The idea of life’s equation popped into my head recently and I’ve been wrestling with it for a while. It occurred to me that everyone has a different equation they are trying to balance. The goal is to solve both sides of this equation and make them equal one another. Finding a state of equilibrium in oneself. Everyone’s equation is different because everyone has a different psychological and physiological make up. To understand this, you need to look deep within yourself or consult a therapist. The tactics you can use to balance your equation can be fairly simple. In this post I’ll break down some of the simple tactics I use to balance my equation.
First, I’ll explain my idea of life’s equation. It’s basically the idea that we all have preconceived traits about our personalities that we can’t change or ignore. Although we can try and balance these traits by living life a certain way. The equation is simple:
Mind + Body = Inputs
Mind + Body:
Let’s break down our Mind + Body side of the equation. This is our preconceived traits that we are born with. Some of these traits we can change, others we may always be battling. Some people are born with a higher energy level than others, but this energy may sometime lead them in the wrong direction. Some people may have a natural sense of calm, but they don’t understand when to take action. Some people may naturally be active but can’t sit down long enough to appreciate life. All these things fall in the Mind + Body side of our equation. I could go on for pages listing specific traits that different people have, but that is not the point of this post. What I am addressing is we all have preconceived traits, what we need to do is identify these traits. Then add things to the input side of the equation for balancing.
My Mind + Body:
Like most people I get cranky and frustrated. Although I have been blessed with a lot of patience and a calm demeanor, that can help to balance these emotions. My biggest issue through my life is I tendency not to follow through on things. I would have ideas, but I would forget about them just as quickly as they came into my head. I was more of a dreamer and not necessarily an achiever. I had to learn how I could go from having an idea to putting that idea in motion. Not putting things in motion came from fear. I always had a fear of putting myself out there, posting something on social media always gave me anxiety because I was frightened of people’s opinions. This year I took the leap and embraced that fear. I was able to overcome this fear with multiple inputs either through exercise or knowledge that changed my way of thinking.
Once we determine our traits in our Mind + Body side of the equation. We need to determine the inputs to balance life’s equation. These inputs can be fairly simple from exercise and eating healthy, to complicated like acupuncture and therapy. Whatever we need to balance our equation we should do it. In a world where most people are busy for no reason. Determining the inputs to allow our bodies to meet optimum performance is important. Finding a balance is key to a happy and healthy life.
Rising Early – If you study top performers they all have a habit of getting up early. I’ve talked about this before in my posts on The 5 AM Club and my morning routine. If you are interested in this, go back and check out my last post! I have found that my mind always works best when rising early. In the morning my body is operating at a peak performance. Before I started this blog or even heard about The 5 AM Club, I started getting up early to exercise. I think this contributed to me starting this blog. There is something about rising early and exercising that makes you feel like you can accomplish anything and that you have no limitations. It is a huge struggle to win the battle with the bed! It is easy to stay under those warm covers and sleep, leaving just enough time to get ready for work and rush out the door. Although if you can find the strength to rise early and focus on yourself, it will make a huge difference in your life.
Exercise – I touched on this in the last section on rising early. When I get up at 5:00 am the first thing I do is exercise, I find this kicks my mind into a different place. I’m not going to lie and say that when I get up in the morning I wake up happy because I wake up like a zombie. Although after my first exercise, this kicks me to a different mind-set. By the time I am finished my work out I feel like I am ready to take on the world. I think this is a combination of two factors, one being exercise which releases endorphins into your body. The second being hydration, when we wake up our bodies are dehydrated. They are not looking to consume caffeinated sugar water, which I love. Our bodies are looking for hydration to kick them back to a place of balance. Exercise forces you to do this.
