What is balance?

How do you achieve balance?

When I was a kid I had freedom to hop into a small blue boat with an outboard engine and whisk out into the bay at full throttle, a thin layer of water vibrating at my feet as the boat bounced hard across waves. Wind rushed refreshingly in my face, my hair flew in all directions, and the smell of salt and seaweed filled my lungs. I felt such an easy and intimate sense of freedom in that old blue boat. Somewhere along the line I developed this vision: I would have a great family and enough money so no one could pull my strings. 16 words.

Since my early 20s time was missing in my life.  My wife wanted me to balance the playful father and husband with the intense businessman I had become, but I could never manage enough time to integrate the two.

I achieved the family and money parts of my vision, but had no time left over for “no strings,” which I came to realize was freedom. I began to think balance was some point between wealth of money and family and wealth of time. Exhausted from the lack of time I quit my job and traveled.

As a long term traveler I felt like a hippy in that I exercised the carefree nature of owning little. This exercise brought with it a mellow satisfaction with life. I was in Nha Trang, Vietnam receiving a massage on the warm sand along the South China Sea when my friend, Frank Zolfio, took a picture of my face. It showed that mellow satisfaction with life. Intoxicating! I decided to carry this picture to help me visualize what I wanted to bring home and keep forever.

A good description of balance is “a mellow satisfaction with life achieved by a healthy exercise of one’s passions.” After exercising freedom during my travels I came home with three passions to exercise: family, money and freedom.

As to how to achieve balance:

  • Settle on a simple vision of what balance means to you (no more than 16 words to commit to memory).
  • Change your life to fit this vision. It may include changing your location and some friends.
  • Follow Dale Carnegie’s words: “Picture in your mind the person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that person.”
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