Headmistress (Middle School)
A Balanced Life

It's the twenty-first century - where pandemics are raging, wars are ongoing, connections take place digitally and attention is ever wandering.

Much has been said about finding balance in life. What, then, does it mean to find balance, especially in the twenty first century? And what does it mean specifically for the youth?

I could go back in time to find the answers. However, the answers back then might not be relevant today. Today greets us with a dimensionally different set of challenges in the face of balance. In simple terms, here's one way, I think balance, may be explained. In today's digital age of excess, abundance, instant gratification and un curtailed access - balance is... knowing when to STOP.

If thought about, knowing when to START also stems from the knowledge of knowing when to stop. Knowing when-:-

  • to stop scrolling on your phone and to start studying
  • to stop "chilling" with your peers to start "working" with them
  • to stop supporting friends who always makes trouble
  • to start hanging out with peers who are better for your wellbeing
  • to stop investing in friendships or relationships that don’t reciprocate half your effort or sincerity
  • to stop eating and/or starving yourself and to listen to your body; resting when it signals its weariness to you
  • to stop procrastinating and to be able to find a more sustainable method of time management
  • to stop talking and start listening
  • to stop latching on to thoughts - to start letting them go

In Sadhguru's words, "There is no such thing as work-life balance. It is all life. The balance has to be within you." Creating balance is a choice, it means that no matter what life throws at you, or what you do or don't get done, you maintain an inner sense of peace - a calm in the midst of chaos. Knowing when to stop is the fundamental foundation that builds balance. And the earlier the age we learn when to stop in order to start, the more our internal and external worlds begin to align. The external noise stops impacting the internal equilibrium and peace of mind trumps the need to seem "cool" in front of our peers.

Knowing when to stop also means learning how to keep a loose hold. This applies to many spheres – the harder one tries with things...the more they fall apart. Balance is the true harmony between effort and the lack of it. Trying too hard sometimes does not work in one's favour. This is the same place the adages "work smarter, not harder" ; "perfect is the enemy of good" generated from. As frustrating as it sounds, it almost always holds true.

Balance is about marrying the "must dos" with the "need to dos". Burnout – emotional, mental, physical, spiritual -- comes in a lot of forms especially today. And striking a sustainable balance is the way to steel our very full and busy lives from it. So maybe it's time we learn...

...when to stop

...only to start...

living our fullest and most sustainable lives.

Mrs. Aparajita Pal
Headmistress, Middle Section