I started riding a mountain bike last year. The guy at the bike store talked me into buying pedals with clips on them. My first ride was on this wonderful trail at Walnut Creek Park. It was vigorous, relaxing, fun, and rewarding. As long as I kept my balance. Four times I lost balance and fell. Four times because of the pedals. I couldn’t get them off before I hit the ground.
Mountain biking is a lot like life. It is wonderful, vigorous, relaxing, fun, and rewarding when we have balance. Not so much when we are on the ground. Here are ten ways to attain and maintain balance in life.
- Make a Plan
You aren’t going to stumble to a place of balance. We don’t arrive at balance on accident. Balance takes intentionality and lots of it. Make a plan and be intentional.
- Take Some Risks
Think of the gymnast. She took repeated risks. She fell many times. And now she beautifully balances on the beam. Balance doesn’t happen without risk.
- Give Up on Perfection
You won’t experience balance if you are also chasing perfection. The quest for perfection leaves a trail of tears that clutters our lives with feelings of hopelessness and failure. You aren’t perfect. So stop trying to attain the unattainable.
- Schedule Sabbath
Sabbath isn’t bad like laziness. Sabbath allows us to rest, renew, reflect, and recreate—four things that make balance more possible.
- Get Physically Healthy
You know the drill. Eat better. Lift some weights. Stretch. Do something to get your heart racing at least a few rimes a week. Sleep more. You are more likely to attain and maintain balance as a physically healthier person than one who is moving in the wrong direction with their physically health.
- Say “No”
The one word that will most likely get you to the place of balance only has two letters and is a complete sentence: “No.” You are out of balance because you have said “yes” to too many people. You have chronically tried to please others, which is an impossible task, and have fallen hard because of it. Saying “no” isn’t selfish. Saying “no” means you are creating balance so that you can give your best you to the world.
- Have a Better Attitude
Balance isn’t found in negativity. It is found in being positive. You are the one who gets to choose your attitude. Choose well.
- Connect with Others
Dysfunction or isolation doesn’t lead to balance in life. Healthy relationships do. Invest in a few meaningful friendships and treat everybody else with kindness and respect. Listen. Laugh. Serve. Support. Play. Provide. Be vulnerable and authentic.
Clutter, complexity, and chaos are all mutually exclusive to balance. Simplify your schedule and finances and living spaces and create a better environment for balance to happen.
- Seek God
The One who is balance is ultimately the one who gives balance. Forgiveness, hope, faith, salvation, peace, and joy—these are words of balance and gifts from God. Seek God and accept these gifts.