This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.
The Elusive Quest to Become a More Holistic Thinker and Life Balancer
Here are some of my transformative goals: to become more holistic, live life with a holistic personality (I’ll describe what I mean soon enough), and seek more balance in my life.
Something went awry in my education and in my early development. Consumed with incessant worry about disappointing others, I became too outer-directed. In the quest to please others, I forgot to look within and try to learn what would truly please myself.
Life is a learn as you go process, but I’m still far from cultivating the personality and lifestyle that I know would provide optimal benefits.
In fact, when I first conjured up the idea about starting the Holistic Strong blog and accompanying YouTube Channel, I initially thought it was disingenuous to do so. After living five decades of dealing with problem after problem (creating many of them myself), I thought that I was too far from ‘inner Nirvana,’ to start giving tips and tricks on life hacks.
But my fervent desire to improve my ‘inner core,” longing to develop a more holistic personality and balanced life, has prompted me to engage in more self-exploration. And even when I regress at times (an inevitability), I can learn from my mistakes. And you can learn from them as part of the Holistic Strong community as well.
Perfection is not my goal … at least it’s not any longer. My entire life, I’ve tried to excel at every endeavor, win at every turn, and be the best in any competition.
And while I had many short-term successes, it never translated into feelings of happiness, security, and faith in a brighter future.
This quote comes to mind, one that I just made up myself:
“If you always look for perfection, you’ll always be looking aimlessly, devoid of real purpose.
And of course, you’ll be unhappy because we mere mortals can never attain perfection, though some of us pretend to ourselves that we can.
Consider this a bonus to the seven tips I’m about to give you in the quest to develop a more holistic personality and balanced life: Simply, give up searching for illusory perfection.
Here are other tips to implement as part of your holistic personality development education, living a more sane, balanced, if not spiritual, life. (A holistic personality encompasses the entire realm of our “humanness.” Here, we compassionately address social, psychological, emotional, and physical aspects of our entire being.)
Always do Your Best and Accept Your Best Effort'Doing your best is more important than being the best.' - Zig Zigler Click To Tweet
I purposely want to start with that prescription because it seems to contradict the “give up perfection” advice that I just gave.
But in this context, doing your best refers to your best effort. And it always should factor in the circumstances that you face.
A workaholic by nature, I could not fully function after my mom’s unexpected passing. I scarcely did any work after her death as my emotions seemed to spiral downward on a daily basis.
But I was not only dealing with unrelenting grief. I was dealing with self-sabotaging thoughts:
- I’m not doing enough at home
- I’m not truly present when the kids need me
- I’m shirking off work-related responsibilities
- I’m too emotional, and its interfering with day-to-day functioning
But the more balanced truth was that I was still doing a lot of chores while home. I was still helping the kids with school-related assignments, and chauffeuring my youngest wherever he needed to go. And I still performed rudimentary work-related tasks, whenever possible.
And simultaneously, I was working on me … trying to get to get to a “new normal” with the help of bereavement counseling and a trusted support group.
Yes, I was doing my best, although the critic within me could go the offensive for quite some time.
To develop a more holistic personality and lead a more balanced life, always do your best, and see what you’re doing in a more balanced way through a more forgiving lens.
[My caveat, not excuse]: Understand that doing your best can be affected by circumstances that you find yourself.
Be Kind to Yourself'To enjoy the true beauty of life, be kind to yourself..' - Debasish MridhaClick To Tweet
My beloved grandmother would always end every conversation with this directive: Be kind to yourself.
Being kind to yourself can lead to unconditional love — the type of love that you must give yourself.
How can your life be balanced when you’re constantly berating yourself about real and/or imagined imperfections? How can the future be brighter if you feel undeserving of a brighter future?
I once met one of my mom’s friends who seemed to possess such happiness. I asked her the secret behind her effusively positive personality. She simply told me the following:
“Every morning, I look in the mirror, and say, “I love you. You’re beautiful!” She was not going to let thinning hair, wrinkles, or any superficial imperfections, get in the way of her glowing self-concept.
Self-kindness is evident when you don’t reject yourself because of conditioned societal barometers, such as beauty or wealth.
You march to your own drum, in step with your desired pace of life, embracing what you think is truly important.
Be Kind to Others'We rise by lifting others.' - Robert Ingersoll Click To Tweet
I’m tired of drama, how about you? We engage in too many battles, 99% of which are not even worth fighting.
We take exception to what she said. We become defensive over any slight. We get embroiled in conflict over any small disagreement.
We know life is short, but we waste so much of it with petty annoyances. And too many of us (myself included) feel a sense of disconnect from people, believing that harmony and unity among people is an impossibility.
And maybe it is.
But that should not stop us from being kind and charitable towards others. Instead of harsh gossip, offer words of praise, when warranted. Instead of put-downs, extend compassion. Rather than look what’s wrong with others, discover the commonalities that bind us.
These don’t have to be major acts of philanthropy and kindness. Sometimes the most meaningful act of kindness can be simple in nature:
A smile, a gesture of appreciation, a cooked homemade meal, compassionate words , and any other show of generosity of spirit, can help the world around you, and yourself in the process.
You’re making social connections and that makes you feel good.
