This is the Ef Zin insight on Balance that you practice and experience in the program “How to Energize Your Personal Balance“.
We often catch ourselves falling into a cycle of routines that drains our energy and disenchants our perspective on reality. With work responsibilities, familial demands and personal necessities, it’s very easy to fall into an uninspiring daily pattern. So we try to inspire change. We adopt motivating lifestyles and develop new habits that will revitalize us and offer a sense of personal balance. Whilst going to the gym, eating healthy and putting our phone away are all well-intended, they can only take us so far. Unfortunately, their ability to inspire change is short-lived. They fill our days with seemingly positive acts without necessarily inspiring positive actions. Influencing what we do, without addressing who we are. Reshaping our daily lives, without inherently bettering the quality of our living. Which habits, then, hold the possibility of true and enduring change? How do we create a life of balance that energies us to keep moving forward?
Within the Ef Zin perspective, habits hold a more profound meaning than our eating, nail picking or smoking “habits”. Habits refer to our repeated behaviors as both the expression and development of our character. They are the actions we repeatedly do; carving out the qualities of our personality, reinforcing the way we think, and forming patterns in the way we react to situations and choose to behave. In the way we choose to interact with different people, choose to communicate our feelings, choose to develop our careers and most integrally, how we choose to practice our values in daily life. These choices – and how we approach them – make up the experience of our reality.
As we practice making choices we develop our behavioral patterns (habits) and energize the qualities that come to define us. It is through our habitual choices that we develop courage, patience or trust and their counterparts passivity, rashness or jealousy. In our on-going choices we activate and cultivate our personal qualities; exercising our strengths and negotiating our insecurities. It is in these qualitative patterns of behavior, true habits, then, that we have the potentiality of change. That is if we remain energized and animated in the way we make choices.
In our daily choices we have the opportunity to reevaluate our behaviors, reconsider the way we think, and refresh our course of action into one that can truly inspire and fulfill us.
Creating energy – especially an energized life – requires challenges that inspire change and therefore movement. Our choices are daily chances to challenge our character and develop the behaviors that will help us move forward. Through habitual choices we can expose ourselves to stimulus, feed our minds, empower our personal traits, and move in a positive direction.
Aristotle accredited habitual behaviors as the core means of cultivating true happiness (ευδαιμονία, eudaemonia). What we repeatedly do shapes who we are. Therefore, the quality of your habits defines the quality of your living. Beneficial behavioral patterns are those that are within measure (mesotita, μεσότητα) of your true character. When you practice measure in your behaviors, you then find true and withstanding balance in life. Practicing measure involves recognizing the nature of your real self as well as the nature of the situation. This means aligning your personal qualities and needs with those of your circumstance. For example, in evaluating “how patient should I choose to be right now?”, you consider “what is my personal ability to be patient?” and “what level of patience does this situation demand?” Always trying to find the balance. Never acting in excess or deficiency to the needs of the circumstance nor in excess or deficiency to your personality, abilities and values. Never demanding too much patience of yourself nor too little patience for the circumstance.
Challenging the patterns in your behaviors is a continuous dynamic process that creates a virtuous cycle of energy. As you continuously practice measure in your behaviors, you continuously develop your qualities and continuously open yourself up to new opportunities. Habits are no longer empty acts, but rather opportunities to energize your qualities; to utilize them through measure, give them direction and purpose in your actions. In your everyday, you have the ability to behave in a way that addresses your personal needs, accentuates your strengths, and considers your limitations. Instead of adopting external habits that try to negate or contrast your inherent character, you develop internal habits that work along side your personal qualities. You recognize the way your behaviors are attributed to the way you think and align with your personal values and abilities. Your actions propel you forward, as they search for what brings meaning and value to your character. And as you repeatedly do this; you form the qualitative habits that have the power to uplift and inspire you.
You create a daily routine that energizes you because the way you repeatedly behave is in balance with your real self and can now energize your true potentiality.
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