Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Is the Price Right?

I want to put to rest the mistaken virtues of a balanced life. The illusory life of everything completed, everyone is happy and you make the most of multi-tasking with countless "balls in the air". Every self-help book, consultant and yoga guru speaks about the means of de-stressing and finding a balanced life. Faced with the many challenges life throws our way, we are on a relentless quest to have it both ways. We want material success and security and yet put our focus and energy in places farthest from our goals. Proponents of the "you can have it all" school of thought rarely stop to count the cost for the desirable things in life. Every endeavor comes with a price on the front end and has a downside. The professional skills that necessitate climbing corporate ladders and founding great institutions, do not lend themselves to warm, caring, loving parenting skills. James Allen said, "A man is what he thinks about all day." Loosely translated, you get out of life what you focus on most intensely. How can you be great at a thing with unfocused attention? Multi-taskers boast about being able to juggle several projects at once claiming victory for its success. However, where is the success? Can you claim that you have achieved a level of excellence? Of course, you can't!

Since the dawn of humanity, every accomplishment, contribution or great feat occurred through a heavy price and great sacrifice. There is no balance associated with focused attention. By its very nature, it is slanted towards the object of its affection. The price for a focused endeavor requires time, resources and at time-friendships, whether it is building empires or being a supportive parent. Decide what you want and stick to the plan. In addition, most of all pay the whole price without complaint.

Ultimately, focus on the things you want and pay minimal attention at attempting to be all things to everybody. The selfishness of individuals is endless and you invariably lose yourself in the process. Even if you could have it all, you can't have it at the same time. Every choice comes with a price.

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