A Balance of Power is Good For Your Health

Your attention, and where you focus it, could be one of the major keys to good health. “Wherever your attention goes, your energy flows” is a maxim that captures the idea that your physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and financial health hinges on how much attention you pay to it. When one area of life is given your full attention, it expands. You think about, nurture it, care for it and cultivate it, so it grows stronger, richer or more powerful.

balance of power by gail goodwin

Wherever your attention goes, your energy flows – image by Benno Poeder

When you get sick, it’s natural to ask, “why?” There could be any number of factors that influence good health or poor health, but a better life balance may be one of them. Few would argue that physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health is important. Financial health is important too. This means there are at least 5 areas of life that you need to pay attention to if you want to not only survive, but thrive. There has to be a reasonable balance between each one.

Suppose you choose to pay attention to your financial health more often than your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Over the course of your life, you may be at risk of reducing your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.

To be specific, if you choose financial health over your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health for 50% of your life, it would not be unreasonable to say that your chances of reducing your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health come in at 50%. Likewise, your chances of improving your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health would also be 50%. It is interesting to note that 50% of your leftover attention must then be shared across the other 4 areas of your life.

If you choose financial health over your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health more than 60% of the time during the course of your life, then you can expect to reduce your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health by 60%. Your chances of improving your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health would also be 40%. Again, note that 40% of your leftover attention must then be shared across the other 4 areas of your life.

To demonstrate this point further, if you choose financial health over your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health more than 90% of the time during the course of your life, then you can expect to reduce your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health by 10%. Your chances of improving your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health would also be 10%. And again, note that 10% of your leftover attention must then be shared across the other 4 areas of your life.

It is possible that 100% focus on financial health for 100% of your life means that no attention is paid to your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. This imbalance of attention creates an environment for ill health, or poverty, or both to flourish.

I’m not trying to demonise money, material wealth or financial survival. There are times in life when you have no choice but to focus a high percentage of your attention on financial health over and above your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. However, if those times occur more often than not, then over the course of your lifetime, there is a much greater chance your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health will be reduced.

When your physical, emotional, mental or spiritual health is in crisis, your attention is forced to focus on delivering you a return to good physical, or emotional, or mental or spiritual health. You reach a point where you can’t go to work and earn a living if you are physically, or emotionally, or mentally or spiritually unwell. You can’t always go to work or earn a living if you are emotionally unstable, or mentally ill, or suffering from a spiritual crisis. Meanwhile, the other aspects of your health, one or more elements of your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health get in to trouble. So your attention is taken away from your financial health. As a result, your finances may be adversely affected.

The same could be said about paying too much attention, for too long, to physical health alone. Those who do tend to become physically intimidating, or vain, or hedonistic or overly concerned about body image, or possessed by food obsessions or aversions. As a consequence, inadequate attention is paid to your financial, emotional, mental or spiritual health.

The same could also be said about paying too much attention to emotional health for too long, while ignoring the other 4 areas of your health. You become narcissistic, emotionally manipulative, lack purpose and motivation, or feel emotionally drained, and so you at risk of reducing your financial, physical, mental or spiritual health.  When too much attention is given to mental health for too long, while ignoring the other 4 areas of your health, you may become indecisive, confused, arrogant, or emotionally untouchable. These frames of mind can affect your financial, physical, emotional and spiritual health.  If too much attention is paid to spiritual health for too long, you might be self righteous, afraid of money, evangelistic, intolerant or lack compassion for yourself and others. This puts your financial, physical, emotional and mental health in jeopardy.

Without a doubt, excessive attention, when used as a form temporary compensation to improve the overall balance between your financial, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health is necessary at critical times during your life.

Excesses and deficiencies of attention are best used as temporary forms of compensation for the purpose of regaining balance. Excesses and deficiencies of attention over too long or too short periods of time threaten the balance of power, and therefore reduce your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Ill health or destitution, or both, become stronger and stronger possibilities.

No-one is perfect, and everyone’s attention spans and distribution of attention vary, according to personal concerns and life’s challenges at the time. Sometimes, one area of life demands more attention than another, but favouring one area over another, or paying too much attention for too long, to some areas and not others, puts those areas of life that are subsequently deficient of attention at great risk of decline.

If you need to find a better balance between the 5 essential areas of life, then at least 20% of your attention needs to be given to each area – with a consistency that is realistic and practical – over the course of your life. A fair and even distribution of attention across all 5 areas means a healthy, balanced life is possible.

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About gailgoodwin

As an author, trainer and mentor, my purpose is to inspire vision, creativity and productivity in the business of life and the life of your business.
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