I remember learning to row a boat and to paddle a canoe. The first thing I learned in the rowboat was how difficult it is to propel a boat. One of the other things I learned was that each of my arms has a different level of strength. Not only did my arms get very tired as I continued to row the boat. I discovered that the boat had a tendency to turn in the direction of my weaker arm. Since I couldn’t make my weaker arm pull harder, I found myself relaxing my stronger arm to achieve balance.
This might seem obvious, but I started to see how the concept of balance enters into every area of our lives. I have thought a lot about the areas in which I tend to excel. The areas in general in which people might tend to achieve high skill levels could include athletics of various types, music, theater, academic accomplishment, or several other areas.
The example of a child prodigy comes to mind. There are numerous stories of children who were identified as gifted in something like music or athletics. In the accounts, often the family of the gifted child will make extreme personal and financial sacrifices so the child can develop their talent to its full capacity. Every time I watch the Olympics, particularly in sports like skating and gymnastics, I always wonder what happens in the life of the performer after their days as a prodigy are over.
I know a few go on to achieve celebrity careers as adults, but I always wonder about all the young people who trained as hard and did not achieve recognition like medal status in an Olympic event. Do they have the balance in their lives to allow them to achieve happy, fulfilled lives as adults?
The question of balance comes up when looking at the life of a child actor, particularly one who achieves great success in a certain role. While some make the transition from success as child stars to successful adult performers, it seems that many never do. I have read many accounts of child stars who struggled to become happy and successful as adults.
How is it going with rowing your boat? Is one arm stronger than the other? Is one arm getting tired faster than the other? Are you losing strength as you attempt to move the boat forward? How are things balanced in all the areas of your life? Keeping two things in balance may be challenging. Keeping more things in balance becomes even more difficult.
As we move forward, let us enjoy the areas in which we excel. These are the fun, creative parts of our lives. To balance these with the other things that make up our lives keeps us alert to all that is going on around us. What kinds of balance do you see in the lives of those around you? Are there ways you can help others achieve balance in their lives?