Posts Tagged ‘living’

this just feels like spinning plates

Hey, thanks for dropping by. I know you’ve only just got here but I’ve got some questions to ask you:

  • Can you be all things to everyone?
  • Can you do all the things you want to do?
  • Is it possible to balance everything?
  • Can it be healthier to be a bit unbalanced, all the time?

I have my work, my home life, my (umpteen) hobbies and interests, my friends and loved ones, home improvement projects, chores, self-confidence building, self-learning – so much that keeps me occupied. And yet, I can never devote enough time to everything. Giving time to one area of my life must always mean taking time from another area.

Something’s always got to give.

And so, dear reader, what do you do? I’m asking in all honesty, as I want to know what goes through your mind. I want to know if an inability to achieve everything in life worries you, as it does me.

Is there too much pressure that we put upon ourselves – or that we perceive to be coming from the world around us – to be able to be good at everything, all the time? To be able to devote just the right amount of time and positive energies to every one of our goals?

Balancing these many and disparate pulls on our time and energy can never be done ‘once’ as much as we wish it were so. Life is always throw something new at you, something that causes you to wobble, and correct your course.

In the pursuit of self-fulfillment and self-actualisation, we end up more often failing (or believing we have failed) and then feeling that we in turn are failures.

“What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization… It refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.”
Maslow, A. H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation

Maslow's Hierarchy - view larger

To become more than we are, to become everything that we are capable of becoming. That is a tall order. And yet, it is what drives us forward, what spurs us to get out of bed in the morning and grasp at any strands of ‘life’ or ‘experience’ that float our way.

It is this balance, between the ‘base’ drives – employment, property, health – and those higher needs – love, esteem and creativity – that takes so much skill and care. Getting to, and staying near the top of the pyramid, while keeping the foundations stable – how do you do it?

So, while you ponder, and maybe come back with your own insight and experience, pardon my leave while I get back to my spinning.