Credit: pokeken

I’m not a big guy, but I’m not a small one either. I’m 6’0″ and weigh in somewhere around 175lbs. If I was a boxer, that would make me light heavyweight. As I said: not big, but not exactly small.

I am big enough that I’ve managed to avoid trouble most of my life. Alexa Clark thinks it has something to do with how I carry myself, and maybe it does, but even when I lived in East LA, no one ever gave me any trouble.

But recently, I got back into martial arts and I noticed something: I can’t hit nearly as hard as some guys who are a lot smaller than me.

What it came down to was balance.

These guys not only knew how to throw a punch, they knew how to control the weight that they were throwing behind that punch. This meant that they could hit harder and faster, and then regain their composure and be ready to strike again more quickly.

Balance is something that’s important in a lot of things — like in work and life.

If we focus too much on one thing, we lose site of the bigger picture. We confine ourselves to a fishbowl. We can no longer see the forest from the trees.

You see this mistake in big business all the time. The people calling the shots and making the decisions have devoted their entire life to their career. They have lived and eaten and breathed their career for a long time, and they know their industry inside out.

But they’ve lost their balance.

They end up making decisions that are grounded in their “organization’s goals” but are completely out of touch with the outside world — the marketplace and their customers and what their “organization” is actually capable of. And the decisions they make almost (or do) end up killing them.

This is why it’s so important that we actually share in physical community spaces. It reminds us that there are other people out there, that there is a world beyond our niche interests.

Because if we are what we do, and all we do is act as if, then we risk becoming one-trick ponies who can’t see the forest from the trees or establish meaningful relationships with other human beings. We risk a fate worse than that of the pancake people. We risk becoming mindless automatons whose sole purpose is to repeat a series of steps that can bring us no true happiness or fulfillment.

To me, that sounds like a lot of career-track jobs I know of.

2 thoughts on “Striking Balance

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