The Myth of Purpose and Balance as Opposites
Purpose and balance messages scream at us from media platforms, as if the concepts battle to win allegiance to one lifestyle or the other. One camp urges us to do more and thus be more. Get busy and hustle. The opposition insists we stop our daily race for achievement, since meditation and inner wellness would instead pave the road to bliss. Withdraw from the world, center the mind, and relax.
Most of us live on the tugged rope between the two chanting rivals. When motivated by the heralds of purpose-enslavement, we push ourselves to work insane hours. Our productivity levels spike. A certain amount of forward movement encourages us to continue the momentum. The body protests. Alarms of physical and mental strain beg us to slow down. But the pressure to succeed, to become a significant person, drives us to keep hustling. Until. We. Can’t.
Burn out catches up to those who reject balance altogether. After all, the phrase, “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead,” comes from the album and biography eulogizing the unhealthy life of Warren Zevon, a musician who died at age 56.
Even those of us who hit the wall without a fatal consequence often find the need to rehabilitate our lives. The call to retreat from our purpose draws us to the other extreme, where we spend our days pursuing rest and personal health. Whether our convalescence involves spa therapy, a string of retreats, or bingeing on Netflix, the period of rest eventually ends in restlessness. Too much “me time” leads to a sense of empty existence.
As soon as we seek meaning, hustle-messages shout for us to return to our crazy lifestyles. And the tug-of-war rope yanks us back toward the fraying pursuit of busyness.
Break Free from the Tug-of-War Cycle
We don’t need to live as slaves to productivity or self-service. If we design our lives with brilliance, we can live unfettered to the pull of extremes. The natural pull would drag our lives back and forth, so we must define our lives clearly in order to break free.
[bctt tweet=”True Balance and Purpose Include One Another” username=”@tyeagerwrites”]
To have true balance, one must also have purpose. To follow one’s true purpose includes balance. The two elements are not opposites, but, in fact, inseparable and symbiotic components of brilliant, actualized living.
How to Live with Purpose and Balance
This video post notes the following keys to living with integrated purpose and balance:
- Define your identity and purpose as separate from productivity.
- Consider specific causes for which you could make a difference.
- Identify people who may benefit from your purpose.
- Care for yourself as a vessel of blessings created to deliver a specific benefit to individuals.
- Empower others to fulfill their unique purposes.
- Ask yourself each day how you reflect the lifestyle you’d wish upon those you love, both in meaning and in fulfillment.
- Pray about balance and purpose daily, listen for the truth, and act upon the guidance of the One Who Created you as His unique vessel.
We’ll explore more details about living with brilliant balance as we continue this series in the coming weeks. If you have feedback or other tips for living with brilliant balance, feel free to share them in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you.