The Middle Way is about balance, but is not as simple as adjusting weights until they are equal and then you are done. This is because the weights themselves are not constant, so, you need to pay attention to how they shift in quality. In other words, it is less like linear pendulum oscillation, and more like a spinning disc. Fine adjustments allow you to more completely meet your needs and priorities, or to optimize where you concentrate your time.
Your fundamental needs do not change that much. What changes as you move beyond childhood, is the extent to which they are your personal responsibility. We often do not pay them much attention until one is neglected and we feel its absence. As long as a certain level of safe shelter, available resource, community, accomplishment, and inner evolution is occurring, all is well. However, it is easy to see what happens if our environmental temperature becomes hazardous, or if we experience restriction of food or water. What is less obvious is the physiological reaction to solitude and isolation, or to stagnation in achievement, or development of the way we matter. These are all elements of the environment with which we surround ourselves and which may need an overhaul depending on career choices, family commitments, financial pressures, or health issues. It is up to you to find the sweet spot where you experience harmony by choosing what is required and eliminating what is not. Middle Way means bringing attention to where you do and don’t need to go, how you do and don’t need to feel, and what you do and don’t need to think.
As a person transitions into adulthood and beyond, the things that are deemed most important shift. Values change as you enter into intimate relationships and take on additional responsibilities. As you become more involved in your personal community, objectives may shift to being more about the development of others and less about your personal gain. For this reason, reevaluate your values occasionally. Maintain your equilibrium through awareness of the most critical factors in your life. Your Middle Way follows from putting into action the behaviors that you have control over to meet these critical factors.
Balance across the many domains of your life, family, work, health, environment, finance, social community, personal development, and recreation cannot be obtained by simply affording them equal time. How you handle the weight of each element depends partly on managing your time to contribute to each one. It may be possible to efficiently use time in one area that perhaps comes more naturally to you or is more easily supported by your life circumstances while others prove more illusive to Middle Way.
Where you focus your energy and manage yourself through time according to your needs and priorities depends on your understanding of the circumstance and how it can be a force for good or can detract from good. You can advance your comprehension by considering the merits of your thoughts and emotions and how they serve, as well as how they are applied in what you say and do. This includes what you pursue to survive and make money. It is only through understanding your inner workings, strengths, weaknesses, and purpose that you can regulate your time and effort to fully meet your needs and priorities. You can actively take steps to increase awareness of your self talk, emotional responses, and the behaviors you implement by reflecting on the following questions:
1) How does your thinking and associated attitudes promote positive outcomes?
2) How does your emotional framework allow for growth?
3) How do the actions you select bring forth the best possibilities?
4) How does your thinking and associated attitudes diminish less favorable outcomes?
5) How does your emotional framework prevent stagnation?
6) How do the actions you select limit negative results
Developing Middle Way increases your concentration, focus and self-trust. It brings renewed purpose and guides choices for ultimate success.