You Had To Be There

I travel a lot…probably too much.

I’ve had the privilege of not only visiting every state in the US (including Alaska and Hawaii), but also countries on 5 continents.  I have photographed Mount McKinley, Lake Tahoe, lions on the Serengeti and Buddhist temples in Thailand.  I have walked through slums in Haiti, admired volcanoes in Guatemala and marveled at the giant waves at North Shore.

And in every case, all of those experiences have one thing in common.  The view from the photographs can’t even hold a candle to viewing the real thing with my own eyes.  It’s just not the same.

Perhaps you’ve had the same experience.  Photos are a distant second to actually being there.  Three dimensions beats two dimensions every time.

Yet, as a business person, I have often lived my life in two dimensions.  Or worse…one.

We are created (and yes, I believe created) to exist in three dimensions.  We have a spirit, soul, and body.  All three must be in balance if we are to have a successful life.  All three must be healthy if we are to live a life of rich experience and fulfillment.

Think about the word “disease.”  Most of us immediately think of cancer or heart disease.  Yet the etymology of that word literally is dis-ease, or a lack of ease.  All the cylinders aren’t firing correctly. Something is out of balance.  Or, as Brian Tracy said,

“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.”

So what do I do?

The first step if you feel you’re living less than a 3-dimensional life is to take an evaluation.  Where is your life out of balance?  Which wheel is out of alignment?

  • Maybe work is all-consuming, leaving little time for rest.  You feel exhausted and about to break.
  • Perhaps you have been focused on a goal to the exclusion of your relationships. Your spouse finds you distant or your friends find you non-existent.
  • You could have work and family going well, but your health, exercise and eating habits are sapping you of energy and vitality.  (FYI…this is my struggle.)

Brutally honest self-examination is a first step to finding wholeness in our lives.  Being willing to admit, in our human frailty, that we have gotten off course takes humility.

“I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.”  Zig Ziglar

But it takes even more humility to ask those around us what they see.  Yes, I’m suggesting you ask those closest to you, your spouse, your friends, your business associates, where they think your life is out of balance.

Ask them.  And ask them to answer gently but honestly.  See yourself through their eyes.  Are you working too much?  Are you depressed?  Are you withdrawn and distant?  Are you singularly focused to the exclusion of those things that bring life it’s richness and meaning?

Are you a mere photograph of who you were meant to be?  Has your life become a  two-dimensional image of something majestic and awe-inspiring?

Remember, a photograph can never compare to actually being there.

One simple action step:  Make it part of your morning ritual tomorrow to examine your day and find one way you can bring health into the area(s) of your life you have been neglecting.  Leave your ideas in the comments below.

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