If you want a healthy perspective on life there are three key things you need to do. The challenge is that they can conflict with each other. Knowing how to work with them all requires one special skill.
Time at Work
Depending on where you live, this may be obvious to you, but you need to set aside time to work. In some countries like the U.S. work and being productive is ingrained into our thinking so deeply it can be unhealthy.
But work is not only good, it is also not just about performing at a job. We need time to create. We need time to make things. We need time to produce things. These acts fuel us and provide us parts of our identities.
Some who are reading may consider that unhealthy – for our identity to be tied to our work – and, to a fair degree you’re right. If our entire identity is work, we are gravely out of balance. If how we identify who we are is based on our profession, we are missing a great deal of ourselves.
But feeling pride in what we create whether art, software, stronger relationships, flowers, fighting for moral issues in politics, or any other creative thing, is a wonderful thing that’s part of a healthy perspective.
Still, it is just a part.
Time with People
If all we do is work, we have missed the mark. If all we view ourselves as is someone who produces we will find our lives void. That’s why a healthy perspective includes time with loved ones and other people.
It’s easy to create time to work because most of us need to work to survive. What’s more, there is something innate inside us that wants to create and produce. Unfortunately, that drive along with others can often hamper our time with loved ones and people in general. That’s why we must make time to spend with them.
Time with others helps us feel connected. It gives us others we can rely on for support and help. We have other people who can help us consider opportunities, challenges, and the connection between them. Spending time with others isn’t complex; it’s not like you’re having to work out the world’s crime problems and solutions. It’s simply a way to feel more connected, hopeful, and positive about the world.
Whether going out with a significant other or having a special family day once a week or joining a club to spend time with other people on a regular basis, time with people is part of a healthy perspective. It’s also something we need to force into our schedule so it doesn’t get lost.
But spending time at work and time with people isn’t all there is. We must make time for ourselves.
Time at Rest
I love my kids and treasure our time together, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a better father for having time to myself. Our need to create and our need to rest are both significant parts of who we are and how we function. If we don’t take time to feed those parts of us, we begin to fail at the part that matters most: our connections with others.
That’s why a healthy perspective makes time for rest. We need to find how to rest as best we can. Where work and creativity fuel our need for accomplishment and creation, and relationships fuel our need for connection and resilience, rest gives us the energy to put into those endeavors. It’s the recharging station for success.
All three of these are important: work, connection, rest, but there is one skill you need to manage them all.
How to Manage Them All
The key to maximizing your potential and having a healthy perspective is balancing these three aspects of your life. That doesn’t mean you simply give them equal time or importance. It means you make sure you give them the right amount of time and the right importance.
Work is important, but people come first. Of course, for most of us, work is necessary to have the means to care for people. That is why we need balance.
The best way to balance them all is to make time on your calendar for each one each day. This is the bare minimum time – such as 15 minutes a day. You may paint on the weekends, have a coffee with a spouse, listen to your kids’ day, or sit on the porch with a glass of tea.
Once every week or two, schedule special time with loved ones or a group you hang out with. Find some time for a project and time just to enjoy yourself as well.
When you can find more time, take it, keeping everything in balance. Make time for these three parts of your life and you will find your life filled with a healthy perspective.