When you aim too high, you might get frustrated, when you aim too low, you become stagnant. In finding your path to continuous growth and ever increasing happiness it is all about balance, about finding the proper dosage for multiple aspects of life.
Getting to know the extremes
Where is that balance? Well, it is in between the extremes. To find out that point or area of balance, we sometimes have to investigate the extremes first.
Every aspect of life has these extremes. It is part of the principle of polarity. Hot and cold, love and hate, discipline and laziness and so forth.
What seems like opposite things are in fact the same phenomena, they are just different in degree.
We tend to bounce back from one extreme to the other extreme, which is also very natural. This is called the principle of rhythm. Seldom do we remain stuck on one extreme, but instead move from one pole to the next. The further we move to the one side, the further we move to the other again.
Quite similar it was for me with writing. First I was reluctant to write anything at all, then I created a website and set out to write everyday. I then bounced back again to only writing personally, but not daily and most recently I went back yet another time to the other extreme, when I set out to write one article every day for 100 days.
The constant back and forth can be quite exhausting at times. The key here is to become aware of this process, become aware of the constant movement between the extremes and to then come closer to that point of balance.
Balancing the extremes
Nobody can tell you where exactly that point of balance lies, because this point depends on the concrete aspect and most and foremost on your individual inclination.
Whatever it is, you might want to find a point that is slightly above your comfort-zone. A point that allows you constant growth, without adding unnecessary pressure. A point, that is in accord with your goals and allows steady progression in the pace that fits you.
In my personal case with writing, I set the bar too high. Publicly declaring to write 100 articles in 100 days created extra pressure, which is in my particular case not needed at all. I already tend to be extremely disciplined. I meditate twice a day, I do Yoga 2-3 times a day, I eat healthy and all of these each and every day, just to mention some of my habits. So discipline is not really an issue for me. If I was a lazy person, struggling with my growth, that extra motivation of making that quest public might have helped to exactly reach that point of balance needed to progress. In my case however this does not hold true, for it added pressure where there was needed none. Instead I could set out to allocate 30 minutes everyday to working on this skill.
Zoom out, gain perspective
Sometimes we are too caught up in our everyday work and progress, in creating the habits and fulfilling the set expectations, that we lose sight of the bigger picture. I therefore deem it important to every now and then, zoom out. Take a step back, observe the bigger picture and ask yourself, whether you are still in alignment with your goals, and whether your current path is the most beneficial to achieving them in that it is close to the point of balance.
The last two days I did exactly that. I asked myself what I set out to do here. What is it I want to achieve with this task?
What I set out to do was to improve my skills in the science and art of writing. I also want to let loose of the fear, that the contents I write, might not be good enough to publish.
If I zoom out even more, there are two things I want to achieve in life – fulfilling my full potential on every aspect of being from intellectual, emotional, physical to spiritual and sharing whatever knowledge I have acquired, whatever skill I am mastering with others to help them on their individual journey.
Different angles to master a skill
In that quest writing can be a powerful tool, which is why I want to develop it further. There are however different angles and approaches that help to nurture that skill. Writing something everyday might be the most powerful practice to develop the skill. But I certainly do not need to publish one article every day. I can write my 500-1000 words, without publishing them, eventually resulting in a deeper and more detailed essay on a specific subject. Therefore allowing myself a greater degree of flexibility by incorporating different sorts of texts, from spontaneous short pieces, to articles, pose, essays, short stories and other fictional or non-fictional texts.
I can also enhance my writing by spending more time reading great pieces of literature. Learning from the best and consciously investigating techniques and styles of successful authors, of other bloggers of basically any creative or scientific writer.
There are also courses to take. On communication, on creative writing, expression, arts, or in the areas of knowledge I might want to introduce.
So there really are all kind of ways to improve the skill of writing. And so it is with every kind of skill. All we need to do is to set out the intention and finding the amount of time that allows us to steadily progress in a joyful manner to eventually master the skill we set out to learn.
Having said that, I hereby readjust my quest of writing 100 articles in 100 days. Instead I shall invest half an hour every day to enhance this skill. I am gonna do so by all sorts of methods, primarily by writing. I will still publish some articles and essays every now and then, but I relieve myself from that unnecessary burden of HAVING to do so every day.
By doing this I hope so to release the pressure, and act more from the level of joy and devotion, rather than ambition. Since ambition and discipline is already there, this action of releasing will bring me closer to the balance. It is that balance, that helps me to come closer to the goal of enhancing the skill, and also closer to the two main goals.
It allows a greater degree of flexibility. Should on one day arise the opportunity to be of greater service simply by being present somewhere else, I would be a fool to let it pass only to fulfil my task that I set out publicly. Instead I can be of direct help somewhere else, without losing sight of the goal of enhancing the skill of writing.
That does however not mean, that I regret setting out the task in the first place. It seems to be a valuable lesson, letting go of that self-created pressure and also distancing myself from the idea to having to do something because others might think less of me if I don’t.
So let this be a reminder to myself, and maybe also to you. To try to find that balance point when it comes to discipline and joy, not to do your actions because of what others might think of you but out of an intrinsic motivation and to realign yourself to your goals every now and then.
You can then practice in private and later share in public, which is in accordance with one of the Yogic rules of behaviour. This rule advises to be rather secretive in your quests and only share your accomplishments once you have achieved them. In that spirit, I will continue to craft my skill for the development of clear and understandable language, in the hope that you too, dear reader, might find inspiration for your own journey, might find ideas that help to access your true Self and develop the principles and skills that help you on your individual path, fulfilling your personal potential, allowing you to contribute to the world family so that we collectively rise to new heights of love, peace and abundance.