Balance is important to the martial artist.
In order to kick and punch, successfully move about, defend and counter effectively, all of these things are dependent upon balance.
But as in so many things from our martial practice, it is probably self-evident that balance is critically important, also, in our lives, our business or work, and in our relationships- with others but also with ourselves!
And of course, even within the discussion of life balance, there are many different things we could be referring to.
Life and work balance (personal and professional), for example, is a popular and important topic, as are work and family, physical and mental and others.
For the purposes of today’s meditations, I am talking about balance as a particular definition; one that is relevant to all the specific balance discussions I mentioned above, but also that can be universally applied to almost any discussion.
And, truth be told, I am stealing my definition of balance from a discussion I had about virtue, with a man named Aristotle some many years ago. 🙂
In his Nicomachean Ethics, on which I did a thesis in college, Aristotle asserts that Virtue is the mean between two extremes, a hypothesis that I totally agree with.
This is to say that Courage, for example, is the mean between cowardice and foolhardiness; love the mean between apathy and obsession.
Virtue is always the mean between two vices, and also the balancing act between those two I would add, as living in that virtue is not as easy as merely identifying what it is.
Thus my idea that his very premise that virtue is the mean between the two extremes lends itself to the fact also that living in the virtues is a balancing act.
Then, further, I started applying the idea to so many of the things I am working through in life and business right now.
You see, almost all are about balance.
You can be too hard or too soft, too strong or too weak, too rigid or too pliable, too aloof or too friendly, too strict or too tolerant.
The challenge is in finding and executing the balance between the extremes in almost every case.
Sometimes I feel that we are living in an age where the propensity to live in the extremes, and even to be outraged at others that live to the other extreme or balanced, is not only accepted but even encouraged or celebrated. I believe this is from a lack of balance too. We allow the pendulum to swing too far, overcompensating, perhaps for an earlier imbalance, and find ourselves out of balance and polarized again.
But, for now, let us simply explore what we can do about our own balance challenge and leave others to deal with their own.
Here are some things that I am doing top do my best to live and lead from a place of balance:
- Be open minded to others ideas and suggestions, and especially those I respect, appreciate and trust.
- At the same time, always be cognizant of the principles important to me, the practices that serve me and my organization well and the balance between the new ideas and the others I’ve developed over the years. It’s important we stay open, green and growing, and also that we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater (another colloquialism that many reading this may never have heard)… as a fun aside I was having a discussion with a young leader of mine the other day and used 3 or 4 of these i had to explain. I’m getting old.
- I balance everything I read, hear and learn against my roles and goals. If I feel they can further these, I adopt them, if I don’t I don’t and, in other cases I want to apply the information to my leadership development process, but maybe not right now. The key is to determine what is a catalyst and what is a distraction (to my most important goals for this evolution).
I love writing.
It helps me think.
I apologize that my thinking and writing were a little academic today; I seem to have fallen into my old philosopher-speak.
But I hope it was useful to you anyway.
Have a positive, productive and balanced day!
Stephen Del Castillo
Husband, Father, Teacher, Businessman, Author, Philosopher and More
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About Grandmaster Stephen J. Del Castillo: Grandmaster Del Castillo is the founding Master Instructor of Krav Maga Martial Arts and has been empowering lives in Pasco and Hillsborough Counties since October of 2000. He is a 7th degree Blackbelt, MBA, author, mentor and success coach, a US Army Veteran and a proud father and grandfather. He is married to Ms. Barbara Del Castillo who helps him run the school. Grand Master Del Castillo began his training in the early 80’s and has high level blackbelts in Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Premier Martial Arts and Krav Maga Martial Arts as well as experience in kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do and Jiujitsu. He has high level instructor certifications from BBSI, IKMF, and KMG and has been featured in numerous Martial Arts publications and also Success magazine. He was a competitive sport karate and American Kickboxing instructor until he enlisted in the US Army where he served in the 82nd Airborne Division, where he won an Army Green to Gold scholarship and proceeded to ROTC and the University of Tampa. He was commisioned in 1992 and went on to serve in Germany with the 3rd Infantry Division and then in several other posts in the US until he left military service to pursue his dream of creating KMMA in 2000.
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