Jay Rifenbary

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Escape From Excess – The Key to Life Balance

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Here is a New Years Resolution we all can strive to attain. In my early childhood years, I can vividly recall my mother stating, “everything in moderation”. Although it was, and still is, a commonly used expression, it was not until later in life that I took the meaning to heart, and realized how important that phrase would become in regard to balancing the many different facets of my life. How many of us take that expression seriously? We all need too. When excess in one area of our life takes precedence over all others, the rest suffers. There has been a societal acceleration towards an interest in learning how to implement the work-life balance equation into our lives. Why is this? I believe this yearning for balance is a result of several factors.

One, the speed and amount of information that we as human beings are required to process everyday consumes much of our thoughts, energy and time. The velocity at which technology continues to advance will only add to this information download that we must contend with.

Two, the deterioration of society’s understanding of what it means to be successful continues to inundate our mindsets as a result of media influence. For example, if the media emphasis is directed towards only one aspect of life, such as money, then other areas our life suffer in regard to their perceived importance. Just reflect on how greed has consumed our society in many respects, and the horrific consequences that have occurred to our social and economic stability as a result.

Third, the inability for individuals to self-discipline, prioritize and time manage properly their daily activities. Without some form of time management how can one have the ability to allocate the appropriate time and energy to the aspects of one’s life that need to be addressed? If I do not organize and implement some form of structured approach in building balance, then chaos and disorganization reign supreme.

Do you know anyone who is obsessive with a certain aspect of his or her life? How about someone who buys too much, drinks too much, exercises too much, video games too much, sits on the couch too much, pretends they are something they are not too much, eats too much, mows their lawn too much (oops, caught myself), works too much, and many other things too much? We may enjoy what we obsess on, but it is imperative that we ensure the obsession does not create excess stress because we neglect other aspects of our life that require attention and responsible actions. I sincerely believe that it has been the need for excess, from corporate executives, politicians, and even elements of our own citizenry that has created the economic disaster and democratic disintegration we are presently witnessing in our society. On a national scale, I believe if we do not take a step back and re-prioritize societal values, stress the importance of substance of character rather than the possession of things, and stop encouraging excess to substitute for our own insecurities, we are on a path of self-destruction. It is up to each and every one of us to encourage personal responsibility for our lives, strength of character for our children and recognition that we cannot ignore an understanding of the importance of balancing the many aspects of our lives. So what can we do?

Well, let me be sequential once again. One, answer what are the aspects of your life that you feel are important to fulfill your life? Are those life priorities financial, physical, spiritual, familial, social, emotional, and/or career oriented? Two, how are the priorities of your life prioritized? Are they in balance in regard to the time dedicated to succeed at those items you feel to be important? Three, are there aspects of your life that are suffering? If the answer to question three is “yes”, then you are on the path to becoming aware that there is action to be taken. The most important action step for those who believe the balance topic to be important is to acknowledge that you may not be in balance in the first place. Too come to grips with this awareness will provide the motivation to take the steps necessary to bring about greater happiness, contentment and an wonderful realignment of the basics that bring to fruition personal fulfillment.



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