“Balance is overrated.”
~ Thomas Leonard, Founding Father for the Coaching Profession
Balance…what do you think of when you read that word? A balance beam? A balanced diet? Maybe you think of someone standing on one leg. I think of a see-saw or teeter totter, which is what it’s more commonly called today! I remember as a kid I loved going up and down on the teeter totter, sometimes coming down so fast that ‘BANG’, I’d hit the ground really hard, the other person would be lifted out of her seat and we’d laugh so hard! Then, we’d start the motion all over again!
The really challenging game would be to get the teeter totter level. Once we did that, we were afraid to even take a breath because we knew that would make the teeter totter move and take us out of balance.
Life can be like a teeter totter, can’t it? Your life can be going up and down rapidly, sometimes so quickly you’re nearly thrown off. It can be challenging to get everything lined up, or in balance. But once that happens, you don’t want to change ANYTHING because you’ll be out of balance again. But, reality sets in, SOMETHING changes and you’re off again…going up and down!
You know I started out writing this newsletter thinking that balance is what it’s all about. It’s good to have a balanced diet, to balance your checkbook, to balance your life so that you don’t work too much…there are tons of examples where balance can be beneficial.
When I started using the teeter totter example, I began to realize how stressful and difficult keeping EVERYTHING in balance can sometimes be. Whew! Even though it was definitely hard to do on a teeter totter, it’s so much harder to do in real life.
I also started thinking about how much fun it was to go up and down on the teeter totter. And how exciting it was when I got bumped when I was up in the air…I had to hang on, but it was FUN! It was hysterical to be the one bumping on the ground and watching the reaction of the other person.
I guess what I’m saying is that in life there are bumps, there are ups, and there downs…boy, we sure know that right now given the state of our country.
Your experience on the teeter totter can depend upon the attitude you bring along with you. Could we have gotten hurt bumping on the ground and being lifted off the teeter totter? Yup. Could we have gotten scared because we were being lifted off the teeter totter? Sure. But we were kids and we ran to the teeter totter with our best friend because it was fun and exciting.
What would happen if for just a few minutes you looked at your life as if it were a teeter totter you were on with your best friend? Is it possible that the ups are uplifting and the downs are bumpy, and you know you’ll most likely be back on the upside before too long? Could this exercise lead you to a shift in your perspective of life, especially when you are on the downside?
During this magical holiday season, I hope you’ll smile as you think about the valuable lessons playing on a child’s teeter totter can teach you – how to enjoy the ups and to not dwell on the downs, because before too long you’ll be back in motion again.