By being kind to others, you’re also forming a positive, healthy, and kind identity which helps you feel more complete and balanced.
Give up the Incessant Quest to Please Others and Say, “No”' When you say “yes” to others, make sure you aren’t saying “no” to yourself.' -Paulo Coehlo Click To Tweet
Yes, be kind to others. But there comes the point when you may be doing too much .
By now, you probably know if you’re a people pleaser. This is especially problematic if you often worry about what others think of you.
Here, you almost feel there is an insatiable need for approval. Consequently, you go way out of your way than most, refrain from giving a contrary opinion, do your best to live up to others’ expectations (even if they’re arbitrary), and the like.
You’re constantly measuring your social approval rate, just like the polls that measure the popularity of a given candidate or elected official.
But this leads to an outer-directed personality and unbalanced life.
One homework assignment that I have to give you: Read the 4 agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. One of the agreements is not to take anything personally . According to the author, everyone has their own subjective realities and sees the world in a unique way.
If someone does not like you, or criticizes you, the negative judgement is based on the other person’s take on the world. An acerbic comment hurts less when you believe that you have no control over other folks’ perceptions.
And you don’t have to judge yourself based on others’ negative assessments. Maintain your own power by refusing to allow others to define who you are.
Simultaneously, realize that you have to come first. By saying “no” when it’s unfeasible or counterproductive for you, you’re finally putting yourself first.
When you realize it’s not unselfish to be unable to accommodate all requests, you’re apt to lead a more balanced life.
Prioritize Wisely' “Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our to-do list.' - Patti Dighr Click To Tweet
Your “to do” list is a mile long. There are so many tasks to complete at the end of the day.
You can literally go crazy trying to balance all these balls in the air, many of them simultaneously.
Therefore, you’re going to have to channel your energies, and see which tasks demand immediate attention; surely, there are other jobs that can wait until tomorrow.
No, I’m not encouraging procrastination. I’m just suggesting the importance of sanity. You can’ stop feeling overwhelmed once you lighten your load, or learn to delegate better.
The holistic person does not bite off more than he/she can chew. A balanced life begins to take shape once you balance your set of responsibilities.
Go With the Flow Despite Turbulence'Wear the world as a loose garment.' - Buddha Click To Tweet
I’ve always been too serious and prone to depression, especially if my list of “shoulds” is not realized. The questions forever echo in my brain:
- Why didn’t this work out?
- Why did this have to happen?
- Why can’t I ever get what I want?
Remember, life is imperfect, and I did suggest giving up perfection. There will be adversity along the way, and we have to ride out the tough times without taking its toll on our psyche. Throughout any ordeal, we have to believe that we have the capabilities and strength to overcome.
In the interim, we set goals and do our best to achieve them. But if we fall short, there are learning lessons in failure, and we can then try to capitalize on our previous mistakes.
In our new balanced life, we have to remain flexible and malleable. We must accept reality for what it is (including its innate shortcomings), and cherish the process, and not be so overly consumed by the outcome.
We must flow through life going merrily down the stream; to do otherwise puts at risk of drowning in our own sorrows and disappointments.
Become More Mindful and Focus on Today' In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.' - Eckhart Toile Click To Tweet
Remember that long “to do” list? Here, you’re often trying to complete too many tasks, frequently tackling some at the same time.
This is an overwhelming experience. Mindfulness to the rescue.
When you’re mindful, you’re completely focused on one endeavor, experience … anything. And you’re concentrating on it in a non-judgmental way.
Here, you may be writing as I am at this moment. But with a mindful mindset, you’re enveloped in the experience. You’re freely expressing your ideas, taking deep breaths for clarity sake, and cognizant of your surroundings as it affects your senses.
When I’m engaged with my writing in this type of way, it becomes less tedious and more interesting and inspiring.
And if I have writer’s block, I meditate for a few minutes, knowing the words will come.
This type of mindfulness meditation not only helps my productivity, but according to studies (1), may even lower my anxiety and stress levels.
While I’m practicing mindfulness, I also have to practice a type of present-orientation. I can’t allow myself to ruminate over the past or worry about the future.
To develop a holistic personality and balanced life, you have to be focused only on today.
“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” – Buddha
Final Words on Embodying Holistic Principles
Here is a bonus tip: Just have more fun and experiment with many modalities. Perhaps you’ll embrace yoga or meditation.
It’s possible that walking will become more than a pragmatic exercise; it may become the avenue towards stress relief.
It may be time to develop a hobby or passion that you’ve ignored. Developing an interest in a physical or intellectual activity can simply make you feel better.
And while you’re seeking balance in life, help yourself become peaceful and centered in other areas. Embrace healthier habits in diet, sleep, exercise, and the like.
Simultaneously, keep away from toxicity, including your social circles. Stay with folks who appreciate your value, and affirm your worth.
When necessary, examine integrative and holistic medicine, although this should be done in concert with your physician.
All in all, our mission at Holistic Strong is to help our readers (and ourselves) live life more holistically with a healthy upbeat attitude. By developing a holistic personality to create a more balanced life, the quality of life will dramatically improve.
The tips above should prove instrumental in helping to fulfill this quest.