“Balance” is a word that gets tossed around a lot. Every life coach, guru, and tree hugger preaches balance.
It’s abstract and damn near meaningless in any context other than balancing two pieces of mass.
With that said, I'd be a lying idiot if I told you it didn't matter.
At the start of the year I recall staying up one night writing an article for a 3rd party publication. It took an hour to write the draft and five hours to edit. Yikes. Thankfully I’ve been able to get that number down a little.
Once it was finished, I submitted it and after that I uploaded a video to YouTube which I had recorded earlier that day. I didn’t start winding down for bed until 2 AM. The gist is that I got a lot done that night and I still had my nightly ritual to complete. “No exceptions” was my motto at the time.
At what cost though? I never stopped to consider.
Finally, I entered the dream realm around 2:30 AM. The real problem was that I had to get up at 5 AM every morning with the same “no exception” clause, the following morning was no exception.
I was freaking tired and I had two important meetings scheduled for that day. The only thing on my tired mind was what I could do to cancel.
And on top of that, I struggled getting anything done the entire day except for an endless loop of wasteful “things” like social media, emails, trips to the refrigerator, and anything and everything not named “work.”
Not even coffee could save me.
Discipline. Rituals. “No Exceptions.” But again, at what cost?
Here’s how I see it: I have to have a morning ritual and I have to keep my nightly ritual. However, I also have to be able to get things done during that huge slab of time called daytime. Without sleep, it’s not easy nor fun—balance is the key.
Why Do Rituals Matter?
Let me deviate from “balance” for a moment to talk about rituals.
Habits (another name for rituals) are a matter of direction. Think of yourself as a bullet being shot out of a gun that has no barrel. At least two things will happen:
1. The shooter would have no clue what direction it would go
2. The distance it would travel suffers in comparison with it being shot out of a barrel
Your habits (rituals) are the barrel that make you. Good and bad. If your good habits are sporadic, so then will your progress toward your goals be sporadic. To top it off, good habits are harder to maintain because the path of least resistance will always win...if given enough time.
Sure, if good habits are repeated and respected, they will get easier to live by. Start getting “flimsy” with them, though, and they will begin to disintegrate...rapidly.
That is why your rituals are important!!!
Balance Has To Be Respected
Back to subject of balance…
After this experience and countless others, it was clear to me that I needed balance. Specifically, I needed to give sleep the same respect I’d give my morning/night rituals—perhaps even with the “no exception” mentality.
Without rest, it will catch up to us. It’s like an overdraft fee. When you try to take out more hours to work than your body can handle, life slaps you with the overdraft fee the following day.
In this case, balance is needed between sleep and your productive output. But, it’s not the only form of balance. Same could be said about eating habits. Don’t eat enough and your body will suffer. Eat too much and your body will suffer.
Likewise, non-stop learning leaves no time for experience in action. Book smarts without experience does not an expert make (Yoda has spoken!). It’s important to balance learning with action.
I’m sure you can think of more cases of where “too much” ain’t too good, but you get the point...
Balance is ambiguous and a bit philosophical when it comes to applying it to life. Regardless of semantics, it’s real.
Get some sleep. Find the balance. It’s crucial, but not always easy.
About this guy...
Howdy! My name is Matt Kramer and I used to suffer excruciating death when speaking in front of a group, now I LOVE it. Overcoming this fear has changed my life and it can change yours, too. My focus is to help you overcome the fear of public speaking so you can build the confidence to go after what you want in life.