to reflect.
  • Talk to others, sharing your thoughts and feelings.
  • Write down your experiences and insights.
  • Take action first, and get clarity. Reflect on your actions and get further clarity.
Narcissists

They have inflated views of themselves (they think they are better than they actually are).

They make fantastic first impressions. But the stuff that works for narcissists so well in the sho...

Don't deal with them

Narcissists lack empathy, they usually don’t work hard, and in a few weeks to a few months, they make the people around them miserable. And narcissism is very hard to change. So, if at all possible, just stay away.

Kiss Up Or Shut Up

Clinical psychologist Al Bernstein recommends you kiss up to them or at least keep your mouth shut until you can get out of there.

There’s this concept called “narcissistic injury.” Pointing out a narcissist isn’t all they think they are can be like pulling the pin on a grenade. A grenade you have to see every day of your life.

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Finding a balance

We read that we should eat a balanced diet, live a balanced life, and seek a good work/family balance without defining balance.

Balance is the taking of appropriate action when circumstan...

Frank Herbert
Frank Herbert

“There is no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves.”

No mass-producible solutions

It is important to understand that balance is relative: the focus of balance is always going to be different from person to person. There is no one size fits all.

For example, what a balanced diet means for one person may be entirely different for another. Both diets may be healthy, but it is the context that makes it so.

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“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
Hans Hofmann
Remove decorations

... that no longer inspire you. Just because something made you happy in the past doesn’t mean you have to keep it forever.

Your life has moved on—maybe it’s time for the decoration to do the same. Keeping just the items that mean the most to you will help them to shine.

Reject the convenience fallacy

There are certain places in our homes we tend to leave items out for convenience. By leaving these things out, we think we’re saving time and simplifying our lives. That’s the convenience fallacy. 

W might save a couple of seconds, but the other 99.9 percent of the time, those items just sit there creating a visual distraction. 

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