Out of Control (or why balance is overrated)

Out of ControlIf there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that balance is overrated.

Sometimes your life will be highly out of balance, and that’s perfectly fine. Sometimes you will be particularly enamored (or obsessed) with one thing, and the rest of your life is thrown off its axis.

When you become hyper-focused, for a few months your career may be your primary focus (which can be the case if you’re working toward quitting your job and doing something you love for a living). You might go into a cave to work on a project to take your success to a new level and intentionally neglect the other areas of your life.

Maybe your relationships will be your primary focus for a period of life, as well as learning how to cultivate them more intimately and intelligently.

At another time, your attention might be concentrated on overhauling your diet and changing your fitness habits.

At different periods of my life, I’ve found it necessary to become highly unbalanced in order to find a greater equilibrium. At certain times I’ve focused mostly on self development, confidence and reclaiming ownership of my mind. There have been periods where I’ve intentionally neglected different areas of my life and worked on building my business so I could quit my job and work for myself. At the beginning of 2009, my main focus was on changing my relationship to food and moving toward eating more raw foods. Most recently, I’ve become more focused on the physical expression of self development: martial arts, gymnastics, trail-running.

From the outside, it would be very easy for someone to look at the way I live and conclude that I live a highly unbalanced life. They might even think that’s it out of control. And that’s perfectly fine with me. My aim is not to live a balanced life. My aim is to do what excites me, and follow the path that makes me come alive.

Unbalanced success

I’ve become highly unbalanced to accomplish much of the success I’ve had with this website and my business.

When I wrote Reclaim Your Dreams and The Zero Hour Workweek, that was the only thing I did. I didn’t work on building traffic, I didn’t try to write blog posts, tweak the design, or work on social media. I just wrote until I was done. It was highly unbalanced. And extremely effective.

When I created Paid to Exist, that’s all that I worked on.

When I decided to become a life coach, I completely immersed myself in learning everything I could to become a coach.

At any given point during these times, my life might have looked seriously unbalanced. I would call it something else… full engagement.

You could perpetually toe-dip and divide each endeavor into perfectly partitioned portions. That would be safe. That would probably feel pretty comfortable. And you’d have the approval of the majority of those around you.

But chances are, that wouldn’t be very exciting, and it most certainly won’t lead to greatness.

Being truly exceptional requires complete immersion. Becoming great demands that you give yourself to your practice fully.

I think that too much weight can be put on finding the perfect balance. If you’re highly balanced and highly bored, what’s the point? I would rather do what makes me fulfilled.

Perhaps this elusive balance doesn’t really exist. The greatest equilibrium might be found off-center.

So, maybe it makes more sense to do what makes you come alive, and leave it for others to decide whether you’re balanced or not.

photo courtesy of milesizz

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