Pending between extremes, finding the point of balance

In this article I reflect upon finding the moderate way. The point of balance, that allows constant growth. Not aiming too high, for it might frustrate or pressure you, neither aiming too low, for it might limit your potential growth.
To make it concrete, I relate this story to my personal quest of writing, which, as it turns out, was a bit too ambitious in writing 100 articles in just 100 days. Time to realign and remember what the actual goal is.

Enjoy 🙂

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.

Realigning myself

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.

Go beyond your limitations

Mankind is a species of habit. Based on our childhood, on our education and the experiences we make, we develop certain concepts to explain the world around us. This is a very helpful tool in coping with all the different impressions we perceive everyday. Especially in a world evolving so quickly. Although helpful most of the times, it can also hinder us from further growth, which is why we should always be open to rethink and adjust or even neglect our concepts.

The Safe House

In a way these concepts we form become like an actual physical construct. Like a small house, that we build around us. It offers us comfort and safety. When we interact with the world, we open the shutters and let some light in, knowing that in this house we are secure. Everything that comes in, comes through the windows, which are like lenses. They filter every information based on our experiences. It becomes quite difficult to see the world for what it is, since we always see it through these filters.

Although this house offers tremendous comfort, it also comes with limitations. Since we feel so safe in it, we tend to be reluctant to change anything about it. Often times, instead of taking the impressions in for what they are, we tend to reaffirm what we already believe to know. We don’t really search for new insights, but for a confirmation of the construct we have built. Most of the times it happens sub-consciously. We are not even aware of that process.

The safe house therefore becomes more of a limitation, something that is holding us back in our personal evolution. Some might even call it a prison!

Societal Level

This process appears not only on an individual scale, but also on a societal level. Take the subject of ancient civilisations for example. Modern science tells us, that civilisation is about 5,000 years old and that prior to that time, we were hunters and gatherers.

This is the construct that has been built, the lens through which every new information is seen.

There is however information, that strongly suggests that civilisation dates back far longer than that. Even with hundreds of out of place artefacts, scientists are not willing to change their point of view.

This gets even more evident with the Sphinx in Egypt. According to geologists, the erosion on the outside of that structure could not have been caused merely by sand and wind. Only heavy rainfalls could have caused erosion like that. How is that possible? Egypt is not really known for that kind of weather. The last time the region had strong rainfalls needed to cause such an erosion was after the last ice age, dating the Sphinx to be at least 12,000 years old.

Despite this clear evidence, contemporary egyptologists do not sway from their opinion. Since all of their theories are built on that foundation of civilisation being 5,000 years old, they are not willing to alter their point of view for it would question everything they believe in.

So instead of taking in new information to possibly gain a clearer understanding of reality and of the questions we ask, the information is merely used to reaffirm what is already there. And if it does not fit that concept it is neglected as unsubstantial. 

Step out of the prison, go beyond your limitations

For true evolution, we have to go beyond these limiting beliefs. The first step is to become aware of our constructs and beliefs. See them for what they are and try to understand where they are coming from. This will allow us to become more self aware and gain a deeper understanding of our Self. It may also help us to discover some flaws in the constructs we have created.

It would be too much to ask, and also not very practical to get rid of these constructs all at once. Instead, we can begin to question them, to alter them and to remain open for new insights. Every day offers tremendous potential for new learning experiences. And a certain degree of openness is essential, at least to widen these limiting beliefs. So that the small prison may evolve to a mansion, a whole field, a country, the planet, and one day may even evolve to the whole universe.

At this moment there are no longer any concepts at place, but pure reality for what it is. And doesn’t that sound intriguing? Isn’t that something worth striving for?

Let us therefore remain constantly open. Open for new insights, open for new perspectives, open for questioning our current beliefs to gain a deeper understanding of our Self and our surrounding.

It may be uncomfortable, surprising or even difficult at times, but employing that principle and having it in mind, will undoubtedly lead us to a deeper understanding and accelerate our growth as an individual and as a society.