Life is not meant to be perfectly balanced and most of us don’t have a huge capacity for concurrent & consistent discipline in all areas of life. If this challenges your way of thinking than maybe keep reading. Here’s the truth, it’s not too late to learn to focus on one thing for 66 days and do it well. I’ve been reading a book titled, “The One Thing” by - Gary Keller and Jake Papasan which has inspired me to share these thoughts with you.
We all get 24 hours in a day to prioritize what we are going to apply our discipline towards. Exercising willpower as I pursue doing one thing is yielding net positive results. For example, I’m prioritizing physical fitness and the results are increase in Lean Body Mass with a significant decrease in my Visceral Adipose Tissue (VAT). Having excessive visceral fat is not healthy and is a predictor of all kinds of disease (heart disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, inflammation, etc). So not only am I getting leaner and stronger, but I am also taking myself out of risk categories for developing disease. Consequently I’m experiencing greater productivity, a larger capacity for handling day to day stress, an increase in energy and am being blessed with empowering healthy relationships. All this just from doing ONE THING well.
Resistance Training. This powerful new habit in my daily routine has kept me true to myself. It took me from July 4th to September 20th to develop this habit. Now it strengthens me and allows me to achieve my goals without having to exert the same amount of willpower and discipline towards this effort as I did before. It just comes naturally.
It took the same amount of time for me to learn the art of intermittent fasting. My short 8 hour feeding window allows me enough time to consume the protein my body requires. It did not come easily at first. No snacking between meals, no midnight chocolate, no sugar - dairy - gluten - but after a couple months of practice it is a natural part of my daily routine.
As a strength athlete I spend 5 days a week in the gym and also cross-train in outdoor sports like cross-country skiing and cycling. This level of commitment didn’t exist in my life a year ago. I’ve learned over the last 7 months that my willpower is drawn down by about 1:30pm. So this is why I choose to do the one thing (the most important thing) before Noon. To me this is fast and train. For info on joining the Vigor Strength Athlete team follow my affiliate link:
Did you know that a balanced life is a myth? That’s right, balance is merely the act of taking time away from one area of life and focusing on another to bring it back to centeredness. Meanwhile the former area of focus moves away from the middle and we repeat the process all over again. Even the term “Work-life balance” was only recently coined when duel income families were born in the 1980’s. The concept has exploded in popularity as a media topic over the last few years and I believe it’s a sign that we feel something is missing in our lives today.
I get that a desire for balance seems to makes logical sense...but the more I observe people who are high achievers and successful entrepreneurs the more I wonder if life is really meant to be balanced. Hear me out on this. For a moment let’s think of a life in balance as being in the middle and out of balance as away from the middle, towards the extreme edges. Get too far away from the middle and your out of balance. Got it?
Ok, so here’s what I’m discovering. If I try and give everything equal time and value, you know....to be balanced & growing in all the key areas of life, then everything I do gets shortchanged because not ONE thing is getting any significant time commitment enough to be done well. Get my logic?
It seems that knowing when to pursue the middle and when to focus on the extreme edges of life is really the true beginnings of developing wisdom. I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to live an average life. Make an average income, have an average marriage, be an average body type, average length of life, etc. My conclusion? I want more. I’m working toward more. I’m pursuing something extraordinary and to do that, I’ve got to learn a new skill: counterbalance.
I’m going to replace the word ‘balance’ in my life’s endeavors with the concept of ‘counter-balance’.
When we say we’re out of balance we’re basically saying that there are areas of our life that are underserved or unmet. The challenge is that when we focus our time and attention on any one thing there will inevitably be areas we are underserving. I think leaving some things undone is how we get extraordinary results in the areas we choose to prioritize, but I can’t leave everything undone so that’s where counter balance comes in.
The basic idea of counterbalance is that you never go so far that you can’t see your way back or stay so long that there’s nothing waiting for you when you return.
Counterbalance is essential to being well. As the COO of a growing wellness company, quality time is spent in the pursuit of wellness and abundance as I walk out my purpose. If I want to achieve extraordinary results in one area, like being an entrepreneur for example, than I need to spend extreme amounts of time and effort at achieving results with just enough counterbalance to have a personal life to come back to. Of course I’d need to be aware of my friends and families needs and execute tight counterbalance so they are not neglected.
