Achieving balance in life means to be able to feel calibrated at the energetic level, to be happy about the way you divide your “life” among different areas and tasks. You can’t be balanced if your time goes only into a job or an activity that you hate. All your energy goes there, you only feel more and more tired, negative about everything and definitely lacking the mood to put in more of your energy, as it is required. It’s what I like to call a negative energy equation.
Even if you spend long hours in a job, or with kids when they are small, or studying – what is important to pay attention to is to keep the energy equation balanced. I’m not a believer in the 8 hours job, 8 hours personal time and 8 hours sleep division – if everything you do is an energy taker, you’ll still be left with an energy imbalance.
Making the long story short, the thing you need to pay attention to if you want a balanced life is to keep the energy equation positive.
The energy equation needs to be positive if you want a balanced life. That means that the things that give you energy need to give you slightly greater energy that what is taken by the things that draw the energy out of you. The energy equation doesn’t have to be positive all the time and every given second – but at the end of each day or at least every few days, it needs to even up and become slightly positive, at least.
Being drowned in a job you hate means daily negative energy – by trying to compensate it with just one longer holiday a year won’t be enough. You need to either change the job, or find ways to balance the negative energy with positive ones. How to do that? First, find out how do you accumulate energy.
Extravert – Intravert typologies
Part of the Myers & Briggs (MBTI) personality assessments, the “Extraversion” and “Intraversion” terms are used to describe the way individuals relate to their source of energy. Don’t confuse these terms with how social or how shy you are – in this case, they are used to refer to the way we “charge our batteries”.
An extravert will charge from the external environment – from events, team and social games, being with people and engage with them, interact with the world outside. On the other side, an intravert will get his energy from activities done alone or with a small group of people – reading, crafting, watching a movie, drawing, meditating, writing and so on.
No individual is either one or the other, but all individuals have a preference for one or the other. Take the MBTI test if you want to see what is your preferred source of energy – if you feel better when surrounded by people or by yourself doing what your love.
Must do to balance your life
Knowing how you can recharge, now it’s time to make sure you do those things that help you get your energy equation right. If you are an extravert, what are the things that you love doing out there in the world that make you feel alive? Can be even at work – interacting with clients, holding a training – or outside work – attending events, going out dancing, taking an acting class.
If you are an intravert – spend the time you need recharging, by doing what you love doing. Is it reading books or watching your favorite TV show? Painting, decorating your house or doing a sport alone? Just find time to do it and get your energy equation positive.
The must do is to find time to do the things that make you feel alive. No matter what those things are. You feel energized and happy after? Go on, repeat it as much as you like!
Energy givers and energy takers
If you are an extravert or an intravert, what you need to do in order to keep your balance is to become aware of the energy givers and the energy takers from your life.
As described by the name, the energy givers are those activities and life tasks that give you energy, while the energy takers drag the energy out of you. This is all a normal process, the world is in the end a continuous energy movement. Just that for each of us, the energy givers and the energy takers are different. For workaholics, being at their job during extra hours and taking only a few breaks is what gives them energy. While for some other people, the best energy givers are their passions. Or, it can be a balance of both – some days at work can be energy boosters and only some activities done in your free time make you feel good.
As you can easily imagine, the energy givers of an extrovert are very different from the ones of an intravert. And that is ok – the key thing is to know how you are, where you take your energy from and do more of that. As much as you need, to keep your energy balanced.
Sports play a very important role as an energy giver. Putting your muscles and the whole body to work in different sport activities is always playing an energy lifting role. Practising a sport is a sure energy source – now, depending on your extraversion or intraversion, you can choose to play a team sport or an individual one. But except the health benefit, boosting your mood is a guaranteed effect of practicing a sport.
Transform energy takers into energy givers
The greater the positive energy equation is, the happier you feel and the more balanced your life is. So the question is – if you spend a lot of your day in activities that are taking the energy out of you – how can you transform those energy takers into energy givers?
You need to constantly identify those negative activities – can be a group of friends you don’t really enjoy spending time with anymore, certain tasks at your job, cleaning the house and so on. List them all and then take them one by one and think on how you can reduce their negative effect.
Ideally, if you can, give them up. Stop seeing those people, try changing your job or the job role inside the company, hire someone to clean your house. If giving them up is not really an option, try reducing them as much as possible, or schedule the worst of them early in the morning. At least you’ll have the feeling of relief of having them done, then you can enjoy the rest of the day.
Reducing or giving up the energy taking activities should be an ongoing thing – you should always seek to achieve this. As well as doing as much as possible of those activities that are giving you energy.
How do you recharge, what are your energy givers and how can you transform your energy takers into positive ones – these are the key things you should always think of if you want a balanced life. Go make it work for you!