175 – The Quest For Balance

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THE QUEST FOR BALANCE…

CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT:

Before I get into today’s content I have a little announcement.  As you may know, the Friday episodes are sponsored by StumpTown Kilts, and they have graciously agreed to donate one kilt, to be the prize of a contest.  That my friends…is an amazing prize.

I have been thinking for a while about how to structure the contest, since I have never done one before.  Finally, I think I have it.

There will be two ways to enter the contest:  

1.)  First, anyone who decides to be part of the launch team for the upcoming book will get their name in the drawing, you have to let me know that you also want to be in the contest though.

Now, I only want you on the launch team if you really want to be there, you can find out more about it at www.beingabettermanpodcast.com/TEAM.

If you are already on the launch team, and would like to be entered in the kilt contest, just write me an email and let me know. 

2.)  The second way to enter is super simple.  Just go to iTunes, find this podcast, and subscribe to it, rate it, and write a review for it.  Then take a screen shot of the review, and send it to me in an email to alf@beingbetter.men.  When I receive your email you will be entered into the contest.

Since I am closing participation in the launch team on the 15th of March, that will be the last day for the contest as well.  On the 15th I will put all the names into my Viking helmet, and draw out the winner.  I’ll try to video that, so I can post it on the Facebook page.  Thanks to StumpTown Kilts for providing us with a kilt for the lucky winner.

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Ok so here we are again, the beginning of another week of life.  Today I want to expound a bit on what I left off with last Friday…and that is, for us men to make sure we take time to focus, think about, and celebrate the things we are doing well.

It occurred to me that I spend a lot of time on this show talking about what we should not be doing.  I’m always talking about improvement, improving things that are wrong, and becoming better.  It’s kind of what the show is about after all…however, it is important also to pat ourselves on the back once in a while and feel good about where we are in the moment.

Improvement is great, I’m a huge advocate of improvement as you know.  But the very fact that improvement is necessary also illuminates the fact that there is something wrong, or something that we aren’t doing well enough.  If we aren’t careful, we can start feeling weighed down by all the things we need to be better at…and that doesn’t sound like much fun, and more importantly, its not productive to think that way.

The answer, of course, is balance.  I find that balance is the answer to many questions that plague mankind.  Balance is the holy grail, that thing everyone is trying to find, many times without even knowing that is what they are looking for.

The pursuit of balance is a huge thing for guys.  We try to balance our work life with our home life, our responsibilities with our recreational pursuits.  We try to find balance in our income vs our spending.  And, more internally, we seek balance between what we need improvement in vs what we are already great at.

Too much of anything will eventually become a negative, because it’s impossible to focus solely on one aspect of life without neglecting all the other aspects that are also critical to your humanity.

So, essentially, it’s a juggling act.  It’s not easy at all, and no one ever said it should be, its just the way life is.  I’m still juggling all these things, trying to find balance myself, and I probably will be until the day I die.  Thats just how it is. 

There are guys that stop juggling.  They quit trying because its too hard, and those are the guys that become consumed by their careers, or any other single minded pursuit.  Guys who never spend any time with their kids, and don’t have any real connections with other people, guys who wake up one day when they are about to die…and wonder what happened to their life.  These are guys who have lived a joyless life, choosing instead to worry about that one thing, whatever it is.

If you are juggling everything in your life, in a crazy, never ending quest to find balance, congratulations…it means you are alive.  It means you are a vital member of the human race.

In the course of our life we might attain balance occasionally, but just for a moment.  Before you know it some other area of your life will get out of whack and you will have to tend to it.  That is just the nature of things, and we shouldn’t fight it, or complain about it, we should actually celebrate it.  Because it is in this pursuit of mythical balance that we have our experiences, it where our actual life is, its where joy and victory is found.  It is in these most challenging of times that we learn how to appreciate the better times.

Here’s the thing though;  knowing how this all works gives you a little edge.  We don’t have to just wait around for life to happen to us, instead we can happen to life.  We can’t control everything, and balance will remain elusive, but the choices we make every day will chart the general direction we go.

Imagine a stock-market graph, it’s a jagged line that moves sharply up and down, it seems erratic…but over time, it continues trending upward instead of downward, because of the choices we make every day while we are out there trying to balance all the pieces of our life.

So back to the first thing I started talking about.  Improvement is another one of those things that can consume you, and put you out of balance if all you are focused on is what you need to improve.  It’s important that you also take time, make time, to savor your accomplishments and congratulate yourself on the things you are doing well.

Remember the things we focus on will expand, so it matters where exactly we place our focus.  If you are focused only on the things that you perceive as a deficit, things that need to be improved…then they will expand. 

So be very careful, instead focus on the act of being better, the accomplishment, the victory of improvement, rather than the need for it.  You see what I’m saying?

The story of Moby Dick is a classic example of a guy who was out of balance.  His name was Ahab, and he stopped juggling, he devoted everything to just one thing; that great white whale…and it destroyed him.  Don’t be like Ahab guys, there is too much life to live and too many experiences to have.

Now head out into the world and be mindful of where your focus is.  Remember to be happy about the things you are doing that are great, and celebrate the accomplishment each time you do something better.  You will be more balanced that way, and you will be a better man today, than you were yesterday.

 

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1 Comment

  1. […] what this is. If you would like some more talk about balancing your life you can also refer back to Episode 175, where I talk about it in slightly more general terms.  […]

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