It’s been a habit to while away time in traffic with interesting podcasts. Yesterday was unfortunately one of those days when I find myself on the road with barely moving traffic so it’s a good thing I was entertained by captivating conversation between Shane Parrish of the Knowledge Project/Farnam Street and Adam Grant, author of Givers and Takers, Originals and Option B. Given that both men are such prolific content creators and great thinkers, you can just imagine the trove of topics that they could talk about.
What struck me most was the discussion on balance versus harmony. We hear so much about the need to balance work, interests, family, etc. But the very act of balancing is challenging by itself, depleting the much needed willpower to pummel through our days. They propose harmony instead where one strives to see all of life as creating meaning and meaningful work. There is balance but more as an overall mindset spread over time. So in a week you have days for work, days for rest, days for family and some days may be more balanced than others. You can have focused days and also have time carved out for idle thought. It is also about choosing to do less but to do these really well.
I like this mindset. It resonates with me because I thrive in a space where there is a mix of effort and ease, stress and rest. I think this has helped me keep at things for sustained periods, avoiding burn out and fatigue. It works well too with my steady eddy personality. I guess we really have to find ways of doing things and of being in this world that works for each of us. There is no one way. For me this is what works, well at least for the time being.