Monday, October 24, 2011

Right Thing, Wrong Place - Getting Out of Balance

One of my favorite Andy Warhol quotes is, "I like to be the right thing in the wrong place, and the wrong thing in the right place.  Being the right thing in the wrong place and the wrong thing in the right place is worth it because something interesting always happens."

I'm often asked by our sales professionals, and even more so by our managers, about "balance".  "The bigger my team/business/responsibilities become, the harder it is to balance everything" is a common concern of professionals.  I also spend a lot of time talking and writing about the importance of living a balanced life when it comes to success.  I refer to it often as "The Four Cornerstones of Successful Living"

1) Health
2) Wealth
3) Profession & Purpose
4) Relationships

Success in one area does not equal success in other or all areas.  I truly believe that you need to focus your attention and energy in each of those areas in order to live a truly fulfilling life.  However, if we took each of those four "cornerstones" and focused on them individually, the subject of "balance" takes on a whole new meaning.

When I'm working with a sales professional or manager in a particular area of our business, which applies to most businesses, the fear of being unbalanced frequently comes up.  I hear things like, "I'm having a hard time trying to balance all of my responsibilities."  So, I ask a few questions, figure out where they are professionally, and how their business is progressing.  After a little digging, I come up with an answer that probably surprises the majority of the individuals on the receiving end.

I really believe that if you're in a "rut" professionally or even personally in life, you don't need to focus on getting better balance in that particular area.  What may most likely be the answer is getting OUT of balance.  I guess that's the same thing as suggesting we do something completely different from what we did to bring about our current circumstances.  Too many of us have gotten way too comfortable with our situations.

Having both feet planted firmly on the ground will not help if you happen to be standing in shit right now.  You need to MOVE, and the fact remains that most people are more comfortable with old problems than new solutions.  Getting completely out of balance, for even a short period of time, might completely change your perspective and help you see a problem from a new point of view.

When I read that Andy Warhol quote it reminds me that we spend sooooo much time trying to figure out how to be the "right" person at the "right" time, in the "right" place.  Well, you might as well be waiting for the stars to align themselves, ducks to get in a row, all of your fires to be put out, and bridges to be burned.  Give it up. Stop with the cheesy cliches.  It's not going to happen.....ever.  The timing will never be just right, and change is going to be uncomfortable.....probably painfully uncomfortable at times.

We all know the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.  Tired of your relationships falling apart? Try something drastically different.  Feel like your health is heading in the wrong direction?  Start a training regimen completely different from what you've been doing. We need that resistance in order for us to grow.  The "one-step back, two steps forward" approach is  better than "one step back, one step back, one step back, one step...." you get the idea.

Go get uncomfortably out of balance in an area you feel you're falling short in.

Similar to "muscle confusion" when working out, a new way or approach towards a problem might be the answer!

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