Meditation – When I started this blog post, my intention was to write on the benefits of meditation, but I’ll save that for next week. Everyone has feelings of anger and frustration but understanding where these feelings are coming from helps us find a balance in life. Meditation has helped me find this balance. Naturally I’m not an angry person. I think this is a useless emotion where no good decisions are based from. I am not perfect and do get angry. But meditation allows me to identify when I am getting angry and where these emotions are coming from. Meditation also helped me to focus my mind when it is veering away for a task. Our minds have a tendency to wander, by training our mind we can be more productive and focused. Pushing us closer to the goal of achieving “flow state.” Anger is a natural emotion and eliminating it from my life may be impossible. My goal is to control and understand it. There are a number of studies linking meditation to reduced anxiety and fear. And studies linking meditation to increasing your learning capacity. I won’t go into this too much, I’ll save it for next week. But I can say that meditation is an input that help to balance my life’s equation.
Reading and Learning – This is the most important input in my life. For anyone who hasn’t read my “About” page and discovered my struggles with reading and learning through my life. I direct you to that section of my webpage. Briefly for anyone who hasn’t read this page, I grew up with a learning disability and struggled with the reading and material comprehension for much of my life. When I started on The 52 Book Challenge, I had no idea what it would turn into and how it would change my life. My main goal initially was just to simply read more and expand my knowledge. From this challenge it expanded into this blog and an Instagram page. I can honestly say that by challenging myself to read, I’ve changed the way my mind works. I’ve found it made me more confident and increased my thinking ability to a new level. In my reading journey I have been forcing myself to read books out of my comfort zone. I recently read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and it took me forever to read it. I am not a fast reader, but I am a dedicated one and can force myself to focus on a task. The Autobiography of Malcolm X challenged me to a new level. The book was packed from the top of the page to the bottom with words. Not only this, the front was very small. You can tell how readable a book is by the amount of white space on a page. This book had none. When I finished the book not only did I learn about a great man that was trying to change the world. I also felt a major sense of accomplishment.
I also listen to a lot of audiobooks. My commute to and from work is dedicated to audiobook listening. As well, during my morning workouts I listen to audiobooks. I actually came up for the concept of life’s equation while listening to an audiobook. I am currently listening to Principles by Ray Dalio. In a chapter Dalio talks about his son and his struggles with bipolar disorder. Ray Dalio is a man with a great understanding of the brain and human psychology. So, when his son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder his sought-out psychologists and doctors to determine how to go about treating his son. Dalio talked about how his son used a variety of things to balance his condition like medication, meditation, exercise, having a sleep schedule, and other things. I then began thinking how life is the same thing as a math equation. The goal is to balance your preconceived conditions of our mind and body with healthy inputs. If we can do this, we can then balance and maybe even solve life’s equation.
Having a bedtime – Yes, I’m a child and have a bedtime, its 10:00 pm. This isn’t as much about having a specific bedtime as it is about keeping your body on a schedule. I just started Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life. Jordan Peterson is a clinical psychologist, author, and professor. I first experienced his work while listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast. I don’t agree with all of Peterson’s opinions, but I also think his views are worth listening to and exploring. In 12 Rules For Life, Peterson talks about patients coming to him with problems, the first thing Peterson asks them about is their sleep schedule. If this isn’t consistent, this is the first thing he tells them to change. Peterson says that it isn’t important to go to bed at the same time, but it is important to get up at the same time every day. Monday to Friday I do this, I keep my schedule consistent in bed by 9:00 pm reading and up at 5:00 am. I won’t go into exercise and my morning routine again but having a routine really helps to instill a sense of balance in your life. On the weekend this changes if we have plans with friends I don’t just leave and say it’s my bedtime. I enjoy the night and be in the moment. Although for the most part, I do try and say within a few hours of my regular rest and rise time.
Hopefully, this post gives you an idea on how you can balance out your life’s equation. The goal is to balance our preconceived conditions with healthy activities. The healthier the inputs in our life the closer we come to solving our equation. Everyone’s equation is different, what works for me, may not work for you. Although I would be surprised if you integrated some of the inputs listed above and didn’t see improvements in your life. If you would like to hear more from me, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram @the_52_book_challenge! Check back next week for the next blog post!