Why Study This Mantra...To determine where your current life balance is, and how you can bring more balance into your life.
This month is all about expanding what you know about YOU and helping you achieve balance.
In your monthly challenge, you will focus on the four key areas of your life that need to be in balance. You'll also introduce a daily ritual which is great for all four!
Before you begin...
Before you start thes practices and challenges, take a moment to rate yourself on this mantra. Give yourself a score from 1-10 (10 being the highest).
Do this again at the end of a month of practices and challenges. How much have you grown?
Today's affirmation: "I will be balanced in health, work, play, and love.”
I will take a walk today. I will do this not only for my physical health, but for my mental and emotional health as well. I will aim for at least 30 minutes each day, but I’ll accept whatever amount of time I have available. On my walk, I will contemplate how I'm spending my time and attention throughout the day, and how it aligns with my balance satisfaction and my goals. I will leave the headphones at home!
Life Calibration Assessment
In my journal or on a piece of paper, gauge how you're doing in four key areas of my life: Health, work, play, and love. Discuss (with yourself) why you're in a good or bad place with each one, then score yourself from 1-5, or VERY SATISFIED to NOT AT ALL SATISFIED.
- Health should include mental, physical, and spiritual
- Work should include even things I don't get paid for
- Play should include any activity I do purely for the sake of doing it
- Love can come from my primary relationships, my children, pets, community, or anything else that's an object of affection
Balance Is a Key to Increasing Overall Happiness in Life
You’ve likely heard the adage “Money can’t buy you happiness.” As it turns out, focusing on any one thing likely won’t allow you to experience full happiness, no matter how successful you are in that one facet of your life.
According to a recent e-book called “Handbook of Well-Being”1 (available for all to read for free we might add), there are different domains in which a person can experience various levels of happiness (or unhappiness). To summarize the findings, individuals can experience limited happiness in any single area, whether that’s through their work, through family life, through hobbies, through economic conditions etc. The cool part is that by applying different techniques and leveraging inter-domain relationships, individuals can increase their overall happiness.
A few of the fundamental assumptions that have been incorporated into your daily practices, journal entry prompt, and monthly challenge include:
- The notion that you can only grow your happiness up to a certain point in any single domain
- That exposure to new things within a domain can increase your satisfaction (and prevent “moving backwards by standing still” in that domain)
- That connecting multiple domains that give you positive satisfaction has a boosting effect on both domains
- That compartmentalizing and/or changing the weighting of different domains can increase your overall happiness
- That you can use skills from a high-scoring domain to increase your satisfaction in a low-scoring domain
What’s important here is that you’re not a bystander in the determination of your life satisfaction. It’s up to YOU the standards by which you judge your life and all of its various domains.
Does Domain Satisfaction Determine Life Satisfaction or the Other Way Around?
Which way does causality run?
- Option 1 – Life Satisfaction determines Domain Satisfaction: Is it that you find your life satisfying more broadly, and as a result, you generally find more satisfactions in each of your life domains? Like, you’re happy in general, so you also enjoy work, family, love, etc.?
- Option 2 – Domain Satisfaction determines Life Satisfaction: OR is it bottom up? You evaluate how satisfied you are with each of your life’s various domains, and however they roll up determines how satisfied you are with your life in general?
The answer: Both! Your life satisfaction tends overall tends to impact how you weigh each domain, AND how you view these domains tends to impact your overall life satisfaction! (Schimmack, 2008)
Focus on the “What”, Not on the “Why”
Self-awareness is a nuanced thing. One researcher that seeks to clarify some of those nuances and provides a strategy for turning self-awareness insights into action is Tasha Eurich, PhD. In a 2018 Harvard Business Review article, she summarized some of her findings from 10 different studies of more than 5,000 participants:
- There are two types of self awareness: internal and external self awareness
- Internal is characterized as our perception of ourselves whereas external is characterized as how we believe others would perceive our actions.
- Interestingly, her researched showed virtually no link between the two types, meaning an individual can fall into one of four buckets depending on whether they score high or low on each of the two types
- In general, leaders should seek to improve both types because they each help improve different areas of management skills, and help reduce the likelihood of falling into certain bad habits, especially as individuals gain more power and experience over time
This background brings us to the importance of “what”. In the process of introspection, it’s easy to ask “Why did I do something?” or “Why did something happen?” By asking “Why?”, people often answer incorrectly, leading to even more problems. By asking “What can I do to improve the situation going forward?” or “What can I do to prevent this from happening again?”, the natural next step is a plan of action that leads to positive outcomes in the future.
For an additional perspective on balance and determining what’s important to you, and what will lead to your increased satisfaction, read “Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction” by Matthew Kelly. His support for identifying the key areas of importance you believe will lead to increased satisfaction, and determining specific strategies to improve those areas aligns very closely to the Bodhi Band approach. Readers beware though, you may decide to leave your current life behind and become a fisherman in Mexico!
We also recommend:
- Sirgy, M. J., & Lee, D.-J. (2018). The psychology of life balance. In E. Diener, S. Oishi, & L. Tay (Eds.), Handbook of well-being. Salt Lake City, UT: DEF Publishers. DOI:nobascholar.com
- Eurich, T. “What Self-Awareness Really Is (and How to Cultivate It).” hbr.org, Harvard Business Publishing, 4 January 2018, https://hbr.org/2018/01/what-self-awareness-really-is-and-how-to-cultivate-it
- Schimmack, U. (2008). The structure of subjective well-being. In M. Eid, R. J. Larsen, M. Eid, & R. J. Larsen (Eds.), The science of subjective well-being. (pp. 97–123). New York, NY: Guilford Press.