Sometime last year, I was in a park in Central London and that was where I took this picture. I was fascinated by the way the young man managed to balance all four items on a stick in his mouth and still dance around with it! It was quite an impressive sight! He was no magician. He was just a talented young man.
I’m sure you’re probably wondering what this has got to do with anything but please stay with me. As always, we’re going somewhere. I read John C. Maxwell’s the “360 degrees leader” and somewhere in that book, he talked about the man with many hats and how it is necessary that the hats are worn appropriately as occasion demands. He was talking about balance. A man could be the Executive director of a company but still have the roles of husband and father to play. So while at the office, he’d have to put on the hat of Executive Director, while with his wife, the hat of husband and with his children, the hat of father. Same person, different roles.
I love life, really I do. And that’s because there’s always something fun and challenging about it. Show me someone whose life has been a straight road void of complications and I’ll show you someone who really isn’t living. Because we have several roles to play in the lives of different people, there’s the need to try and find a balance. In a post I uploaded three weeks ago, I stated some of the most important things in life that we usually neglect. In case you missed it, click here. It’ll help you understand this more.
If you really want to enjoy your life and at the same time live meaningfully, then you must learn the balancing act. Like the picture above you must learn to hold all things together. I don’t mean items, but I mean the various aspects of your life. It could include school, work, family, friends, protégées, religious responsibilities, relationships…
Now I’m not trying to create an illusion that you can live life perfectly, getting all things right. No, I’m merely saying that you can consciously try to do right and be more deliberate in your actions. Let’s start off with two interesting concepts; logic and emotions. A lot of people think that being logical and reasonable all the time is the way forward, while others think it’s really cold, heartless and unnecessarily rigid. Yet some others believe that being emotional is a sign of weakness while some others see it as merely being human. Here’s what I think. Life is not 100% logic and reason, neither is it 100% emotions and feelings. So you must learn to strike the balance. Of course you know it would be highly detrimental to you to rely on logic all the time. Logic isn’t everything. You won’t always have the answers and sometimes it is best to let your heart lead you. Then again, you do know that being 100% emotional is an express way to disaster. Your feelings will keep changing and so you can’t afford to rely on them all the time.
In that area, you must strike a balance. Try to be reasonable but also follow your heart. I can’t expressly tell you how to live your life and what choices to make, but I can tell you that when you learn to balance your feelings with reason, you’ll be on your way to happiness. Like I said, you will not get it right all of the time, but you’re guaranteed most of the time.
Balance is extremely important because without it, your life will be chaotic. If you’re doing one thing right yet doing every other thing horribly wrong, you cannot call that success. And this brings me to my next point. The many hats. Picture this. You’re this straight A student with no social life and therefore no social skills. You hardly remember to connect with friends and family because you’re either carrying out some research or doing some serious studying. You never remember details about other people and if it’s not academic then you know nothing about it… Hello geek, you have essentially ended your life even before it’s begun. There’s also the other extreme. You don’t go to classes, if it’s anything academic then you’re not interested, you party all the time, everything that’s wild and crazy is essentially you… Hey, I’d like to see you when you’re forty, let me know how your life turns out if you never took a moment to be responsible.
There are also the overly religious and super pious individuals that think that distancing themselves from anything that looks remotely interesting is the way forward. Well, to each his own. But my point is, I don’t see how anyone can find fulfilment living a one-sided life.
Then for the workaholics that think life is all about working hard and making all the money in the world so your family does not suffer. Okay o. Maybe they won’t suffer financially, but if you’re not there for them, they will suffer emotionally and trust me, that’s something that all the money in the world will not fix! Money isn’t everything. You MUST strike a balance. People have walked out of marriages and out on their families simply because they want to pursue a career or chase fame and the other finer things of the world. They have traded lifelong friendships for temporary partnerships and heart-ties for monetary gain. My apologies to you. Money cannot buy you everything. You need people and so the sooner you learn to strike a balance between work and the people in your life, the better.
As always, I’m not out to “get” anyone. Neither do I write as one who is perfect. I also do not write as one void of experience…. There was a time in my life when all the responsibilities I carried threatened to overwhelm me but I got through it by deliberate actions. You won’t be able to satisfy everybody! But you can do your best to ensure that you stay connected to those that are really important to you. The things I write are mostly common sense but in this crazy world of ours, we constantly need to be reminded of some of these things that we know but never act on.
It doesn’t take a magician to perform the balancing act. It takes a strong and determined person to hold it all together and do most things right. I know you can be that person and that’s why I’m writing this; because I have faith that you can begin to take steps in the right direction.
I look forward to hearing from you.