I wondered aloud if the young person on the trail felt overwhelmed after the 9/11 terror attacks, the 2008 financial crisis and the more current pandemic. She replied, “Not really, I was in pre-school for 9/11 and didn’t have any money during the crash. This is the first big problem I’ve seen.” Sounds like she’ll be fine. Others may need some tools to recover.
Here are six tenets of my Balanced Mastery theory for young and old to repair careers, reboot businesses and rebuild lives.
1. You can be a balanced person AND a high achiever: The well-rounded achiever defines a healthy personal life while leveraging the tools of accomplishment. History is clear — those with a strong mix of family, friends, interests and passions reach and sustain lofty goals. It is more difficult but you can be well-rounded and make a mark in your world.
2. Life is Bigger Than Work: Many are now uncovering forgotten passions — family, music, gardening, cooking, books. Personal humanity is broader than work and more powerful than dollars — many have decided to reevaluate both. As you reboot care for your ‘human’-ness — your efforts will become clearer and focused. When you work to live your rebuilding becomes more vibrant and aligned.
3. Balance is the Cousin of Opportunity: The balanced person collects more data points to spot opportunity. Lady Luck slips out of a closing window, and the workaholic is too busy to notice. Many of the greatest inventions were spawned while the creator spent time on health, hobbies or leisure. The person was well-prepared through previous hard work — not always long hours.
4. Your Top Five Priorities are Golden: Write down your top five life priorities. This includes current pursuits and others you haven’t touched in years. Together, these five items make you a fully functioning human being while building rockstar achievement.
5. Mimicking High Achievers Works: Read, study and construct habits around what high achievers do. One hour of studying a great achiever will pay off one hundred-fold. Use the tools others have perfected to rebuild your practice or partnership. High achievers build habits around their priorities. It’s regimented but avoids emotional drain and wasted motivational energy.
6. Mastery is Approached not Achieved: Throughout history few great masters proclaimed their superiority. Most were busy hammering away at the occasional drudgery and tedium of worthy goals. Most achievers are patient and diligent. After setbacks they rebuilt by being fully human, picking their priorities and aiming their habits at the success tools they had studied. The approach to mastery keeps you strong and alert without being arrogant or complacent.
Balanced Mastery suggests you align your rebuilding efforts with the currency of your environment. There are three prevailing currencies: the head, the wallet; the heart. The head is achievement, the wallet is economic rewards and the heart is doing good. The typical mismatch is a heart currency in a wallet environment. The prevailing currency defines what a particular society rewards, funds and supports. Now might be a good time to take a closer look. If you match — your task is easier. If you don’t — you’ll be swimming uphill often.
Unlike my young friend on the trail, you may have been stunned by the 1987 crash; shaken by the Watts and Rodney King riots; in tears after the third biggest recorded earthquake caused the Boxing Day tsunami; crushed when a three-year-old Syrian baby boy washed up on a shore — and we recovered.
Three weeks into the pandemic shutdown New Delhi and Beijing made staggering improvements in air quality. In four weeks auto accident fatalities (cars, pedestrians, bicyclists) in France dropped by 40 percent while in Venice the murky, dirty water channels cleared — there is hope to be found.
We can all rebuild what we thought was lost. And so it will be as you list your major priorities, balance your life and attack achievement like a historic master.
Rick Griggs is a former Intel Corp. training manager and inventor of the rolestorming creativity tool. He runs the 10-month Leadership Mastery Academy. email@example.com or 970-690-7327.