For most of my life I sought harmony in life, a quest intriguing probably the vast majority of human beings on this small planet, trying to find answers to “What is the meaning of Life? What is Life? When is Life worthy of being lived? When to find peace of Mind?
The past years it seems I gained some critical life insights on some of those questions. Probably as part of my personal transformation of “life wisdom” that I gathered by maturing over time, some might just even call it getting older and hopefully wiser. It is never complete, it shouldn’t end, it is for sure personal and it can mean different things to different people. It surely doesn’t solve some of the big problems in the world like global warming, terrorism and the millions of refugees but by applying some of my rules you’ll be more energized to contribute.
So what are they?
Rule # 1 = Harmony in Disharmony can mean Harmony
Harmony in your closest inner-circle of family and friends. Harmony in your business life and in building relationships with your colleagues. Finding balance in your mental and physical health. Finding harmony in your physical and digital life. Many balances to be found and all of them demanding hard work.
I repeatedly discovered it took me so much energy to try to get all of them in balance at any moment in time as you naively believe this to be what is needed to be happy, well-respected and have meaning in life. Being a perfectionist has increased that challenge on trying to meet this believe that has been created by our society as we know it today. And social networks have increased that pressure as many try to expose some of that balance.
My conclusion is that you can find harmony in disharmony and find peace of mind once you accept it is almost impossible to have it all well-balanced and “under control”. As Coldplay sings “Nobody said it was easy, No one ever said it would be so hard”. Yes, life is hardworking and finding that balance is even harder. So accept it can’t be there every moment of the day and you’ll live happier. Control what you control. Let it go.
Once you accept this you will save so much energy, gain strength and vitality making you a better person for your closed ones.
The heaviness of trying to find that balance will be soon replaced by the lightness of accepting harmony in disharmony.
Rule # 2 = Work is Life & Life is Work
A second aha-moment was to discover that there is no such thing as work-life balance. This perceived WL balance gives the impression that you only live outside of work and you stop living when you work. I feel a good life during work is a critical condition to a good living in general. So work has to be life and it is not just the strict WL balance that defines satisfaction.
Rule # 3 = Don’t live Someone else’s Life
Life is too short. It might not always be what you expect of it at every moment in life but we have a very short time on this planet so you better use it well. Don’t have other people or THE society determine what you need to do, how you need to live and who you need to be. Always stay true to yourself and don’t sacrifice who you are for anyone. I love people not for what they do but for who they are.
“Be the Master of your Fate – be the Captain of your Soul” – William Ernest Henley 1892
“And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. Follow your heart, your intuition” – Stanford University commencement speech by Steve Jobs
Rule # 4 = Learn, Un-learn and Re-learn
Be a constant learner and never stop learning. Start doing some reverse mentoring with the new generations of millennials and generation Z. Open your mind and be receptive to new things. It’s also lifelong. It never ends.
“Curiosity is the engine of achievement.” – Ken Robinson
Rule # 5 = Do It with Passion
Work has to be what makes you tick and what gives expression to your passion. You have to invest in life so you get the return of those investments but whatever you do, always try to do it with passion and follow your heart whenever possible. It is like gardening; nature gives you back what you invest in it. Shoot for the heart and the mind will follow. Show your passion and you’ll make others sparkle with you.
“Passion is the thing that will help you create the highest expression of your talent” – Larry Smith
Rule # 6 = Find your Sparkle
My number 1 criterion to hire someone is not to look at their business or educational background but is to watch for the sparkle in their eyes. The same applies when meeting new people. In French there is a beautiful expression “Les yeux qui pétillent”. To grow and to be happy you need to have and to find your sparkle at work and in life. Without it, you are just living a life. Nothing more, nothing less. Find your purpose and you will find your sparkle. Re-invent yourself when needed and sometimes you’ll need to jump to find it.
“Some people are uncomfortable with expressing emotion about their dreams, but it’s the passion and emotion that will attract and motivate others” – Jim Collins
Rule # 7 = Life is not a rehearsal
Don’t expect a big play at the end of your life as life is not just a rehearsal. Many people I know seem to have a dream that once they stop working, they will do all the things they ever wanted. They have their Bucket list ready for when they reach their 60’s. Live in the now and not just for tomorrow. We all know that the journey is the true reward. Seize the opportunity, seize the moment.
Rule # 8 = Physical health is mental health
Invest in your health. Don’t look for excuses of not having the time. Make time. Exercise is an excellent way to boost your mood and get in shape. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain triggering a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine resulting in a positive and energizing outlook on life. So make it your way of living to get your free legal morphine. No medication nor laying down will give you that energy.
A healthy mind in a healthy body “Mens sana in corpore sano” – Juvenalis
Rule # 9 = A good, healthier and happy life is built with Good Relationships
A Harvard Study of Adult Development, the longest study of adult life (75 years!) that’s ever been done, showed that good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Not money, high achievement or being famous as expressed by many today.
The big lessons about relationships with family, friends, community and in business are
- Social connections are really good for us, loneliness kills
- It’s not just the number of friends you have and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship, but it’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.
- Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies; they protect our brains.
9 simple rules!
For you to decide which ones you would like to follow to find Your Harmony in Life!