Finding A Balance Between Accomplishment And Enjoyment

I love Netflix

I know love is a strong word, but I seriously enjoy Netflix.

Except, sometimes I really hate it. Sometimes I spend way too long watching my favorite shows and I don’t get anything done that day. I feel unaccomplished.

Those are the times that I indulge too much, but sometimes I spend all my time working and even though I feel accomplished, it still leaves me unhappy.

No matter how much you enjoy something or how much closer it gets you to your goals, too much of it can turn that pleasure into gluttony and guilt, or boredom and frustration.

You can even get tired of pizza. That’s right, I said it.

So, I have developed methods to ensure that I am balancing accomplishment and indulgence without leaning too far in one direction.

A balanced life is a happy life.

Balance Is All In The Measurements

To be happy, accomplished, and still indulge a little to avoid burning out, you have to have balance.

But to have balance, you first have to measure the objects on your scale.

What do you spend your time doing throughout the week?

For one week, I want you to keep a journal and write down what you are doing, and how much time you spend doing it.

Write down how much time you spend with friends, with family, reading, watching television, working, even sleeping.
Everything.

Tweaking The Formula

Once you have recordings of roughly how much time you spend on different activities throughout the week I want you to think about where you dedicated too much time, and where you didn’t dedicate enough.

Remember, the goal isn’t to become an efficiency machine that works all day or an instant gratification addict that doesn’t accomplish anything.

The goal is a healthy balance.

On your list put a minus (-) next to anything you want to spend less time on, and a plus (+) next to anything you want to spend more time on. If you think you have a good amount of time allocated you can put a equal (=) next to the item.

Take into consideration how happy something makes you and how valuable it is to your goals.

There will be items on this list that you enjoy and also help towards your goals, mark these with an asterisk (*) as you will want to dedicate a decent amount of time to these.

Testing The New Balance

Now you know what things you spend your time on, and how you’d like to tweak them.

Test out your new formula for one week.

Rinse and repeat these three steps as often as necessary to keep your life balanced between accomplishment and enjoyment.

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The Pizza Thieves

I bought a pizza and left it in the fridge at work. I figured I would have food there, so I did not pack anything. I got to work only to realize that something despicable had occurred.

My pizza was eaten, ravaged by a pack of scavenging co-workers. Who has the gall to eat another man’s food?  I complained for almost half my shift. It threw off my entire morning.

Stupid, right? Thinking about it now, I let half a pizza ruin my entire morning.

We complain about the weather, traffic, and the weeds in our yards. We complain about tight clothing, misplaced keys and the price of gasoline. We complain about our jobs or our lack of jobs. We have become too quick to complain, about everything.

Complaints compound into massive amounts of negative energy. It fosters a negative attitude, which makes you focus on the negatives in every situation. The negativity impacts those around you and will eventually repel people. It doesn’t change the current circumstances. I would not get my fallen pizza no matter how much I complained.

Managing complaints is necessary to a trouble-free life. Here is how I do it.

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A) Embrace the Imperfect World

Life is not always going to serve up what we would like (or even expect) at every turn. Life is filled with troubles, trials and pain. But, honestly, that’s okay. Everyone is experiencing the same imperfect world.

The sooner we stop holding the notion that the world revolves around us, the easier it will become. Discomfort should not surprise us. It is a naturally occurring phenomenon.

My pizza was robbed. Sometimes, in life you just have to say screw it. Sometimes things just happen.

B) Things Can Always Get Worse

When things seem at its worse, I sit down and think. Could it get any worse than it already is?

The answer is always yes.

Instead of my whole pizza missing, my co-workers could have eaten all the toppings and left the plain dough.

There is always room for more negative energy. Consequently, it works true for positive energy. Be grateful that it isn’t worse.

C) Out of Proportion

Most complaints are over trivial things. We make small problems into big problems. It starts to consume our thoughts and leads to other terrible thoughts. Eventually, your body is dragged down into spiraling negativity.

I was definitely blowing it out of proportion. I found myself thinking about all my co-workers conspiring against me. I pictured all of them huddling around, consuming my pizza. I saw one of them manically laugh.

Your brain enjoys playing tricks on you. It makes small situations larger than it is because it wants you to be consumed with negative thoughts.

D) Notice the Triggers

Is there a specific time where you complain more than others? What about a specific place? Maybe when you are around co-workers? Or maybe when you haven’t had much sleep?

Notice these triggers and seek to remedy or avoid them. Be extra vigilant when you see them arise.

E) Complaining for the Sake of Validation

We often use our complaints to validate ourselves to others. “I’m so busy,” is a classic example of this. We often say it as a means to subtly communicate our importance. You do not need to validate yourself to others. You do not need to impress others.

It is to often that we drown ourselves in complaints. In today’s world, complaints are rampant. They drown your body and mind into negativity.

Challenge: Do not complain for a full day. Start now! Keep it on your mind the entire day. If you do, be vigilant. Catch yourself halfway through and stop it. You will be amazed at the profound effects you will feel at the end of the day. There is enough negativity circling around you. Be the change and do not contribute to it.

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