When something good happens, be prepared for the dark side. Be prepared for all the shit that is coming your way. Life is all about balance. With every good thing that happens to you, there is always something bad that follows. And that goes the other way around also. When a bad thing befalls, you should look for the good after.
The other day I was watching a very interesting interview with one of my favorite actors – Jamie Foxx. He’s one of those guys who made it to the top. Even though he accomplished worldwide success, in several areas, he still is very human and grounded person.
One of the things he said, and more specifically this line – “When something good happens, be prepared for the dark side” – Got me thinking. I remembered a fundamental physics law we were studying in school. I am referring to the Newton third law of motion:
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
If you pull something really hard and you let it go, a force with an equal amount will be coming your way. If you shoot with a rifle, the recoil will hit you like a well-trained boxer. If you overeat, you will gain weight. If you cheat on your wife, you should be prepared for the same thing from her side.
Even though we study the law at school, we don’t examine it in a different perspective, the not a scientific one. The one that we really need in our daily lives to gain balance in life. We don’t get deeper to understand the consequences a single action and the impact this can have on our lives.
The World is All About Balance
The yin and yang symbol it’s a perfect example for that. The symbol describes how two contrary forces are complementing each other. Ancient Chinese martial artists knew that secret very long time ago. Probably this is the reason they’ve mastered martial arts and build such a powerful country.
Yin and yang symbol can mean everything. There isn’t like any limitation of these dualities. At first, you can imagine water and fire, but that also goes for other not so obvious things: good and bad, success and failure, love and hate, work and rest, online time and offline time.
The list It’s really long and the examples are everywhere.
Finding Balance in Life
Finding balance in life, in our busy world, it’s nearly impossible. Still, it’s something we should constantly strive for, even if the results are not even close to near.
My personal obstacle is finding the right balance in the current most important activities in my life: spend time with my wife, get things done on my regular job, catch up with friends, family members, reading books, online projects I am running (like this site), time for exercise and time for sleep. Also, I forget to mention, finding a bit time for fun things, like playing games, hiking, traveling or simply laying around doing nothing.
To be honest, I can’t say I am doing a really good job. My regular work and side projects are eating nearly 80% of my day. The rest of my awake time I focus on spending time with my wife. I have to do it, If I don’t, she will kick me out 🙂 As you can imagine, the other things suffer from this. I spend less time with my friends and family and even less time on doing fun stuff.
As you can imagine, the other things suffer from this. I spend less time with my friends and family and even less time on doing fun stuff.
To be honest I don’t regret it, much.
I still see my friends and family members but not that often. Not like when I was 22. Which is probably normal, we get older, our priorities change and we get all sucked into daily duties. Which for most of are probably presented by the following: kids, spouse, job, traffic and 1,351,534 stuff pending and seeking our attention: social media, all kind of information, commercials, news over the TV, our cat and etc.
Online you can find a lot of books, courses, videos about finding and maintaining a good balance in your life. The stuff you will read, watch or you pay money for someone to “teach” you will be quite similar. There isn’t like a major secret you will learn if you pay someone 300 bucks to watch his video series. No, the things that will help you maintain a good work-life balance are actually things you already know. Still, too lazy or too blind to see and try to change.
Let me cover some of these things below:
How to Keep Balance. Several Things I am Doing That Are Helping Me Keep Balance in My Life
Some of them I already shared in my post about things that are wasting our time.
Sleep Less: It’s like the best thing you can do for yourself if you really need those extra hours, and who doesn’t. Even though is probably the easiest thing to say, it’s the hardest one to accomplish. 8 hours sleeping is for the losers. If you really need shit done, try sleeping 5 or 6 hours per day. You will probably feel little dizzy in the beginning but it’s manageable. Set an alarm, several alarms. Get up early and start doing some exercising. This will increase your pulse and help you forget how good sleeping more is.
Spend Less Time Scrolling Around: By that, I mainly mean lower the time you spend on FaceBook and other similar social media sites. I can go really crazy and say something like: “Delete your FaceBook account”, but I really don’t think you should go that far. Do you really need to check you FaceBook every 5 minutes? I really don’t think you do.
