On Balance

On Balanceby Shape Your Life

The ideal person isn’t the best at something in particular. We don’t understand how wealth and power really work and sometimes go through life trying to step on somebody else in order to succeed. Furthermore, we sometimes don’t understand that if we overwhelm ourselves so much we’re going to go crazy before we achieve any type of success. In the same way, sometimes we are so lazy to go after what we want and spend our lives living from the kindness of others, forgetting that there was a time when we wanted to do something better for ourselves. If we are unable to find balance we’re never going to reach our goals.

The balance I am talking about is called the Golden Mean.

According to Wikipedia, Aristotle said the golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. For example courage, a virtue, if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness and if deficient as cowardice.

Furthermore, I read in another website (Pick Your Brain), Socrates used the Golden Mean, too, when he talked about extreme devotion to athletics versus extreme devotion to music to illustrate this idea. The athlete becomes overly aggressive and ferocious, while the musician becomes overly soft and effeminate. The ideal is someone who practices both athletics and music in moderation and acquires a harmonious mixture of both qualities.

Let’s look for a modern life example to illustrate the Golden Mean.

Replace ‘the athlete’ for a manager at your local Staples. This guy is extremely in love with the job. He dreams staples, paper, scissors and pencils every night and can’t wait for another day to go to work . He spends ten hours at the retail store and only gets paid for 8. He’s also tricked other co-workers into doing something wrong so they can get fired and he doesn’t have any competition. Last but not least, he is a professional at flattery. Consequently, his social and personal life is a disaster. His friends have deserted him because all he talks about is making copies and selling ink cartridges.

The second example, which is the guy who is into music, he’s only looking to have fun listening to the latest Lil Wayne song. He goofs around with friends and talk about the latest video games. He’s got no money. Never. One of his pals is the one who always pays for his double cheeseburgers at McD’s because the guy hasn’t been able to hold a job for longer than three days. This guy’s friends also walk away because they can’t stand him anymore.

You might think that the career driven guy is better, but think again. He’s got money but no one to spend it with. He is so obsess with success, that he has even done stupid mistakes to get other people in trouble so he could have that number one spot. Nobody really likes him.

What about the second guy? He thinks that listening to music will take it somewhere. The mere attempt of thinking about having a better life causes him laziness. One of my favorite rappers, T.I., said that some people are not where you want to be in life, yet they party every weekend. What exactly are they celebrating?

According to Pick Your Brain, both the manager and the music-guy are worthy of pity.

The ideal person is someone between these two people. For example, I had worked like a slave before in order to achieve a manager position, yet I listen to music everyday. I educate myself in many subjects, so I don’t only have to talk about my job, my job and my job. I love to spend time with myself, meditating, but being out with friends is definitely important to hone my conversation skills.

It all starts with setting the right goals, says Pick Your Brain. Before you decided what your goals is, you have to make sure your intentions are good. The greatest leaders are those who help their followers to stand up when they fall. If you’re planning to study Dictatorship 101, I am sorry but we don’t teach that here.

Another step to think of is to know your limits. Nobody else knows how far you can go but yourself. You may want to walk the extra mile but you’re so exhausted you can’t go anymore. You have to rest. Many motivational speakers out there want you to have the discipline of a soldier, but, the truth is, everyone walks at their own pace. The important thing is not how slow you go. The important thing is to never stop.

The Golden Mean is hard to live by, says Pick Your Brain, but it is the key to finding your inner confidence. “The wise learn from the mistakes of others, fools, scarcely from their own.” Ben Franklin said. In order for you to be successful, you have to see that your success in fact depends on how you can become the best person you can ever be.


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