Are You Living a Balanced Life?

It’s popular these days to claim that a balanced life is impossible to achieve. So why try? I agree that it’s a waste of energy to strive for a perfect balance between your work life and personal life. And it’s certainly not going to be balanced every day, or every week. To the extent that you can integrate the two, by working at something you love and being your own boss, more power to you! But I still think there are ways to restore balance to your life when you find yourself listing to one side and going in circles.

I love this quote:

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”  — Albert Einstein

How is life like riding a bicycle? To keep your balance you must keep moving. Share on X

What else can bicycle riding teach us about life? Here are some lessons I’ve learned:

DESTINATION — What are your goals? Do you have only one goal you are focused on at the exclusion of all others; a sprint to the finish line? Or are you seeking a more leisurely ride, with steady progress being made on several goals, and with time allowed for side trips? There’s no right or wrong answer, but if you don’t know where you are headed, how will you know when you get there?

BALANCE – A bit of wobbling is to be expected but, if your life is too lopsided, you will fall over, just as you would on a bike if you tried to ride it while holding an elephant in one arm! Are you working too much? Not enough? Spending enough time with your family? Taking care of your own health and well-being? Enjoying your favorite projects or hobbies? Just stopping, breathing, and being aware of what you are doing can help you make changes.

CONSISTENCY – The only way you can reach your goal on a bike is one pedal stroke at a time. Yes, you can coast for a little ways — and you should take breaks now and then to conserve and renew your strength — but then you must resume pedaling in order to make progress. This goes for everything worth doing – earning your degree by taking one class at a time; losing weight at a healthy rate of 1-2 pounds a week; keeping your home or office organized by decluttering 15 minutes a day. You get the idea.

MOMENTUM – In life, any number of things can throw us off track: travel, illness, moving house, a change in schedule, etc. But the trick is to get back on track as soon as possible….and without beating yourself up about it. Are you the type who, when they hit a speed bump, or take a tumble, gives up altogether? Or do you get back on the bike and keep on riding? Beating yourself up is the worst thing you can possibly do! It just prolongs the amount of time you remain off track, doesn’t it? The sooner you can clear your mental clutter, give yourself a break, and get back on the bike, the better. The bike doesn’t care who you blame, or what you say to yourself about it, it just requires that you keep on pedaling.

FREEDOM – What makes you feel free? An egret taking flight? Clearing clutter and reducing stress? For me the physical activity that most gives me the feeling of freedom is riding my bike along a country road in summertime, with the sights and sounds of nature, the warmth of the sun on my skin, and the breeze on my face and limbs. What activity makes you feel free? Do more of that!

How do you maintain balance in your life? Do you even try? Do you think it’s necessary and possible?

Please share with us in the comments below!

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Copyright 2011-2016 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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10 Comments

  1. Janet Barclay on August 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    I have never mastered the skill of riding a bike myself, but I love the way you’ve compared it to managing the demands of life!

    • Hazel Thornton at org4life.com on August 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks, Janet! Do you have something similar, that makes you feel free? (Besides organizing, that is.)

      • Janet Barclay on August 6, 2011 at 11:00 am

        I love to walk, whether I’m going somewhere, spending time with my sister or a friend, or listening to a podcast or recorded teleclass on my iPhone. It’s one activity that really benefits me both physically and mentally, and gets me away from my computer for a while.

  2. Sandy Dixon on August 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Love this analogy… and just like with biking when you are prepared for the ride, life can be ever so much more pleasant, whether enjoying a solo ride or in a group venue.

  3. Rivka Caroline on August 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Loved the analogy of trying to ride with an elephant under one arm. Will remember that when I next feel too weighed down and unbalanced. Thanks

  4. Tracy @ Simply Squared Away on August 17, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Love how you look at each area specifically…I have some great visuals! 🙂

  5. Ellen Delap on February 20, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Love this analogy! As a frequent bike rider, the wobbles and unintentional falls are a new perspective on balance. But we keep moving forward and keep trying for balance as we go. Momentum helps us move forward too.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Hazel Thornton on February 20, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks for stopping by my blog, Ellen!

  6. Jane M Severance on February 1, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    I love the way that you always come back to balance and self care.

    • Hazel Thornton on February 2, 2020 at 10:15 am

      Thanks, Jane!

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