September 16, 2015
The strengths guide our inner processes and give us confidence to be more of who we are. We spend less time seeking clarity in the extremes and more time developing the truest expression of ourselves.
Balance presents itself differently in us all. What might be casual activity for some is extreme exertion for others. Think of what moderation looks like to a hummingbird versus a three-toed sloth.
On the most basic level, what is a little to one person might be overwhelming to another and vice versa. In that way, true equilibrium is subjective, it depends on the person. Not only that, it may also depend on the person and the day. Meaning, what is intense to us on one day might not be so on the next.
Because life is generally asymmetrical, balance itself can be tricky to measure, describe, pinpoint, and express. It’s a state that many of us work toward, yet one that we know, for the most part, only when we see it and find it. Nevertheless, in pursuit, we measure its presence and absence in our lives mainly by how we are feeling.
That is, it is not like a teeter-totter where we can see it outwardly. Only we can know, inwardly, because we experience it in that way.
True, others might see the results of the state of balance we are experiencing. Perhaps when we are getting wound-up or stressed out and looking haggard and acting crabby. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, when we have a serene look in our eye having achieved that peace and others are drawn to our calmness. Either way, balance looks different to everyone—it is not like sunlight where two people can sit and bask in it, agreeing that it is the same thing. Basking in the balance of life is, in some ways, more private than that.
It has countless moving parts, each of which are ornately connected. From something as simple as knowing how much sleep we need, to something as complex as determining the direction of our lives—we are the common denominator in all that we do. That is, we, alone, know how it all came together for us each day, even if we couldn’t retrace our steps for someone else in a way that makes our life make sense to them. We are the only ones to dwell in our inner spaces, the places where balance and meaning are sensed, felt, and constructed. Finding and maintaining balance is an act of fine-tuning and conscious (not constant) adjustments.
Our perception of it is, indeed, relative to where we are in our day, in our lives, and in our thinking as a whole. Add to that, myriad outside factors and influences—from blood sugar, to water pressure, to genetics—and we are looking at a pretty complex objective. The sensations of inner and outer equilibrium change by the second.
Let’s close our eyes for 30 seconds and listen and feel how the world is constantly changing around us.
Like it or not, we are learning how to be like a boat that rises and falls with the tide. Never overflowing, never going under, never capsizing. Going with the flow.
And, each of us go with the flow in our own way. The strengths tell us that much. The achiever and the relator will, likely, choose different paths in much of what they do. But, they will still share common objectives—connecting with the world, making a difference, feeling meaningful, seeking to create and receive value in life.
That said, when seeking greater balance in our days, if we are not considering the guidance and the language of our strengths, we are likely creating work for ourselves. If a competitive person strives for balance in the same ways that someone high in harmony does, there will likely be inner-tension and feelings of lack. The same is true for the other way around.
Balance isn’t one thing, after all. It doesn’t look one way. It is a sensation and an experience of life’s wholeness that we experience subjectively each moment. In that way, trying to create balance in our lives in the same ways that others have only works when both party’s definitions of balance align.
Think of that person in your life who never slows down. Now, think of that person in your life who is so laid back that you need to check their pulse every once in a while. Imagine the logic in saying, “The exact same techniques for creating a meaningful life will work for both.” No.
That’s because it isn’t just balance that we’re talking about. The strengths tell us that there are exactly 34 perfect approaches to any situation, challenge, moment, and occasion—inner and outer. Thinking that balance or anything must look a certain way is limiting our options. It gives us tunnel vision and it shuts out vital parts of our lives that are life giving. It shuts us out of ourselves.
By finding greater balance in our lives we are able to share more of our true selves to others.
What exactly does balance look like in our lives? If we didn’t give a single thought to what others might think, what would we be doing with our time and energy? Who supports us in the fullness of who we are? Who do we support in the fullness of who they are?
Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.