alance. It is an ideal of perfection in life many strive to attain.
The idea is, if we can live in balance, we will not go overboard in anything and thereby hurt ourselves or others. We will not focus too much on any one thing and miss out on all the other things life has to offer.
We will exist in harmony. We will attain peace. We will stay healthy. Evil will stay at bay. Good will spread.
It sounds great.
But what am I really talking about here? I have no idea either.
Balance is merely a catch-all phrase and red blinking warning light for a lack of boundaries, an inability to say no, a refusal to focus, a lack of priorities.
The word is an admission that we don’t really want what we say we want. It means we must put down the fun work and do some hard heart work.
What do we really want when we say we want balance? I can tell you what we don’t want. We don’t want to hear the real answers.
We don’t want to hear that we stop work at 5:00 p.m. sharp from now on, no excuses.
Either inefficiency reigns in our work causing us to work late, or we are kissing our boss’s rear. Neither is a good thing.
Either we are avoiding something hard at home, or we are absentmindedly passing the time at work to get to our exciting lives outside of work. Neither is a good thing. So we say we want balance.
Actually admitting the harsh detail of what hurts instead of wrapping it in the vague idea of “needing balance” will start the healing process.
Eating A Balanced Diet
We don’t want to hear that we can no longer eat these foods anymore, period.
Either gluttony reigns supreme, or a healthy body image is filed under the impossible category in our minds. Neither is a good thing.
Either we are afraid of what our family and friends will say about our new choices, or we subconsciously signed up to commit suicide in slow motion. Neither is a good thing. So we say we want balance.
Actually admitting the truth hurts too much. But here’s where it gets powerful.
When we get specific, it forces us to name the real problem and deal with it.
We can keep peeling back the layers standing in the way of our dreams and use stronger and more effective tools to deal with each one.
The Balance of Marketing Versus Art
We don’t want to hear that we stop using social media and checking our phone entirely while we create our new masterpiece.
Either goofing off online is more important than our art or we are simply procrastinating and calling it marketing. Neither is a good thing.
Either we don’t think the world really needs our message, or we are lying to ourselves about how important our art is to us. Neither is a good thing. So we say we want balance.
Actually admitting creating meaningful art is more important than marketing nothing will help us make real progress.
Average is not thinking about the heart work you must do before you bloom in life.
You are definitely not average. You are most likely an overachieving, highly successful, intelligent smartypants that has some work to do. And you know it.
You find yourself, like I do, saying this balance word all the time.
Now dig. What do you really mean? Name it. Face it. Become a stronger person.
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Love this post. Been thinking a lot about the notion of balance. I like some people are talking more about “blend” instead of balance. After all, it’s not like life happens outside of work, relationships, spirituality, etc. For me at least, the heck with balance, I’m constantly working(battling) on the alignement of my priorities. If those are right, balance is less of an issue.
Thanks David. Priorities definitely force us to focus on what is important.
Love your site, Jeff. Excited to see how Guatemala tips the scales and unbalances your life.
Thank you so much for dropping by, Susan! For one, our experience there showed me how little we actually need and how much love we can give daily. Thanks for being such an example.