I wanted to learn punches and kicks, but my sensei made me spend hours in the horse stance. I also worked on core strength exercises and deep breathing. Only much later did we work on punches, kicks, and agility exercises.
He helped get what I wanted by starting with the true goal: get a strong foundation.
Tons of hooey is written about “work-life balance” as a goal.
Boring people with little to contribute will waste energy searching for comfortable balance. They aren’t going to find it, but they’ll feel better and take fewer risks. No one will write about their legacy decades later.
One of my takeaways from studying biographies of people who contributed significantly to the world is that they didn’t have much balance in their life. They did have rhythms, and seasons. They had work and rest routines. They were seasons when they risked heavily because they poured themselves into an adventure. They were not focused on comfortable or “secure” as a primary outcome.
The investor who risks little because she spreads her limited funds across 25 asset classes probably won’t lose much money, but isn’t going to grow her net worth very fast, either. Significant advances in her wealth will only come from putting a significant amount at a higher risk to get a greater return.
Here’s another way to think about balance: by definition it means that you are the point of equal and opposite forces.
Being grounded, being stable, and being rooted are different. You can exert tremendous force from that foundation.
Take the lesson from thousands of years of martial arts practice: Great power is generated from a rock-solid foundation. Fast, nimble, and deft moves depend on a strong core. The punch begins from the legs pushing against the ground.
Leaders: Your goal should be to create and steward your “strong foundation” in order to have a disproportionately large impact where you choose to.