Balance is Bullshit
This is a quote stolen from Keith Ferrazzi's "Never Eat Alone."
Its an excellent book and definitely worth the read. I read this in my first year out of college and loved it. Everyone was preaching balance now that I was in the working world and gearing up for what seemed like a monotonous 40 year trot on a treadmill. I loved getting permission to have no balance, to be passionate beyond convention, to go against the grain of corporate rhetoric and philosophy.
I had a chance to meet Keith and even had dinner at his house one night a few years after I read the book. I told him the impact that one line had on my life. It was a great experience.
However, as I sit here now, I think about this entire concept from a slightly different perspective. Balance is such a subjective, undefinable term when it comes to one's life. Saying people should have balance is like saying people should be happy. What does it even mean? Balance is individual and it is therefore up to each person to figure out what the proper balance is through trial and error. This balance may be 40 hour work weeks and the rest family time, it may be 110 hour work weeks, and the rest exercise time, it may be anything in a billion different scenarios. The key is finding your own balance and being honest with yourself. What is mine? Who knows. I try to figure it out every day. I know I have a need for creativity, competition, exercise, reading, and traveling. How those balance, I'm not quite sure. To make matters more complicated, most of those things can overlap (competition and creativity in acting auditions, or competition and exercise). Maybe happiness is just the opposite side of the true balance equation. Whatever the right balance is for you results in happiness?