I’m a man on a mission.
For too long, we have all been sold a bill of goods –and we have bought into the idea that:
We will be happy when we ___________________.
We will be fulfilled when we ___________________.
We will be successful once we ___________________.
We will content, peaceful, and satisfied just as soon as we ___________________.
Fill in the blanks.
The specifics of this message changes based on the marketing campaign, the product being touted, or the agenda of the individuals seeking to manipulate our motives and actions, but the general theme is the same:
“Our lives, as they exist, are insufficient and incomplete. You are incapable of experiencing happiness on your own.”
At the center of this argument is the notion that we all should achieve “Life Balance.” Once we attain this mystical (and I believe, mythical) state of existence, then we will finally be entitled to and capable of experiencing life’s intended joy.
Hogwash (or insert your favorite alternate exclamation here). I’ve had enough of this untrue and destructive message, and it’s time for a more truthful, empowering approach:
Life is not a hypothetical future. It is an undeniable present. It’s happening now! You will never attain a perfect balance, as life is in constant motion. Priorities change all the time. And, let’s face it, some things are simply more important than others.
That’s exactly why we need to embrace and initiate off balance moments. Engage life at a deeper level. Roll up your sleeves and claim your own joy, now. We do that not by achieving “balance,” but by living “off balance on purpose.”
This is serious business. Let’s look at the state we have created (as individuals and collectively, as a country) in our pursuit of balance, our desire to have a “little bit of everything”:
- Tremendous debt
- Stress, exhaustion, and depression
- Medications (prescribed and otherwise) to treat the symptoms
- Damaged heath
- Strained relationships
Ironically, the pursuit of perfection has exacerbated the ills it purports to address.
Is this a self-fulfilling prophecy? A misguided, well-intentioned effort? Or is it a deliberate attempt to keep us hungry for something other than what we possess?
A Different Approach
I believe that we can be happy, fulfilled, and vitally alive even during the off balance moments. After all, these are the only moments you have!
Off Balance is the way you will learn. It is the way you grow – personally, professionally, spiritually, or in any meaningful endeavor. We must be off balance, that is intentionally oriented toward a pursuit – in order to improve, achieve, or serve others.
The question is, are you off balance in response to your world, or are you off balance on purpose?
The Key is Purpose
At the core of this philosophy, book, and plan of action is the idea of living “on purpose.” This phrase has two meanings:
1. Intentional. Deliberate. Consciously chosen.
2. Connected to a sense meaning, a purpose high importance that compels us to persevere.
In other words, we must be decided about what we want and where we are going, and we must al
so have a meaningful reason to get there.
Purpose may come a desire for spiritual growth, a clearly defined set of values, beliefs, and principles, or a compelling personal mission. The quest for the purpose of a moment, or a life, is constantly evolving and changing, as our awareness, capabilities, and desires take new shape. But I believe that a quest for purpose is the first and most important element of a life that is joyful, rewarding, and successful.
By getting clear on what matters most, engaging a challenge that is meaningful, we begin to experience joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction during the off balance moments we experience every day.