We all have a deep innate desire to live a fulfilled life. What fulfillment looks like is different for each of us. It’s made up of multiple aspects that must be weighed and balanced according to our individual needs and wants—in order to provide us with fulfillment. I call this our “iBalance.” We all have our own iBalance—an optimal combination that’s completely unique to each of us, and once we find out how to find and create it, we will want to maintain it in order to continue to feel happy, content, and fulfilled. Today, I’d like to share with you how I find and sustain my iBalance.
THE ART OF FINDING FULFILLMENT
We all have our own iBalance—an optimal combination that’s completely unique to each of us, and once we find out how to find and create it, we will want to maintain it in order to continue to feel happy, content, and fulfilled.”
Step 1— Finding the optimal combination for your unique iBalance.
List five things that make you happy. Happiness can come in any form, from spending time with your family, having a successful career, receiving recognition, buying a present for someone—or yourself. This is completely unique to you and you should be completely honest in your list. If it’s going shopping, enjoying one of your favorite hobbies, reading, spending time with a lover, or whatever it may be— write five of these things that make you happy on this list.
Now set a weighted percentage next to each of the five things that make you happy. You’re looking to create a total of 100%. As an example, you might weigh a successful career at 30%, spending time with family at 50%, shopping at 5%, reading at 5%, and living healthy at 10%. This is your iBalance combination.
The way we weigh things in our life that make us happy will vary from person to person. Balance is not perfectly proportionate—50-50, or any other basic combination. We all are different. This step is simply to give you an overview of an iBalance combination in a tangible form by using percentages.
Step 2— Review how you live your life today and if it supports your iBalance.
For example, if your family is listed as your highest priority at 50%, are you spending enough time with them? If instead, you’re spending 50% of your time working in your successful career—versus 30%, this could be creating an imbalance in your life.
In the same way, if your iBalance combination has a successful career listed as one of your highest priorities, are you living that out in your work life? Are you putting in the extra effort to deliver A-Class work in order to achieve success? Or are you rushing through your work day with little effort and feeling less than fulfilled when you don’t get that promotion or recognition at work that your heart desires?
Use this step to locate your imbalances so that you can start a plan to correct them.
Step 3— Do an iBalance check to Evaluate how you’re doing.
This requires an honest and true evaluation of yourself and each aspect of your life. Which areas do you need to work on to achieve better balance. Which areas do you have room to pull from in order to give more to other areas that are lacking?
I cannot over emphasize the fact that Step 3 requires full sincerity, honesty, and truthfulness. It’s easy to have a blind spot when it comes to our own personal shortfalls. We can make up excuses for why this area or that area is not doing well. But at the end of the day, if you’re looking for complete fulfillment in your life, you need to be brutally honest with yourself.
As an example, if you see that Living Healthy is weighed at 10% for your optimal iBalance, but you’re only doing about 5% because you’re not making time for an exercise routine, you need to note that you’re at a 5% deficit in this area. It doesn’t matter if you’re spending 35% of your time working on building a successful career and that there’s a big project you’re spending a lot of your extra time on. While that’s a noble cause, it doesn’t negate the fact that you’re out of balance.
Step 4— Make a plan to achieve your iBalance.
This is where you take action. I invite you to start refusing some of the things that are keeping you away from achieving your iBalance. The goal is to maintain as much of a balance as you possibly can. It’s impractical to say that you can have a perfect iBalance every day. Life happens and you need flexibility for the flow of life to go on as it should.
With that said, taking an overall holistic view of where you’re at according to your iBalance and the different weights of each aspect that brings you happiness each month—or every other month— is essential. When you’re able to appropriately see the misbalances that are taking place, you can figure out a plan to correct them.
Creating an iBalance action plan.
When creating an action plan to correct any imbalances, you need to consider the following things:
- Your action plan should be sustainable. You can’t say that you’re going to be able to make giant leaps in correcting an imbalance overnight. Instead, be realistic. If this is a lifestyle change or you’re needing to break a long standing habit, you need to build in a reasonable timeframe. You may need to adjust things little by little over a longer period of time to reach your optimal weight, and that’s perfectly okay.
- You need to begin training yourself to start correcting the patterns of behaviors that are throwing you off your iBalance. Start saying “no” to things that take you off balance. For example, if your family is your highest priority, and since you’re busy working all the time, you are used to saying “no” when your loved one asks for quality time together, you need to make a plan to begin saying “yes” to your family and “no” to your work schedule.
Or on the flip side, if achieving success in your career is a high priority, you may need to correct patterns where you aren’t giving enough time or effort in your career. Perhaps the next time your boss asks for extra help, you can step up to the challenge. This can also be as easy as changing your outlook on your daily assignments. Instead of considering them a chore, look at them as opportunities to shine and stand out as a “top performer.”
In summary, the goal of your plan should be sustainable. Life style changes should be gradual and realistic. And you need to begin correcting the patterns of behaviors that are throwing your balance off. This includes saying “no” to the things that cause you to be out of balance. Instead do more of what takes you closer to your iBalance.
Step 5— Be confident and stay true to your iBalance. Enjoy and live happy with what was designed by you and for you.
Don’t compare your iBalance with anyone else’s. What you see might not be the entire page. For example, what if you choose success in work as 60% of your iBalance. If you see your friends having more free time to travel, you could begin to feel like you’re missing out. Yet your friends might have traveling and free time as their 60% iBalance priority. You can’t compare your 60% to their different 60% priority. And you can’t take your 60% and tack on another 60% to travel either because you don’t have 120% in you to give. That’s an unrealistic expectation for your iBalance.
At the end of the day, if you have the time and energy to achieve only 100%, you must look at how you would manage and allocate those resources. And hopefully you have that answer from completing Steps 1-4!
Last Words Before Signing OFF
Finding and achieving an optimal iBalance has helped me to feel fulfilled, happy, and content. While I might not be considered the most successful person by some means, I do believe that having found the recipe for feeling truly balanced and fulfilled is a success in and of itself. I hope that by sharing these steps, with you, that you might be able to find your iBalance in life as well. It’s something all of us deserve to have. You deserve to have a balanced life and live it to the full.