It seems like everyone is pursuing that elusive goal of “balance.” There are hundreds of books, workshops, and seminars on the subject: work and life, business and family, dreams and reality – all about finding the right balance. But when I look at those unusual and often gifted people who think outside the box, break through barriers, and change cultures – at least for the most part – these are not very balanced people.
Legendary coach Vince Lombardi was obsessed with football, and it had a negative impact on his family. But some consider him the most important figure in the history of the game. Winston Churchill suffered multiple failures that would have caused most of us to give up, but his refusal to quit helped him defeat the Nazi war machine.
Writers, filmmakers, and artists throughout history were damaging their marriages, neglecting their kids, or ruining their health, reputations, and futures, but all the while, creating art that we value and honor today. Even Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Reagan, and many other modern day heroes all had very human flaws.
The question is – does it matter? Is a single minded focus on a powerful and compelling vision what it takes to change the world? Are we trying so hard to make everybody happy that we’re sacrificing the very gifts, talent, and passions that God has blessed us with?
Would we rather arrive at our retirement with a happy family and plenty of friends, or arrive with the knowledge that we made a difference? It’s easy to say we should do both, but the truth is, there isn’t a lot of evidence out there for that being a common thing. Certainly a few have accomplished that goal, but not very many. Even Jesus said: “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
Doesn’t sound terribly balanced to me…
Is it either / or? What do you think?