The Rule Of Balancing Out

Do You Follow This Rule?

The Context

A few months ago, I was with a brother, and he was sharing his concerns with me. I’ve mentioned him in an earlier post. Check it here. In that post I talked about the attitude we should take in facing life’s difficulties. Whenever we meet, we discuss a lot of things. And that night I was with him, in his home. 

Among other things, he has financial issues. So, he was telling me how he was feeling guilty after traveling in an AC three-tier train compartment. He was feeling guilty for throwing extra money on his comfort. He said he should have bought a ticket for the sleeper class. The ticket fare is much less. At that time, I told him about the Rule of Balancing Out. 

Okay, disclaimer first. I haven’t read or heard about this rule anywhere. That night it suddenly popped up in my head. It may be that someone has already talked about this rule in some book or lecture, but I don’t know. It may also be that you already follow this rule in your life to some extent. This is not a radical new idea. Here it is.

The Rule of Balancing Out

Whenever we do something for our comfort or pleasure, at the expense of overlooking necessities, we should balance out these indulgences with giving equal amounts of ‘compensation work’ to our essential task. In other words, if you do something for pleasure, but overlook the actual essential work, do also give equal attention to that. For example, you’re supposed to study. But you ignored your study and indulged in entertainment. Now, if you feel guilty about it and think that you shouldn’t have indulged in entertainment, just compensate for it. Study for an equal amount of time or more. Now, it’s balanced out. Understood? Simple rule, isn’t it? 

I said to that brother, if you like to travel by AC compartments, then travel. No problem. But make sure to earn that money. If you earn and then spend it on your luxuries, it’s completely okay. He is in a position that he should spend his money very thoughtfully. He can’t afford to waste his money on luxuries. But I said, “Hey look, seeking comfort and convenience is not wrong. But don’t do it at the cost of killing your valuable resource. If you do that, you should also put in the effort to compensate for it. Don’t buy cigarettes for the next one month, for example. Sacrifice something. Then it makes sense. Otherwise, you’re just a spoilt brat.”

It may be that some of you already follow this principle in your life. I follow this rule in this way…

If on any given day, I haven’t read or written something, or haven’t done my chanting, pranayam or meditation, I start to feel guilty. I start to feel that I’ve wasted my day. Now, to free myself from this guilt, I make sure to read or write something every day. And even if it is for 10 minutes, I make sure to chant, meditate or contemplate. Usually I don’t waste my time on useless things. But, sometimes, I spend too much time on my mobile. I apply this rule here. If I use my mobile too much on unnecessary things, I don’t use it that much the next day. Or, I do productive things, like reading, writing or contemplating on my life. 

Last Words

Sometimes, we may feel guilty for savouring that sugary pastry, or sipping that extra cup of tea or coffee, or wasting our time on mobile instead of playing with our kids. It could be anything. Mind can be completely civilized and trained to do everything in perfect moderation. But, humans as we are, we are prone to do mischief sometime or the other. The mind, although we’d like to think so, is not an obedient boy who’d listen to all our commands. If it’s anything, it’s mischievous. It ignores our commands, ideals, principles, and does whatever appeals to it. This is of course the case with the untrained minds. So, if we don’t have such a trained and obedient mind, we should sacrifice for our wayward pleasures. Thus, we can keep the mind in check from its rogue pursuits.

So, this was it. How did you find this rule? Let me know. I hope it helps.

Thank you for your time. See you again. 

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Alok Singha

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