We are told all time time about the importance of balance.
- We should have a balanced diet
- We should live a balanced life
- We should manage our work life balance
However when it comes to our ambitions or our goals we are told:
- Dream big.
- Aim high.
- Don’t put limitations on yourself.
- Reach for the sky.
To me these are conflicting messages and ideals that don’t support each other. For instance if you were to ask someone who you believe has reached the levels of success that you aspire to, the chances are that they did not achieve this success through balance but through extreme hard work, or extreme amount of training, or extreme focus. You would be hard pressed to find some one who said the key to my success is “balance”. No one managed to finish their first marathon with a balanced approach to running, it took hours of training and miles of running to shift the body from its comfort zone to being able to handle 3-4hours of continuous exercise. Progress comes from overload and overload is the opposite to balance.
Balance is the fastest way to mediocracy.
That being said, balance is still important. It’s important if you want variety, familiarity and comfort however to move forward towards a goal, stretch and challenge yourself sometimes it means you need to invest in being out of balance and maybe even be extreme for a certain period of time .