We have various major needs in life such as emotional, physical, financial, social, intellectual, creative, and spiritual. To be well-rounded and balanced is to have all of our major needs met. To be un-well-rounded is to be lacking of one or more of our major needs. In an ideal world, we’d like to satisfy all of our major needs every day. But it’s actually very challenging to smoothly connect all of these areas into a practical system that works on a day-to-day level. Quite simply it is just too overwhelming to try to think about all those areas and have to juggle them all, day in and day out. Realistically, most of us miss out of several of our major needs every day! Given this information, what should we do?
Focus on two activities that can fulfill several needs at the same time.
Two Main Activities
When it comes down to it, there are really two main activities we should focus on a day-to-day basis, and these areas may be quite obvious: work and leisure. Work is essentially what we do to help others, and leisure is what we simply do for fun. I purposefully don’t call these two areas work and “life,” as many people do, because it’s silly to think that work, something many of us do 8-9 hours a day, is somehow separate from life. There are also micro-activities that are necessary to do every day such as maintaining cleanliness, appearance, and health. But essentially speaking, our day to day schedule should find a balance between work and leisure.
Even Albert Einstein could simplify his life into work and play (and perhaps listening).
“If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut”
Work and Leisure
Our job has the potential to nourish us intellectually, financially, socially, spiritually, creatively, and emotionally, although it takes a lot of time and effort to get to this point. Because our job can satisfy so many of our needs, it is important that we are doing, or at least are on the path of doing work that really brings the most out of us. However, even when we get to the point when our job allows us to become as full as possible, there’s still a limit to what “work” can satisfy. It’s okay if work doesn’t satisfy every single one of our needs, because leisure fills in the gaps. What we do in our leisure time depends on what we do in our work time. If our job is creatively fulfilling but not socially fulfilling, then we should fill our leisure time with social activities. If our job is socially stimulating but not intellectually stimulating, we can fill our leisure time with intellectual activities.
The most important part of becoming a well-rounded super being the efficient way is to make sure our job is something that fulfills a wide range of needs instead of just the financial need. The next most important thing is making sure leisure time “fills in the gaps” of our remaining needs. If our job is only fulfilling our financial needs at the expense of everything else, we’ll turn to leisure to satisfy everything. Putting all the pressure on leisure to fulfill all of our needs will lead to dissatisfaction and overindulgence since it’s really hard to fulfill certain needs through leisure alone. For example, leisure has a hard time fulfilling the spiritual need, where spiritual is defined as whatever brings meaning and purpose. The spiritual need is probably best satisfied (at least in part) by providing service to others through work. On the other hand, work has a hard time fulfilling all of our emotional needs. While work can satisfy us emotionally in certain ways, a big part of emotional satisfaction is having the ability to turn away from serious responsibilities in order to care for ourselves, family, significant other, and friends.
Creating Your Daily System
The next part of being well-rounded is creating a daily schedule where the boundaries of work and leisure are clear and we also make room for few other micro-areas (health, cleanliness, food, etc). Here’s a sample of what that daily schedule would look like. The main areas are in bold, and the micro-areas fill in the gaps.
Remember, a schedule like this will only help you achieve balance if you work and leisure is dynamic enough to satisfy a wide range of areas and needs. Make sure your work and leisure time is the best that it can possibly be. That is of extreme importance.
For more on work life balance, check out this ultimate guide!