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a balancing act

Even though the snow continues to pile up outside, we recently found ourselves thinking about riding bikes. Not because we had a vision of taking a fat tire out for a spin, but because we were talking about balance. And how it’s hard to remember what it felt like when we didn’t know how to balance on a bike. When you first take the training wheels off, you’re a bit unsteady. Soon, you come to find that sweet spot, where the cadence works. Each foot pedals, but not too hard. You keep your body as steady as you can. And you stop and start and fall and get up again over and over until — suddenly — you ride away. Effortlessly balanced.

the big three

Fast forward to today, and into a course a few of us at Valo are taking together. The recent class topic? Balance. Not on a bike, but in life. Teacher Brian Johnson, philosopher + entrepreneur, shares his wisdom about balance. Johnson emphasizes the importance of what he calls The Big Three: energy, work, and love.  He poses questions for consideration: “Who are you energy-wise at your best? Who are you work-wise at your best? Who are you love-wise at your best?” Johnson believes that not simply paying attention, but actually taking action in these three areas leads us to live better versions of ourselves.We may assume that we have balance. Of course, we pay attention to each of these areas every day. Right? We may be a bit tippier than we realize. Pedaling harder with one foot than the other. Johnson invites us to take a moment (literally maybe a minute or two) every morning to write down one simple thing we want to do that day in each area. {Research shows taking this small moment to record our intentions makes a big difference in actually doing it!}

the write stuff

Why not give it a try? Grab a scrap of paper and see where these questions take you:

  • Energy - what do you do each to day to take care of your body? Maybe you want to eat a healthy breakfast. Or get 8 hours of sleep. Exercise for 30 minutes. Or Meditate.

  • Work - how do you want to show up at your work? Collaborate with a colleague. Dive into some deep learning. Try two hours of unplugged flow. Ask good questions in a meeting.

  • Love - What do want to do as a friend and family member? Smile more. Give hugs. Cook a meal. Compliment.

free ride

Johnson reminds us that this model isn’t about being perfect, but instead about trying. That effort will make the difference in how we feel and show up. Johnson praises James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, in which Clear wisely shares the idea “repeated beingness.” Johnson challenges us to commit to doing one thing in each area everyday. Those simple acts lead us to our sweet spot. Without even thinking about it, we’ll be riding away. Balancing.


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