Don’t you just love those movies from the 80’s that taught us ‘life lessons’?  And how can ‘The Karate Kid’ not be in the top 3 all-time, 80’s cliché, moral-of-the-story, “..on a very special Blossom” list of movies?  Who doesn’t love Mr. Miyagi?  And what did we all learn from that movie (other than washing cars and painting houses can make you Bruce Lee)?  That we all need balance in our lives.

Balance means many things to many people.  I am sure a high-wire performer has a different perspective of what balance is than, say, a soccer-mom.  But nevertheless, balance is crucial for both of them.  I had a marketing professor at USF (yes, I attended for 1 full semester!!) mention that it is very easy for a CEO to cater just to employees or just to shareholders or just to customers.  But successful CEO’s find that balance among all stakeholders, and doing so takes finesse. <Thanks again, Dr. Goolsby>

And it takes finesse, inner strength and the ability to think objectively to find balance in our personal lives.  All too often we find ourselves trapped in situations as a result of other people’s expectations, our own good intentions, or just plain bad luck.  And in the moments when our efforts and energies are expended disproportionately outwards, to and for everyone else, it is then that we need to ‘wax on, wax off’.  We need to do our own crane stance and find balance.

My mom is a great example.  She is very giving and very supportive, but I saw her spend the past two years expending so much of herself on everyone except herself.  With tending to my father and my grandmother, wanting to do just everything for her four grandchildren, and, of course, still finding the time to worry about my brother and me, she had no time for herself.  And I know people find pleasure in helping others or feel the obligation is justified.  But external commitments can become unhealthy, figuratively and literally.

And there is no absolute right or wrong answer in these scenarios.  There is no model to follow, no road map of what to do.  This is where the finesse comes in.  We each need to ask ourselves, objectively, how much is too much?  We need to remind ourselves of our personal goals and desires.  We need to assess the negative impact our actions have on ourselves, no matter how positive they may be for someone else.  We need to strive for balance in everything we do.

Do I spend enough time with my kids?  Am I appropriately focused at work?  Am I involved enough in my church and community?  When was the last time I did something just for myself?  These are questions we should ask ourselves daily, fully understanding that circumstances and fate can, and do, cause spikes and fluctuations in what’s important in our lives.  I don’t know if I have balance or if I ever will.  However, I hope that if I do find it, Elisabeth Shue is right there to give me a big ‘ol kiss!

Ms. Call, don’t forget to find time for you!


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