Say, No: We humans, really like to be accepted, liked by others. To accomplish that, we do all sorts of stuff to please the other party. Imagine, you are really busy this week and you want to have the weekend all to yourself. What you will respond to the following requests from your closest friends:
Can you help me this weekend fix my car? – Yes; Can you go out with me to the mall so I can pick a dress and a pair of shoes? – Yes; Can you watch my kid while I drink coffee with my mom this Saturday? – Yes
I bet you will say “Yes” to all of the above. “But they are my friends”, you might say. Yes, exactly. That’s why they should understand if you tell them that you want the time for yourself this weekend.
Don’t be afraid to refuse to people. Say no, whenever you think, need and the fuck you want. Others don’t owe your life, you own your own life. You don’t have to accept everything, not everybody should like you. Say “Yes” to yourself more often and “No” to things you don’t really want to do.
Schedule: Really powerful advice for keeping balance in your life is to schedule your days. This shouldn’t necessarily mean writing a detailed, step-by-step, 2 pages long instructions on what you should do today. Simply, thinking about how to spend your day and what you should do first, then second and third. Simply thinking, yes, that in most of the cases will be enough. In addition to that, I will suggest doing that the day before. At the end of today, think about what will you do tomorrow. Write a couple of steps if needed on a piece of paper and you are good to go.
Anticipation: As the opposite of procrastination. Doing the things you should be doing, without zoning out or daydreaming. There are a lot of things that can distract us. A simple way to avoid them is by blocking them. The following apps can help ColdTurkey; Freedom. Another way is by scheduling time to work and time for fun. Really famous and used method is the Pomodoro method. You work for 25 minutes straight and then take 5 minutes break. Use this online tool: tomato-timer.com; timer-timer.com; or this video.
Balance When Things Go Wrong
The stuff above is really true but often really hard to follow. Yet, there are worse things than oversleeping or procrastinating that can put our lives off balance.
Life can sometimes be a real pain. Unexpected, bad things can hit you when you least expected. That’s when you have to be really prepared.
You can suffer a car crash, you might get fired, a family member can get sick, something major in your house can break, you can get hacked or CC details were stolen, you can fall from a cliff, you can lose your wallet. I don’t wish any of these even to my worst enemy, unfortunately, these things are part of our lives and there is a possibility for something from the above to occur at some point.
Even though we can’t predict the future or prevent something bad from happening, we have to at least try to be prepared for extreme situations. Try to have an action plan when something unexpected hit you.
For example, you can lose or your wallet can get stolen. When that happens you are facing already a done circumstance. You can’t turn back time. The thing you can do at this time is to go to the police and report that. However, the are two other things you can do prior to when something shitty happens:
- Be prepared mentally.
- Do whatever it takes to prevent that from happening.
If you aren’t mentally prepared, you can lose your mind and go crazy over a wallet. Yes, you lost money and your personal details got stolen, but going around and screaming won’t help you get that back. Just say fuck it, and go on with your life.
Point two is something you can really work on. Think about how you can avoid something stolen from you? I personally keep my wallet in the right back pocket on my jeans. It’s not the most secure place but currently, it works for me. Still, when I am attending a concert or a crowded place, I put my wallet in the back pocket of my jacket. If I don’t carry a jacket, I put it in my front right pocket or inside my wife’s bag. Wearing skinny jeans really helps in these occasions.
Even though the wallet example is probably not the best, in our case the worst example, the two points above are something you can work on.
Being mentally strong in crisis situations is the thing you can do in order to handle them. Worrying too much or crying over something won’t revert things. Face your problems like a real man (women). Once the bump is passed, you can take the time to cry a bit. Yeah, we all need this from time to time.
Prepare yourself for the worst. This is also something you can do. Here I don’t mean wrapping your whole house with barbed wire, like these guys – Doomsday preppers. Simply, do the necessary things to prevent bad things from happening. Something like, don’t go into the lion’s den unless you know what you will be doing there.
Like Jamie says, you can’t have it all. Life is all about balance.
The whole universe is based on balance. If things go off balance bad things happen. Like global warming.
We and the world weren’t prepared for all the factories, cars, pollution. They were invented long after the ecosystem exists. That’s why we are experiencing climate change which leads to natural disasters all over the world.
Whoever created us, the world, made everything to exist in harmony.
Neglecting this core principal will have a huge negative impact on our lives and the humanity as a whole.
Do whatever it takes to keep your life balanced. Only so, you will live at fullest.