13 Comments

  1. I like your thoughts here. John Spencer wrote recetly that perhaps keeping to the middle way, maintaining anallance might not be the most appropriate course for as teachers. He suggested there is an argument for passion. I've taught avid readers and compulsive writers. Young people who abandone their "assignments" in order to follow their passion. "you need to spend time on everything," I warn them. perhaps that is not completely tight. Trying to do everything often means youdo nothing.

  2. burris1stgrade

    Great post, George…

    Was just talking with this exact subject with a friend last night. I have never felt more creative, inspired, and satisfied with my professional life as I am at this moment. I must also take care that I turn it all off at times to be engaged and in tune with my family and friends. I have found that I enjoy sitting outside somewhere beautiful and just "being" more than I ever have. Maybe that's what I need to find my "balance".

  3. m_stevens

    Interesting. I've been reading alot about this the past few years– Outliers, of course, as well as Drive by Daniel Pink, And Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's research on Flow. (Check this link out by him: http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-ha… They all explore what it is you are talking about, I think.

    I try to be mindful of striving for a balance between work/family/friends/exercise/Twitter:-). Maybe that is not realistic. So, I kind of like the idea of Are You Happy? Lyn Hilt's Effort In = Reward Out comes to mind, too, except in a nontech way if that makes sense. One thing that I find I need is a good sweat from a workout and some alone time hiking. It sort of resets my mind and allows me to pursue all that is in a meaningful, focused manner.

    I think the whole balance/happiness thing is more of an art than a science, so it is a personal journey that needs tending to with persistence. We could go on and on. Perhaps this would make for a good chat.

    As always, I enjoy your posts. Be well.

  4. I’d say balance depending on what one’s life goals are.
    If you’re unhealthy or damaging relationships, then some balance would be suggested.
    It’d be interesting to see if Michael Jordan or others as accomplished as he is have any regrets about the costs for their accomplishments.
    At the end of the day, you get one life to live. It’s hard to know what it will all add up to when you’re at the end, but for my values, balance is necessary (although not always accomplished) to maintain quality of life as a husband, father, teacher, and individual.
    I may not end up being all that I could be in a particular area, but I’m thinking it will add up to a well lived life.

  5. Erin

    The question about balance reminds of me an earlier post of yours, George, where you wrote something to the effect of 'there can be no harmony if everyone sings the same note'. Balance is the same, I think. You can't have balance and forward motion. You maintain symettry as long as it can be maintained, and then you work back towards it. Recursion, I think the word is. I certainly see teaching this way, and living. And learning.

  6. soulstrikers

    Great to read this- I blogged recently about balance and have been thinking hard about what it means for myself and my students. This adds to my thinking. Thank you!

  7. The quest for balance to me seems like an impossible dream. Happiness (especially trying to secure the happiness of other people) also seems like a precarious pursuit. Surely Michael Jordan wasn't always happy to be working so hard.
    To me, much of life revolves around the goals that you set for yourself and how passionately you pursue them. People will call you "out of balance" mostly because they don't understand your goals. Also it's important to remember that sometimes your goals require you to be (or at least appear) "balanced". Being a teacher is a good example of this. It's not enough (in my mind) to just be passionate about education or your subject area. Kids need to see themselves reflected in their teacher. Having outside interests then becomes part of what you need to do to meet your goal.
    So the questions really are…Are you working towards your goal? Is your goal a "good" goal?

  8. Too often 'balance' is used to imply that certain activities are preferred or hold more moral superiority over others. I find that use problematic, because it's sometimes used to cast judgement in a negative way. To me, balance is being achieved when everything that is important to you is being treated importantly.

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