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?
“To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.”
—Eva Young, M.D. Orthopedic Physician
Image from Unsplash by Jason Strull
How familiar are you with the concept of BE, DO, HAVE?
One way to describe this idea might sound like: in order to HAVE the life you desire you must DO the things that are consistent with your vision, values and BEINGNESS.
Other examples of this could be wanting to be healthy and fit without the proper nutrition, exercise, and rest, or wanting to move up in your career without doing the hard work to earn your advancement.
Where are you procrastinating and still thinking about what you most want in your life? What must you begin doing today to not have this habit become your undoing?
“The truth is our finest moments are likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled, for it is only such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways of truer answers.”
—M. Scott Peck, 20th Century American psychiatrist and author
Image from Unsplash by Nik Shuliahin
Most people have a relatively short attention span. Some say it is only around seven seconds before they move on to another shiny object.
It is for this reason I try, on most days, to select and share thought-provoking quotes of only one or two sentences. If the quotes I offer grab you, I do my best to keep my commentaries and exercises to a minute or less.
Your assignment is to simply re-read today’s quote to explore its wisdom. For extra credit, please reply to this post with your views and perspective on searching for different ways and truer answers.
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”
—John C. Crosby, 20th Century American politician
Image from Unsplash by krakenimages
What is your personal and professional experience with mentoring and coaching? How many brains have you picked and how many ears have listened to you before they pushed or pulled you in the right direction?
Where have you been on the other side of this equation where you offered to be there for others in your various communities?
What qualities made these relationships most effective and successful? What lessons have made the most significant and lasting impact in your life?
Where and with whom can you be even more intentional and proactive in your mentoring and coaching efforts? Who can and will you be calling today to ask for or offer this valuable gift?
Don’t play the blame game. Accepting things as they are and working to improve them is an act of personal responsibility.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Slim Emcee
Blaming others and playing the victim perpetuates a cycle of powerlessness.
Focusing on our role in various life situations can help us determine what control and influence we may have to make things better through our committed efforts.
No one ever scored any points sitting on the bench or for being a Monday morning quarterback.
What are some of the areas of your life in which taking personal responsibility versus blaming others would make the biggest difference?
What is the first step you can and will take today to make this shift in how you approach some of your current challenges?
“Truth does not carry within itself an antidote to falsehood. The cause of truth must be championed and it must be championed dynamically.”
—William F. Buckley Jr., 20th Century American author and commentator
Image from Unsplash by NeONBRAND
Where do you get your news? Who are the people and what are the sources you trust? What are some of the sources that bend the truth, provide widely divergent views and spins on current events, in pursuit of their own agenda?
In the past—and to some extent today—I was foolish enough to believe that the truth would always set us all free and that it was indeed the antidote to any falsehood.
These days, the truth itself does not always matter enough to set things right, given the many other divergent perspectives being advocated.
Where are you dynamically championing the truth in your various personal and professional communities? How can you better apply a “trust but verify” approach to the many sources of information coming your way?
“It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”
—Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī, 13th-century Persian poet
Image from Amazon.com
As a child, my favorite movie was the Wizard of OZ. Because of its length, it was the only day of the year we were permitted to eat our family dinner in our living room to partake in this once-a-year event.
There was just so much to enjoy about this spectacle including the music, wonderful characters, the engaging story with many twists and turns, and of course, the happy ending.
I recently came across a video which presented a provocative perspective to the story, pointing out how each character’s role help bring home the film’s enduring lessons.
What do the characters of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion mean for you? When Dorothy called the Wizard a very bad man, he responded “I’m a very good man, but I’m a terrible wizard.”
What are some of the lessons you have learned traveling your own yellow brick road over the years? How did your fellow travelers along the way contribute to where you are today?
“The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else.”
—Martina Navratilova, Czech-American professional tennis legend
Image from Unsplash by Keith Luke
Take at least five minutes today to reflect on all you have accomplished so far in your life. Examine your victories and significant successes closely to see what came before the wins and what happened afterward.
To what degree did you learn, grow, and enjoy the journeys that took you to these summits? How sustainable was the afterglow and how much momentum remained weeks, months, and perhaps years later?
Who are the people and what are the things that make your life most rewarding and meaningful?
What shifts in perspective would help you see far more of these moments as a series of continuous victories available each and every day?