December 13, 2012

Put yourself out there.

I recently read a short explanation for why live productions are worth the extra money.  I do not remember the author, but the premise was that inherent in any live show lies the tension and risk of failure.  When the soloist is all alone, and there is no possibility of hiding a mistake, the price of admission has been validated, and you are on the edge of your seat.

Now take a step back, and think about this from the perspective of the soloist. What would cause a person to step out and take that risk? (I will, for the sake of simplicity, ignore the professional arena for this discussion.)

Why does the church soloist do her special music?  Why do the performers in community theater take months out of their busy lives to perform for free?  What drives first-time marathon runners to start the race, knowing they might not finish it? Each of these people is risking failure, but for what reward?

The answer might be different for every person that has ever embraced that risk, but the greater question is this: what is keeping you from doing it? Put yourself out there! Tempt fate and risk failure, because in those moments, you just might discover yourself.

December 5, 2012

Solving a Rubik's cube the hard way...

Have you ever tried to solve one of those stupid little games? Just when you get one side all one color, you realize that there are still five more sides.  As you try to get those sides to look right, you undo the one you were so proud of earlier.

Is life like that?

As you focus on finding balance, its a tug-of-war between competing desires and demands.

There are two ways you can look at a Rubik's Cube. (I will concede that there may be a third.) It is either a device of torture that you have to twist and spin and manipulate until you have spent 4 hours and developed 2 ulcers just to solve, or it is another example of how Google knows all because you cheat and look at the video tutorial. (The third option is that your brain is wired in a way that solves puzzles like that easily - and then I hate you.)

Allow me to take this in two different directions. First, an unbalanced life is a lot like a partially solved Rubik's cube. If you've only solved one side, the hardest work is still undone. Anyone can figured out how to succeed at work, but if you've abandoned your family, or left God on the sideline, you have a lot of work left to do.
Second, we always try to solve things on our own, as if the network and resources that surround us are for wimps.

Stop it.

Lean on the experts, and don't let pride get in the way of maximizing your strengths by leveraging someone else's. (There is no shame in letting Google (or your mentor, best-friend, coworker, etc) take the guesswork out of your struggles.

I don't know what you struggle with, but balance is possible. Here is a great video, with the quote: "it's all wretch and no vomit." In it lies one piece of the puzzle.