The question really isn’t whether we go out of balance to achieve things. The real question is; do we go short or long?
Since personal life is like fine china that shatters easily I’m choosing to go short so that I don’t miss out on all the little day to day moments and because I don’t want it to shatter.
However, in my professional life I’m choosing to go long because it’s akin to a rubber ball that when dropped briefly will bounce back. And I’m making peace with the idea that in order to achieve extraordinary things, I’m going to have to learn this art of counterbalancing my personal and professional life.
Counterbalancing is really a question of priority. Something I hope my pre-teens at home will get a handle on as life begins to demand more from them into their high school years and beyond.
Many of you know that this past summer I decided I really wanted to make fitness a priority long term (like a profession) and so I acted on it. I’m in the planning stages of competing as a physique athlete. And since I want to achieve something for the long term (strength well into old age) I’m counterbalancing my family life with these efforts.
My training in the gym has occupied over 15,000 minutes of my time in the last few months. This is a 5 day a week commitment in the gym, and I’m not yet calculating the time it takes to prepare fresh meals that fuel my training goals, the hours of Physical Therapy and massage, the FIR treatments, etc. So you can understand why this commitment effectively took my life out of balance.
So then the question became, “how long should I stay out of balance?” Short answer: long enough to achieve my long term goals while meeting the demands of reality in the near term. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day and hard work towards a goal or achievement is simply hard work. As a result, what we do with the time that we work determines what we achieve. Since what we do determines what we think, how big we think becomes the launching pad for how high we achieve.
Every level of achievement requires its own combination of:
- what we do (with our hands, time and resources),
- how we do it (doing things consistently well over time)
- and who we do it with. (Who you choose to allow on your bus)
I am learning that as I want to achieve more, it takes a different combination of relationships and actions. For instance, as I achieve more gains in my training efforts to build lean muscle mass and symmetry, I’m also requiring more support from Sports Therapist and Massage Therapists to help me put overworked or strained muscles to rest for recovery. I’m also requiring the attention of a coach to prescribe and direct my training regimens I meet my goals and accountability partners whom I respect and trust.
I figure whatever I build today will either empower or restrict tomorrow. Everything I do in life will either serve as a platform to further my success or as a box to contain me from more achievement.
How will you use the time you’ve been given? What will you do? Will you think big enough to achieve your full potential? Do you even know what your limitation are? Who will you do this with? Who’s on your bus that will help hold you accountable to your goals, call you out on your BS, cheer you on and celebrate your achievements?
Are you willing to live a life that is slightly out of balance in order to achieve the extraordinary while using counterbalance to maintain the aspects of life that matter most like family and your spiritual life?
Do you have a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) that seems impossible to achieve right now? Sometimes things are easier to achieve than we think. Thinking big requires growth and just remember that on our journey to achieving big, we do get bigger! Your thinking, your relationships, your skills, your sense of what is possible and what it takes to get there all grow on the journey.
I am working towards being a growth minded person. It has not been easy for me to be open to the possibility that I was born to accomplish big and great things. But I’m lead to believe that achievement and abundance show up because of doing the right things without limiting myself. This means not fearing, not embracing a mentality of lack, but rather embracing courage and moving past my doubts.
My hope for you is that you realize this life is not meant to be perfectly balanced. That you were created for greatness and that it’s ok to pursue your passion and purpose in life. As you feel the stretch, remember to use counterbalance as your tool to maintain healthy relationships along the way. Now go get after your BHAG!!!
My BHAG is to become a competitive physique athlete, a Licensed Spiritual Healer and Raindrop Technician. If you’re open to having me facilitate a class on Raindrop Technique, VitaFlex, Emotional Release, or Oils of the Bible, I can most definitely do that! For those of you that didn’t know I’ve been a Certified Aromatherapy Research & Education (CARE) student for 2 years this May 2019. Part of my coursework is to present the information I’ve been studying to several groups of people. You even get to critique me on my delivery!
Message me if you’d like to book me.