Everyone talks about finding balance. Can you really go find it – just like that? It’s not like you can run down to the corner store, purchase it, bring it home and say “There, I have found balance”. Sorry, it doesn’t work like that. Does it take work to find balance and to keep balanced? I don’t think it is work per se; I think it does take some conscious awareness. Our minds become cluttered with the concept that we have to work harder and longer hours to get ahead, to workout harder and longer to get the body we want, to earn more money so we can possess material things, go more places and see more things. When we get caught in this act, and we step out onto the high wire, then it’s even more important that we stay balanced. It’s funny, but it’s at that exact moment that our life is the most unbalanced. We are so focused on crossing that wire to achieve the goal of getting across that we lose sight of all else that’s around us. A friend recently recommended I read a book called Flawless Execution. There was one excerpt in the book that was talking about the pilot and co-pilot focusing so intently on one of the lights that wasn’t working on the control panel that they didn’t realize the auto pilot controls were off. Before they knew it, they had descended to such a low altitude that by the time they looked up, it was too late. The plane crashed and all of the crew and passengers on the plane died.
Sometimes we get yanked out on the high wire when we least expect it.
We take our lives into our own hands every day. Do we focus on our goals and all that’s around us? Do we even consider having a safety net? Some people have very clear boundaries set which can be related to their safety net. They process beforehand and say if this happens, I am not going to do it or if someone asks me this question, I am going to say no. When I am organizing clients, many of them ask me if I want to take items from their home. I have had to learn to deliver a very clear no. I tell them that if I took all of the items that everyone offered me, then I would need to command my own clutter. They smile, we laugh, and then we move on. That part of my life is in balance. Is everything in my life in balance? Well, honestly no; I’m working on it though. Some people trudge on, and sometimes trample on others to get what they want. Sure, they want balance too, but they are in the middle of the high wire, with no net, willing themselves to the other side. You know the type, those Type A personalities who work long hours and exclaim they can’t seem to get anything done. They appear to be successful because of their monetary wealth, but where is their family? Is the wife at home with the kids all day trying to keep balance in her own life? You see, sometimes we get yanked out on the high wire when we least expect it, and most likely we’re afraid. What’s important to some of us is what’s on the ground, our surroundings, the people watching, the air we breathe – not what’s on the other end of the wire.
So I ask – do you seek balance? Are you consciously aware of what’s cluttering up your life so that your main focus isn’t getting to the other side of the high wire? Balance is something that you can’t exert control over and say “shape up or ship out!” If you desire balance, I suggest getting your personal priorities in order. Explore the possibility of starting with a list of the top ten and then rank them by the most important to the least important. When you are asked to take on another task or work overtime, refer to your personal priority list and if the request doesn’t fall in line with your priorities, then don’t be afraid to say “no”. It’s your choice whether you step out on the high wire or not. It’s your choice whether you have the safety of a net or not. Balance is all about choice.