Claude and I were chatting one Sunday morning when he mentioned having to drive his wife to a neighboring city about thirty miles away for a doctor’s appointment. When I asked him why she didn’t drive herself, he told me that she didn’t know how to drive. He and his wife were quite elderly so I gently broached the subject of what would happen if he became unable to drive and that he might want to consider teaching her how now.
He smiled and told me that when they lived on the farm he tried. He took their car on the road that ran in front, a road with little traffic so they could have it to themselves. Then he told me that despite his best efforts, she never did learn how to drive. “The only time she got in the middle of the road,” he said, “was to change ditches.”
That condition is actually quite common. Most people probably live the same way. We strive for balance but seem to cross it only on our way to the opposite extreme.
No one is ever completely in balance only moving towards it. That line in the middle of the road is the target but no one ever drives perfectly on it. We get better over time, but there is always deviation. The deviation might get narrower over time, in fact, should get narrower over time, but balance is an attitude as much as it is a practice.
We strive for moderation but if looked at too closely, each and every moment of each and every day… and each and every act of each and every day is out of balance when taken in isolation. It is the overall sum of moments and acts that give us a better sense of the equity we possess in life and living. No one is ever perfectly balanced so don’t sweat it. However, everyone should always be moving towards balance.
To evaluate balance in your life, look at it over a longer period of time, say 6 months. Get the insight of others but don’t let them set balance for you. Balance is a personal thing. My balance might seem out of balance to you, yours might be something unappealing to me.
There are five dimensions where successful people measure equity – financial, psychological, physical, intellectual, and spiritual. Negative equity in any one of those drains happiness. Enough negative equity and you have the onset of misery.
The five equities deserve more treatment than I can give in just one blog post so, you have a schedule of at least the next five posts. We are looking for the middle of the road, trying to avoid the ditches, and doing our best to get somewhere down the road of life. So, in preparation for the coming articles, let me ask you how you feel about balance in your life? If there is one or more things you want to know about balance, about any of the five equities, or some measure of quality living you think is critically important, please leave a comment below or send an email and I will answer your questions.