Does balance exist?
We all know someone who is getting perfect grades, competing in a team sport, volunteering for the local animal shelter, plays the violin, and writes a food blog.
But a part of me thinks that this type of person has to be sacrificing something, right?
You’ve probably seen the 4 pillars of life before: physical health, social health, mental/creative health, and emotional/spiritual health.
Physical health includes exercise, diet, and sleep. What measures do you do to take care of your physical body?
Social health is how well you manage your relationships and ability to have meaningful social interactions.
Mental/Creative health considers how you satiate your “creative” side. Maybe you write poetry, play an instrument, or perform theater; either way, we all need some type of outlet.
Emotional/Spiritual Health is, in a general sense, how you take care of your “soul.” Are you emotionally stable? Are you in tune with your mind and body? Religions often see this as a type of spiritual health.
I’d have to imagine that all 4 of these pillars are equally important in their own right. I can also see how there may be debates for each pillar as being more important than the rest, depending on the type of lifestyle you live. Perhaps a professional athlete at their prime would rank physical health over anything else, while professional theater performers might willingly (or unwillingly) have to sacrifice social relationships and physical health to achieve mastery in their profession.
My question is: is there a way to perfect balance all 4?
Is there really some way for all of us to get 8 hours of sleep while exercising 3-4x a week, have healthy relationships with their family and friends (and potential significant other), write poetry and play an instrument, emotionally stable and emotionally intelligent and meditates + practice mindfulness?
I can confidently say that I have maybe 2 pillars down, maybe 2.5.
For me, at least, this idea of balance is something I want to achieve. It seems like an ideal lifestyle for me, because I see the merit in dedicating effort to fulfilling each pillar. I see that each pillar can contribute to my overall lifestyle and happiness.
But the real question not just for me but the world in general is: do you seek this type of balance?
Or is a “balanced” life really a myth? The myth of balance is that the most successful people in their field are those who sacrificed balance to instead focus on specialization; they are the best in their field because they sacrificed the opportunity to be good at other things in life.
To be successful, do we have to sacrifice one or even several of these integral life pillars?