30 Apr BALANCE: A Happiness Killer
You’ve heard it said, “You just need balance in your life.”
I started thinking a lot about balance and the reality it that it’s not possible. And actually makes your life very stale, boring, and really a life that you don’t want to be a part of.
I say, “You just need rhythm in your life.”
This is common as well if you think about it. People talk about hitting their stride, or finding their grove, setting the pace, and all the other terms people use for life success.
The world and all molecules and whatever else are in constant movement. No one can stand in perfect balance, they must maintain balance. Which is simply a series of micro movements to keep life from just knocking you over. A gyroscope works because of centripetal force, not because of balance.
Why am I so hot about convincing you that balance is BS? It’s because I believe that this concept of balance is what is causing people to be living in misery. How many of you can’t stand what you do for a living? How many of you are not thrilled with your marriage? How many of you are tired from your children’s energy overpowering you? How many of you are overweight?
I believe that one of the top 5 HAPPINESS killers is balance.
Standing – If you stand in a balanced posture, you feel good… for a bit. But if you stand long enough in perfect balance, your knees start to hurt. Your feet will hurt, you’ll start to feel fatigued. How many times has someone passed out at a wedding from being in the bride or groom party and standing too long in perfect balance. Their knees lock and the blood gets cut off then they pass out.
Surfing – Is a constant state of shifting balance. IF you stand in perfect balance on a surfboard, you will get thrown off. Instead you need to shift your balance with the waves and wind. You need to be in a constant state of movement.
Business – If you have a perfectly balanced business with the right amount of risk, and the right amount of employees, and the right amount of clients, and the right amount of inventory. Then you are not growing. You are not gaining any profit. You are making as much as you need to pay for everything and that’s it.
Relationships – A perfectly balanced relationship is quite boring. Both people work, both take care of the kids, and both take care of the house, and both take turns going shopping, and making food…. boring. There’s no time for Both to be TOGETHER. If 1 is always doing, then the other is always relaxing, and neither one is happily enjoying each other. (I’m being extreme to make a point)
Now that you’re yelling at me about that last one
The reality is that everything we do in life is in a constant state of movement. It is impossible to move and still maintain perfect balance.
Let me try to illustrate my point.
Walking – When walking, you are falling forward in a direction that you KNOW will move you forward. You also know from experience that your other foot will catch your fall. That is not balance. It is an understanding of your body and your surroundings in such a way that you trust that even though you are out of balance, you will soon be in a safe place and that risk is worth taking.
Surfing – With surfing, it’s the opposite of walking. You are standing on a surface that you little understanding of what is about to happen. You make assumptions about where the next bump or shift is coming from based on your experience of the ocean and how it responds. You are constantly shifting your weight to counter act the ocean’s attempt to throw you. Once, you are skilled enough, then you begin to lean the board one way or the other knowing that the speed of the wave is going to continue to propel you forward and keep you on your feet.
Business – Business is much like surfing. You have a direction that you want to go in, and you can see an end goal but what you don’t know is all the steps that will get you there. How many businesses started out with one intention and ended up with something different. Facebook is a great example. Started out as a way to connect college kids that was private from the rest of the world. Now there are more active Facebook users than there are people on the planet…. hmm. Business is in a constant shift and the ones who are successful take risks and calculate potential pit falls, and hire the right people in the right timing and unfortunately fire people who are not helping their cause. Not very balanced.
Relationships – Good relationships are more like the seasons. Each season has it’s special needs and each person needs to adapt how they relate to the other in those seasons, just like you change your dress for the various weather and seasons. People have different needs, and sometimes 1 needs to rest while the other works, but sometimes both need to rest at the same time because without connection there is no relationship. Sometimes it’s beneficial for both to work and the kids to learn some self reliance. It’s important that a relationship is constantly changing as life changes.
LIFE IS RHYTHM
Life is more like a constant shifting. As people, we see and work in patterns, sometimes even when they are not even really there. For example has anyone seen the face on the moon? Or a shape in a cloud?
We like things to be in a rhythm that we can understand and quantify and predict and strategize. The beautiful things in nature are beautiful because of their slight imperfections, and their ability to shift in the wind.
Marathon runners have a “pace” that they need to run in or they will get injured, and tired, and not able to complete the race.
Rhythm is so important that our hearts beat in rhythm and in fact when they beat out of rhythm it’s called an attack.
Walking – Is a rhythm. You walk in rhythm, and in fact if you need to STAND for any length of time you will need to shift your weight around to make sure you get stuck in one position for too long.
Surfing (or any sport for that matter) – Is obviously rhythm. You need to be in a constant state of shifting and motion, and once you can read the pattern of the waves and wind (which they are all in a pattern) you will then be able to successfully navigate the wave and stay on the board.
Business – By now you probably get where I’m going with this. Business is about momentum and learning how to fall forward and catch your self with planned precision. It’s about taking risk and reaping the reward.
Relationships – Rhythm is obvious here is it not *wink* *wink*. To truly enjoy your relationships and have healthy interactions you will need to learn how to truly connect with the other person. Since both people are in constant shift and growing and changing needs as life changes, then it’s imperative that you create a rhythm that works for each other. When one feels out of rhythm that is when dissatisfaction comes in. The key isn’t to jump ship, but to right the rhythm and discover what works for both people. Sometimes that takes one person changing an aspect of their life in order to create the harmony that is so important.
Music IS the Analogy for Life
We connect with music so well because it satisfies a lot of our natural human needs. We identify with certain types of music when we are going through certain types of emotional states. Happy songs when we feel happy, depressing songs when we feel depressed, and angry songs when we are angry.
I feel that anyone can identify with music at any time in their life. There was even a time in my life where I wouldn’t listen to any music at all. For about 1 1/2years I went without actively listening to music. No radio, no CD’s, nothing. It was a very challenging time for me, but I did it because I wanted to listen to my heart. I wanted to connect with the world around me. From that experience I learned a lot about life and that it really is music. The sounds and rhythms around us, our own heart beat and the thoughts in our mind, are all a story of emotion and passion.