The Biggest Secret to Obtaining Balance in Life

By Steve Wickham

Balance in life is the key to real happiness at the ‘high end’. Low end happiness is about other more essential elements of life joy – like love. To be really happy and lead an optimized life we must have balance.

Balance is a most delicate thing. It’s easy to disrupt life balance, and the more ‘noise’ we have in life, the harder it is achieve what really was always meant to be a really simple thing. Its key is simplicity; keeping things simple and remaining focused on simple, clear goals. Yet, we will still try to cram things into our lives won’t we?

Balance is the thing that is missing in much of life today-it’s much more than simply “work/life balance.” It’s that and more. It’s also about autonomy and being (able to be kept) accountable. A balanced person uses time wisely and considers the various priorities and impacts of time; it’s a “focused life.” It’s wisdom that protects our accessibility. It’s self-empowerment to be able to do things well, basically all the time. It’s consistently high performance. It protects and enhances vitality.

The biggest secret in achieving balance is becoming mentally tough. It’s an act of the will when it is all said and done. No amount of dreaming can do it better than the pain involved in the discipline of mental toughness.

Two icon of mental toughness in Australian sport are John Worsfold and Steve Waugh. The former describes mental toughness as ‘a total commitment to do whatever it takes to get the job done.’ To achieve this it’s also important, the latter says, to ‘try and stay on the same emotional level wherever you can.’ Simply be reasonable, rational, responsible, realistic, and logical. You can’t achieve any goal of real significance without being mentally tough. There’s nothing like having the ‘ability to never give in to yourself.’[1]

‘Noise’ in life or the quantity of life is an enemy of balance. It requires peace. The more complex life becomes, the harder it is to live peacefully; too many worries, cares and concerns you see. It’s relative. The most mentally tough people can absorb a lot of chaos and noise, and no matter how complex life gets they always seem balanced. These people are admired leaders; two such people were named earlier.

The game of balance is a saw-tooth line heading north. As more balance is demanded and then achieved, complexity is added, adding commensurately to the challenge to remain balanced. As the increased level of complexity is mastered and it is then dealt with as relative simplicity, then more balance can be achieved. It’s about growth, gradual and steady, with allowance for the odd hiccup; but it’s a growth curve that continues. The key is attaining balance despite the challenges at the time; keeping things relatively simple and being focused – through mental toughness.

By Steve Wickham