“Life is a balance” is a phrase that my dad has stressed to me and my siblings over the years. I didn’t fully understand this phrase, nor did I believe it was true, until I got to college.
Currently, I am navigating what it looks like to balance personal and physical growth while being content with where I am at currently. (Disclaimer: if you are looking for a way to find that perfect balance, you got the wrong blog post.)
Lately, I have been saying blanket statements about things I want to improve upon. To be more specific, I can give a few examples that have been on repeat in my head lately:
- I want to go outside more and be physically active more often.
- I want to further develop and improve my blog and Instagram.
- I want to save money.
- I want to cook healthier food more often.
- I want to spend more time with people I love and care for.
- I want to get more involved in my church community.
Don’t get me wrong, these are all good things that I hope I always strive towards. But notice that, all of these things are not specific goals. I just tell myself, ‘I should do all these things more than I am doing them now, or I should have more success at them than I am currently experiencing.’
Clearly, I am never going to fully reach these unattainable, ambiguous and unspecific goals. It would be impossible, because no matter how much I do these things or how much success I will have, I will always want more.
J. Paul Getty, founder of Getty Oil, was named the “richest living American” in 1957. After gaining an enormous amount of wealth and success, he was posed the question, “how much money is enough?” He answered, “Just a little bit more.”
That is the all-consuming trap–the trap that prevents us from being content, leaving us even more unsatisfied than before.
To avoid or get out of this trap, an attitude of thankfulness has to be adopted. This can be done by writing down a list of things you are grateful for, acknowledging things that you have accomplished during the day, or reflecting on how much progress you have made in the last year or so. Additionally, consider making a clear and specific plan on how you want to move forward. Instead of having all these unspecific goals, consider setting specific times for each thing that you wish to accomplish.
At the end of the day, I believe that it is more significant to be content with where I am now than to always be striving towards something.
Here is a book that I am currently reading that has helped me navigate some of these thoughts and I would highly recommend it: “Telling Yourself the Truth” by William Backus and Marie Chapian.