Balance and happiness doesn’t just happen. You have to work at it each and every day to ensure you stay on the right path.
When you feel a passion for life, it drives you to discover and fulfill your purpose. When you participate in something you’re passionate about, it leaves you feeling accomplished and fulfilled. But, if you lose that sense of purpose, you may not feel inspired to do much of anything at all. If you feel like your work or hobbies have gotten dull, it may be time to refresh your passion. Try:
- List the things you love. Write down all of the things that you would love to do in your life. Don’t be afraid to write things down, anything could become a passion. This list can help inspire you to find even more things to inspire your passions.
- Keep things fresh. Whenever life starts to seem monotonous, try something that you’ve never done before. Check online or in your local paper for activities that may be new and exciting for you.
- Stay confident. You can’t expect to feel passionate about what you’re doing if you keep telling yourself that you won’t succeed. Focus on the positive in your performance, and keep believing in yourself.
- Don’t lose focus. The more you put off your passions for other things, the easier it can be to put them behind altogether. If you feel your interest in your passion is waning, it may be time to list the things that you love about that specific thing.
Empathy is your ability to understand the feelings of other people. It’s very important to feel and understand empathy as you go through life. Otherwise, it can be difficult to have positive interactions with the people around us. Having a grasp on other people’s feelings can help us get an understanding of our own.
The good news is that empathy is a skill that you can improve with a bit of practice. By developing certain habits, you can train yourself to be more in tune with other people’s feelings. Here are a few habits you can try to develop:
- Be inquisitive. A lot of people today don’t take an interest in people when they talk to them. Ask the people you meet questions about themselves. It may seem like this would be too forward, but people like to talk about themselves and their interests. Your questions could very well lead to a pleasant conversation.
- Pay close attention, and listen. Talking is an important part of having a conversation, of course, but you also need to give others a chance to share with you. Listen intently to what people say and pay attention to their body language. People often give away how their feeling with their movement or posture.
- Open up to people about yourself. Empathy is a two-way street and sharing with someone is a great way to form a mutual bond. The more an individual feels connected to you, the more that person will open up to you. This gives you a better chance to cultivate your empathy, while making a new friend in the process.
Imagine what the world would be like without kindness. It would be a terrible place, wouldn’t it? Being kind is another attribute that is necessary for a well-balanced journey. Showing kindness toward others encourages you to be more kind, charitable and productive. When you help someone in need, you also help to strengthen your own character.
Making a habit of helping others also has a positive impact on your emotional well-being. When you go out of your way to help others on a regular basis, you’ll regard yourself more highly. Even if these acts of kindness are little things, the simple fact that you did them will be enough to perk up your self-esteem. Doing good deeds for others also helps you to keep your mind off of things in your own life that you feel anxious or upset about. It will also make you into a bit more of an optimist, which will give you a healthy positive outlook on life.
Sometimes, it can be hard to find an opportunity to show kindness to others. But, if you want to build a habit around being kind, it’s not enough to wait around until the perfect moment to lend someone a hand.
Be active in your search for people in need of a good deed. If someone seems troubled, ask if you can do something to help. Much like with other attributes, it takes an active effort to make a habit out of kindness.
Are you having a hard time coming up with ways to show your kindness to others? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Donate some gently used or like-new clothing to a charity or secondhand store.
- Try to brighten people’s days when they’re feeling sad.
- Offer to babysit for friends, so that they can get a little time alone.
- Buy a coffee or candy bar for the person in line behind you the next time you’re at the gas station.
- Offer to help a neighbor with yard work, whether it’s raking leaves or mowing the lawn.
- If a driver needs to merge into your lane, be the person to slow down and give them space.
- Bring in donuts or other snacks for everybody at the office.
- Write a letter to a friend that you haven’t spoken to in some time.
Self-control is your ability to manage your actions and reactions. It’s how you keep yourself from putting off work to watch TV or pass on dessert when you’re on a diet. People with a good sense of self-control tend to find it easy to stay focused on a task, while someone with poor self-control are likely to give into their whims and lose track of what is truly important to them.
Self-control may be the most crucial of all attributes when it comes to upholding the balance between working too much and too little. With poor self-control, you could end up putting off work or responsibilities so that you can do what feels better in the moment. This can make it very difficult to lead a balanced life.
Fortunately, like many other traits, self-control is a skill that we can train ourselves to perform better. Even if you wouldn’t consider your self-control to be amazing right now, you’ll be amazed at how well you can stick to things with a bit of practice. Follow this advice, and you’ll be making responsible decisions in no time.
- Always keep the “big picture” in mind. If you find yourself losing your focus on a project, take a moment to remind yourself of the end goal of the project. The thought of what you will accomplish should drive you to get things done.
- Get in touch with yourself. If you want to be able to control your emotions, it helps to understand what causes you to feel that way in the first place. Think about what situations might cause you to lose self-control, and learn to recognize when those situations come up.
- Reward yourself for positive habits. For example, you could treat yourself to a meal at your favorite restaurant every month, but only if you have kept up with all of your responsibilities for the month. This will give you more encouragement to get everything done.
- Stay optimistic about yourself. When you feel good about your ability to get things done, it’s easier to push yourself to keep at it. Keep your expectations of yourself high, and you’ll rise to meet them.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. When you deprive yourself of sleep, it inhibits your self-control. Get some extra sleep instead of going for a late-night work session. The extra work won’t be worth it in the long run.
- Know when it’s time to take a break. Working on self-control doesn’t mean that you have to keep yourself working all of the time. If you’re having a hard time making the right decision, take a bit of time to relax. Clearing your head like this should make it easier to make the decision that is best for the long term.
- Work some exercise into your routine. Studies show that working out increases blood and oxygen flow to the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This means that a regular, moderate exercise routine may give your self-control an edge.
When it comes to maintaining balance, in the pursuit of happiness, this information really just skims the surface. View it was the perfect “jumping off” point at the beginning of a well deserved journey. You are worth it!
Gina Alagata is the founder of Wink, Women Inkorporated® and does training, speaking and consulting for women in business on topics related to women as well as social media marketing. She is also a mother of three (3) teenagers aged 14-17 and a 20-year old, married to her husband Alden of 23 years and they reside in San Diego, CA.