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It's NOT about being Balanced; It's about BALANCING

May 31, 2024

“Step with care and great tact, remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.”

                                                                                          - Dr. Seuss



Several years ago, I observed one of the most creative ways of making an impactful point by a professional speaker that I have ever witnessed. 


I was attending a National Speakers Association meeting in Denver and the keynote speaker was a man with a unique background.  He had started as a busker or street performer on the streets of San Francisco.  After years of entertaining audiences in the “City by the Bay”, he had now transformed into an outstanding professional speaker. 


Combining his powerful message with the street antics of juggling various items from rubber balls to machetes, all while riding a 6’ foot unicycle, audience members were mesmerized by his dynamic presentation.


While demonstrating his many physical feats as he delivered his inspiring message was quite impressive, what impacted me most was when he appeared to go “off-script” to bring home an important element of his presentation. 


In the middle of his talk, he stopped and said, “You know, I have been thinking about this ever since I came up here to speak.  I think I’ll give it a try.”


He then walked over to the clear, Plexiglas lectern which was positioned at the side of hotel banquet room.  Grabbing the sides of the podium, he shook it vigorously.  Its wobbling showed its lack of stability. 


He then shocked us all by placing his hands on top of the unstable structure and sprung up onto it, positioning himself into perfect handstand!


While stabilizing himself on both hands for what seemed like minutes, he calmly addressed the audience saying,


“You know, most of us think life is about finding and maintaining balance in our lives.  However, I have news for you – you are NEVER going to be balanced! 


Just look at me, while I am standing here on my hands, I am continuously making micro-movements with my weight moving from one hand to another.  I am not balanced, but actually I am continuously balancing from one hand to the other.  


Life is not about becoming balanced; it is about BALANCING!




He then calmly returned to his feet, and after a raucous round of appreciative applause, continued with his presentation. 


I have no idea what he said or did for the rest of his talk.  But almost 9 years later, I still remember the words of wisdom he shared while supporting himself, on only his hands, on the precarious structure,


“Life is not about becoming balanced; it is about balancing.”


Balance.  How many of us have received feedback saying we need to do a better job of being balanced in our lives? 


Busy professional careers and personal lives can seem to always to be in conflict.  Various elements compete for our time and ask us to do more in balancing our time and energy so we can do all that needs to get done, serve those who need to be served and connect with those we are closest to.


Most people can become exasperated with their quest to achieve balance.  I know I have. 


Just when life seems to settle down and things seem to be in equilibrium, something like a surprise meeting to handle a customer problem, a financial challenge or an illness of someone we love, comes in to disrupt things and the “holy grail” of balance is once again, out of reach. 


But what if balance was not a static state of being, something that needed to be achieved and then maintained, but rather a dynamic quest for equilibrium in the present moment? 


What if we accepted that things are continuously changing, and as result, our state of balance would always be in flux, as well? 


What if rather than looking at balance as a noun in our lives, or as Dictionary.com puts it, “a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions” we embraced it as a verb, meaning it is a state of ever-changing equilibrium in an ever-changing world?


With that being said, here are a few ways I think we can all look at balancing in our lives to achieve the happiness and success we desire.


  • Accept we will never be completely balanced – I have heard many teachers state, “Acceptance is the first step to transformation”. When we accept that complete and perfect balance will never be achieved, yet we strive for excellence in balancing our lives, it takes the pressure off and it allows us to transform our perception and embrace and enjoy our lives as they are.


  • Welcome changes – When we welcome changes that occur as challenges to our state of balance versus problems that need to be solved, it shifts our perspective and the energy with which we approach those challenges.


Think of riding on a surfboard (which I failed at miserably while vacationing in Hawaii, but that’s another story).  Balancing on the board is maintained by constant shifting and adjusting to the movement and disruption of the waves.  That irregularity of the ride is also what makes it fun as we navigate the challenge of staying up on the board.


  • Give yourself credit – Honor yourself for the degree of balance you do enjoy in your life, given the challenges you face. Celebrate the times you were discerning enough to make changes in your life to bring about a better state of balance. 


And, if you do feel out of balance with the elements of your life that are important to you, then do something about it.  Make the change and focus on where you want to be and what you want to experience, rather that chastising yourself for being out of sorts.


  • Quality Time vs. Quantity of Time – Most of us are all very active people with robust schedules and a myriad of responsibilities. Sometimes, this means that we do not spend as much time with those we love as we would like. 


This can lead to feelings of guilt about our level of work-life balance.  While these feelings of dissatisfaction serve as a wonderful catalyst to make some productive changes about how we spend our time, also remember it’s not necessarily about the quantity of time we spend with those we love, but rather it is about the quality of time when we are together. 


For instance, if a project at work is requiring longer hours and time away from home, be absolutely certain that when we are with our loved ones, that we are present with them.  Said another way,


“Wherever you are, be THERE”. 


This week, I challenge all of us to look at how we want to be showing up in all aspects of our lives and accept that while balance may not be a realistic state of being, balancing is always something we can be present to and striving to experience. 


The good news is you don’t have to do a handstand on a podium to experience it.



Chris Natzke

Black Belt Leadership Speaking & Coaching

PS:  If you are looking to enthusiastically create powerful and positive change in your life, click the link below to set up a 30-minute discovery call to discuss my upcoming Breaking Through Coaching Program.


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