Week 4: The mythical ridge line of balance

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
— Howard Thurman

For years I tried finding balance. That mythical ridge line between family and friends, work and hobbies. I searched hard. But it always eluded me. Then I looked around, and it seemed I wasn't alone – no one had found that mythical line.

For most people, the mere thought that you're supposed to have balance simply creates stress. I say, forget about it. Inoculate against that thought.

Ask yourself: Is it really balance I want?

I suspect not. After all you're human; sometimes you're fired up about a project, sometimes you're consumed by a hobby, sometimes you're lost in time with someone special... and nearly miss the last train home. 

Nowadays, finding balance is like trying to juggle plates while riding a unicycle down Oxford Street with a mobile phone in one hand. Instead, what I want is the ability to fully immerse myself in whatever I'm doing with an incredible sense of passion that just feels right.

I feel most alive when I'm completely immersed in something. When time alters; sometimes slowing, sometimes quickening. And hours pass like minutes, or minutes like hours.

You can't force balance. You can resist the noise and immerse yourself in the present.

I know, it's tough. We've never been more distracted. And we're completely outmatched in our struggle to stay focused. The tech giants employ armies of highly intelligent people to distract us; digital chemists synthesizing Class A cyber crack to trigger dopamine for affirmation. 

I'm not against tech. Tech is wonderful. But not when it's distracting me from the doing what makes me come alive... and the world needs people who have come alive.

When I reflect on the past week, I'm grateful I had the opportunity to immerse myself in a new project with a couple of remarkable people. I'm grateful I nearly missed my train because I was lost in time with someone special. And I'm grateful my daughter abandoned her SnapChat Streaks to watch Meet Joe Black with me.

And someday, when Death does comes dressed as Brad Pitt, I want to walk across the bridge knowing I immersed myself passionately in the moments and things that made me come alive – because that's what the world needs.

Purpose + Plants = Peace