Life balance. Are you going for it? If you get it, can you keep it? Danielle LaPorte, author of THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS, which released this week, has a newsflash for us—balance is a myth and we should lay down that cause and pick up our passions.
I read every page of her much-buzzed-about book and I found myself wishing I had THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS twenty years ago. I would have gotten a jumpstart on a positively positive life. Danielle riffs on life and work in such a fresh way that even though you’re mesmerized, you will put down the book and put your dreams into higher gear.
Positively Positive has an exclusive excerpt from THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS to share with you. And at the end, you can download a free worksheet that’s about exploring what lights your soul fire. Enjoy. And…choose passion.
—Eric Handler, co-founder, Positively Positive
The Myth of Life Balance and The Necessity of Passion
The pursuit of life balance is stressing us out. It’s a maddening juggle of self, others, career. Striving for equal parts exercise, home décor, loverly devotion, career ambition, and family tending—and we wonder why we get sick when we finally take a vacation.
If you do manage to get balanced, it’s only temporary. Success throws things out of whack. Just when you get it balanced, circumstances or a great idea turns everything around. You can never get it right. Balance: the losing battle.
I burn a lot of omelets. It’s a regular occurrence. I’m drawing robots with my kid, I’m jotting down an idea I don’t want to lose, I’m taking the call. And then the smoke alarms go off. I “work” on holidays. I’ve been known to read in bed all day on a Monday. I send birthday gifts three months early or three months late, but I always send just the right gift. I can eat granola every day because I want to finish a project. The last time I was at a monastery, I tweeted about it. This is not a balanced life. It’s a full, off-kilter, with highs and lows, and plenty of joy and very deep peace kind of life. And it works for me.
Striving for balance will derail your plans for greatness. Do you think that Leonardo da Vinci or Richard Branson or Oprah set out thinking, “I want to live a balanced life”? No way. Their aim was on audacity, full expression, and all the boundaries that they were compelled to break.
Passion Is The Plotline
It’s not the imbalances of life that will get you down—it’s doing meaningless things that aren’t taking you where you want to go.
The more you pursue what you’re passionate about at any given time, the less friction and more fluidity you’ll have in your life. And that’s the definition of harmony.
How does the screw-life-balance-and-go-for-passion theory apply when you’re juggling business projects and macaroni and cheese? Remember, you’re not aiming for perfection and evenly sliced pieces of the life pie. You’re creating satisfaction.
It’s a work hard / play hard equation. You may drain your reserves because that’s what feels satisfying. You’ll fill them up again. You may work your ass off and love every minute of it, until one day you cash in and check out. You may abandon your obligations for adventure. It’s a wonky equation—creating works of art always is—but if you don’t stress about how you “should do it,” you can create the best way for you to do it.
When passion is a priority—passion for family, for vocation, for meaning—your energy intensifies. And when your energy is more focused, more “aimed,” you begin to care less about the things that don’t really matter. You reach out and get the help you need to pull off the important things. You avoid crappy jobs; you stop trying to control the people around you; you complain less and appreciate more.
THE PASSION PLAY WORKSHEET
And speaking of passion…below you’ll find THE PASSION PLAY WORKSHEET (Click on image to download for free) from THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS. It’s six questions that will get your wheels turning beyond balance and into the zone of your true strengths. Open it up. Dig deep, fly higher.
Danielle LaPorte is the author of The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide for Creating Success on Your Own Terms. Deemed “the best place online for kick-ass spirituality,” over a million people have head to DanielleLaPorte.com for her straight up sermons of life + livelihood. An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec, and business strategist, she is the co-author of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. Find Danielle on Facebook + Twitter @daniellelaporte + at her digital temple: DanielleLaPorte.com + on You Tube for Her CredoForMakingItHappen video.April 18, 2012