When spinning out the only thing to do

“When spinning out, the only thing to do, as hard as it seems, is to get off the mental merry-go-round.”

Mark Nepo, poet and philosopher

Image from wikipedia

The Tilt- A-Whirl is a classic carnival ride found at almost every amusement midway in America. As its platform moves through hills and valleys on the track, the free spinning tubs rotate on an axis.

For people who get dizzy easily, the best coaching is to avoid this cochlear disruption altogether or at least avoid eating beforehand.

Many of us take a mental merry-go-round on a daily basis. We have our ups and downs and we often find ourselves going round and round, always returning to where we began.

Last fall we took our grandson Weston to Sesame Place on a fairly unpleasant day. Most rides — including the merry-go-round — had no lines and we could ride multiple times in a row if we wished. We all declined another spin.


Where is your personal or professional life spinning a bit too fast?

How are you making yourself dizzier through your own mental carnival ride?

What do you need to do to stop or slow down the ride to regain your balance?

Balancing, not balance, is the process of coming back to your center over and over

Balancing, not balance, is the process of coming back to your center over and over.

—Calm app Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Ethan Richardson

On October 1, 2004,  Fast Company Magazine published an article titled:  Balance is Bunk!

It has been a central myth of the modern workplace: With only a few compromises, we can have it all. The Fast Company article says this is all wrong, and it’s making us crazy.

The quest for balance between work and life, as we’ve come to think of it, isn’t just a losing proposition—it can be a hurtful, destructive one.

This is not, of course, what many of us want to believe.

In the last few decades, balance has won huge cultural resonance. No longer mere daily conversation fodder, it has become something like a new inalienable right with self-actualization and quality time for all.

Consider the concept of riding a bike as a fitting metaphor with the process of riding successfully is one of constant adjustment.

Similar situational adjustments and iterative shifts in our focus are the norm and we may need to accept and actually choose our imbalances—particularly the ones that make us happy.


How would the act of balancing versus seeking a steady state of balance help you find your center in order to lead a happier and more fulfilling life?



What can and will you do to find and maintain balance in your life? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.


“Surf what is happening versus suppressing it.”




“Getting even throws everything out of balance.”





“Rather than choose ‘all’ or ‘nothing,’ choose ‘a little something.’”




“Getting even throws everything out of balance.”

“Getting even throws everything out of balance.”

—Joe Browne, Journalist

Image from Unsplash by Frank Busch

Where are you experiencing conflict? Where are you observing battles at home and in your various communities?

Where do you see others trying to even the score by fighting fire with fire or hate with more hate?

Where may you be headed toward some mutually assured destruction? How would cooler heads and taking fingers off the red buttons of life secure the balance and peace you desire?


Imagine you have just received your own Nobel Peace Prize.

What efforts did you take to receive this honor?

Where will you begin today?

“Surf what is happening versus suppressing it.”

“Surf what is happening versus suppressing it.”

Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Jeremy Bishop

What do Oahu, Hawaii, Jeffrey’s Bay South Africa, Tahiti, French Polynesia, and Bali, Indonesia have in common?

Given today’s quote, you might have correctly guessed that they are top global locations for surfing.

Closer to home for those of us in the U.S., California, Puerto Rico, Ocean City New Jersey, Virginia Beach and South Padre Island in Texas are places people recommend to hang ten.

It is estimated that there are around 23 million surfers worldwide, compared to the total population of 7.8 billion. That means, if you do the math, less than .003 percent.


Where in your personal or professional life would a few surfing lessons come in handy? How would being steadier and more balanced help you more successfully trim the waves in your world?

“Rather than choose ‘all’ or ‘nothing,’ choose ‘a little something.’”

“Rather than choose ‘all’ or ‘nothing,’ choose ‘a little something.’”

—Chip & Dan Heath – Decisive

Image from Amazon

It seems like it is necessary to “go big or go home” in order to get attention these days. The noise levels are so high that all in efforts are required to stand out.

How is this approach working for you or others in your personal and professional communities?

Growing up, my parents and grandparents believed that being loud and proud was not the path of a good life, and that humility and doing most things in moderation was the way to go.


Where in your life would taking the “a little something” approach be the wisest strategy to pursue? Where would finding a more moderate middle ground offer the right balance you may be seeking?

Friday Review: Balance


What can and will you do to find and maintain balance in your life? Here are a few balance-related posts you may have missed.


“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”




“He who will not economize will have to agonize.”





“Tweak the balance between your dance and your march.”





“You cannot outrun your fork.”

“You cannot outrun your fork.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Google

Over the first two weeks of September, Wendy and I had a bucket list adventure with friends. This included visiting Greece, and a 10-day cruise titled “Extreme Israel.”

On most days we walked, hiked, and even climbed around ancient sites and got in plenty of steps.

Upon arriving back on the ship, we were treated to top-notch cuisine provided by the Azamara Cruise Line staff. As you might guess, our forks more than made up for our extreme daily effort, resulting in a few extra pounds and some tighter-fitting clothing!


How can you more fully optimize the balance of your nutritional and exercising efforts to improve your health and remain active for many adventurous years to come?

Tweak the balance between your dance and your march

“Tweak the balance between your dance and your march.”

—Michael Bungay Stainer, Founder of BoxofCrayons

Image from Unspash by Sarah X Sharp

What comes to mind when you consider the word dance? For me, it’s playful, fun-loving, and self-expressed.

Now what about the word march? Perhaps thoughts of the military, or simply disciplined work not necessarily of your choice come to mind.

As a young boy in grade school, the though that I could or should not play until all the work was done was prominent.


Given that for most of us the work never seems to be done, where would tweaking your own dance/march ratios make the biggest difference?

How might you bring more play to your work, or dance into a more enjoyable and productive life?

economize or agonize

“He who will not economize will have to agonize.”

—Confucius, ancient Chinese Philosopher

Image of rocks balanced on a plane

Image from LinkedIn

Over many years of coaching, I’ve noticed several interesting trends.

In general, my clients in their twenties, thirties, and forties are most often on a highly intentional growth trajectory. They want to build wealth, pursue success, and increase their standard of living. This almost always involves accumulating possessions, and often increases the demands and complexity of their lives.

As they reach their fifties, sixties, and seventies, they seem to be more focused on scaling back, simplification, and greater balance. It is often because their many years of living in the fast lane, carrying too much stuff and stress, has become more of a burden than they care to shoulder going forward.


Where would a “less is more” strategy, regardless of your stage of life, provide you the added freedom and peace of mind you desire?