Balance is for Sissies.
“Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”
Leon J. Suenes
I just quit my job.
I still nearly shit my pants each time I say or write that sentence.
16-year-old Nick is chastising me right now. I’m in Texas, oil takes a nosedive, I have a great job, and I go and resign?
This was the working-remotely yoga business strategist dream job I had invented, and loved inventing. What does the next chapter hold? I’ve tried to describe the feeling several times, and feel it’s now left best in its undefined, visceral state, somewhere between my spleen and my pancreas.
I’d been pulling different levers and pressing different buttons to find that sweet spot of creativity and purpose, and it wasn’t happening. My song was still stuck inside of me. My fame monster began bubbling up.
I’ve never pressed the quit-your-job button because it’s bright red, covered in caution tape, and says “don’t you dare fucking touch this.” That’s how I’ve made my life work. So I never truly knew all the options. It was a blind spot.
It’s my year of yes, so in accordance with that I pressed the button. Oh God.
Now I’m using my free time to learn how to cook, kick caffeine, and read every book I can get my hands on (send me suggestions please).
The other day I came across this punch-in-the-face heading from Winning Without Losing:
Now, as a yoga instructor, I’m supposed to tell you tree pose will teach you life balance, your heart should always be open to sunshine, and green juice will make all your problems go away.
I’m definitely not supposed to tell you balance is weak and tension is strong. (Technically Jason Cohen said that, but I’m passing it along.)
I’m not supposed to tell you a sprinkle of stress probably means you’re up to something.
And I’m definitely not supposed to tell you perfect balance is futile. I could say resistance is futile, but let’s be real, resistance is locked, loaded, happy, healthy, thin, rich, and very effective at getting in your way. Damn. Balance is not for sissies; you had better bring your A-game if you’re taking it on.
Busyness, on the other hand, is for sissies. People confuse tension and busyness. You impress yourself and others with how busy you are – or how busy you think you are. It’s a modern indicator of social status. You get nothing done, you’re a martyr for not getting it done, you selfie yourself in martyrdom. And so on.
Let’s stop obsessing over impossible and unfulfilling balance standards and start obsessing over our roots. When the tree roots deep, unshakeable balance becomes a byproduct.
Here are three ways to stop being a sissy and get your life balanced as fuck.
1. Plan your work.
I don’t mean buy a planner. Stop hoarding cute planners, please.
Cultivate the practice of doing 100% of the things you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do them. To do that, plan it out. ALL of it. The time, the resources – all of it.
(This includes discovering and cleaning up that bastard filtered messages folder on Facebook – follow the directions here and start mopping up those messes.)
Here’s another mic drop from Jason: “Never say ‘no’, but rarely say ‘yes’.” A “say no to everything” mentality results in time, perhaps, but not passion or results or true impact.
Integrity is a phenomenon. Most people think they’re at 100%, when really they’re operating somewhere lower than that – almost doing the whole workout, almost eating clean, almost returning the messages – let’s say 90%.
And then, after a number of weeks or months or years, 90% feels like 100%. We actually begin to believe if we do 90%, we’ve gotten the job done.
Our M.O. is to operate at 90%. So then we start operating at 90% of 90%, which is 81%. Fuck. And then over time 81% becomes the new definition of complete. You can see where this is headed.
This is why we look at the President or Beyonce or that perfect-life next-door neighbor and say “WTF, how do they even DO all of that?” I was doing that. Then I realized I was operating at something like 4%. Making a turkey sandwich was “just too much”. Um, what? I needed an integrity intervention .
You’re capable. The push back to your full potential goes one step at a time.
Do 100% of today. Test it out, see what you need to tweak, know yourself and your bandwidth.
2. Work your plan.
I googled this phrase “Plan your work and work your plan” for research. If I read the statement “make a timeline” one more time I’m going to scream. How many fucking timelines have you made, and how many times have they not worked? There’s something under your skin that makes you deviate from your plan.
Here’s a truthbomb: If you’re overwhelmed, you’re out of integrity. Period.
I hate this truthbomb.
For some of us, we haven’t planned our work – the nitty-gritty details or what we need to do and when to make it happen.
For most of us, however, we’re not working our plan because of some sort of mental block or procrastination.
I get it. The work-your-plan part trips me up a lot. Any schmuck can make a to-do list. It takes flexibility and finesse to recommit and move your dreams forward when shit hits the fan.
Go for 100% integrity with 50% skill, not 50% integrity with the sickest instagram filters. Even if it looks bad and wrong, you’re growing because you’re learning what it feels like to get the job 100% done – and how often you need to throw the agenda out and create from nothing to make that happen.
3. Get a coach.
Did you know results increase 900% when you have an accountability buddy (Boice, 2000)? University faculty were paired with accountability buddies for a year and produced a 9:1 return on pages of viable academic writing.
There was another fascinating statistic from that study: The faculty self-reported themselves as working 60 hours a week. When they kept a diligent time journal for a week, they discovered they actually worked, on average, 31 hours a week. Conclusion: bullshit distorts your life by 100%. Get that coach, yo.
I know a coach is a splurge, and I don’t care – do it anyway. Health coach, money coach, relationship coach, pet rock coach, whatever. You’re not going to accidentally improve by 900%. A coach gets you there. And I really can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t want 900% improvement in some area of their life.
OF COURSE you don’t know what your coach will give you – they expose blind spots that you would never discover for yourself. That’s their JOB. Stop deciding what your coach will and won’t provide you; you don’t know what you don’t know.
You’re busy. But the notion of sitting around and doing nothing is boring. You’re a leader and you’re out to make a difference. So it’s time for you to own your grind. Not to impress people. Own it for you. Own how to make your grind work. Own your grind and all is coming.
PS – I’m working on a special project this summer. If you’re a trainer, instructor, shaman, astronaut or expert of any kind that sells health-based services, I want to speak with you one-on-one. Get in touch here.