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What Is Balance?

It seems everyone is struggling for “balance” — physical balance, emotional/mental balance, balance between work/home/play, and balance in everything we do.  I asked myself, “What is balance and how do you ever achieve it and consistently maintain it?”  Every time I think I have found balance, I make decisions that seem to upend it.

My most recent example is the growth of our center in San Diego.  A while ago, I decided to expand our 3,000-square-foot studio with an additional 5,000-square-foot facility in the same complex.  Not just any old gym, but a world-class performance studio with the best staff, equipment, energy and passion to further transform people’s lives.

Before the expansion project, life was smooth.  Business was good, life at home was good.  I actually had days when I could go into work “late” or come home “early.”  At the same time, I felt stagnant.  I felt I wasn’t challenging myself enough or optimizing my potential.  I spoke with a colleague, Rick Ivone, who shared a few quotes that helped inspire me to go for my dream:

  • “All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” –Walt Disney
  • “If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair.  We’d never have a friendship.  We’d never go into business, because we’d be too cynical.  Well, that’s nonsense.  You’ve got to JUMP off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” –Annie Dillard
  • “Come to the edge,’ he said. They said, ‘We are afraid.’ ‘Come to the edge,’ he said. They came.  He pushed them…And they flew.”  –Peter McWilliams
  • “We must consciously travel only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.” –Henry David Thoreau
  • “Greatness is not where we stand, but in what direction we are moving.  We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but sail we must and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”  –Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.” –Richard Branson
  • “Keep your dreams alive.  Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication.  Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” –Gail Devers
  • “It’s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • “Gardening requires lots of water—most of it in the form of perspiration.” –Winston Churchill
  • “The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.  Fences have nothing to do with it.  The grass is greenest where it is watered.  When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.” –Robert Fulghum

So there are 10 very powerful quotes that mean so much to me.  These quotes actually sit at my desk at my home-office where I can see them every day.  I need to see them to remind me of my mission.  My mission and passion are to transform people’s lives through health and fitness and to empower individuals to greatness in life.  Although you don’t need a brick-and-mortar building to do that, my vision was to have a studio where I could empower our staff to help our clients exercise in an environment that is fun, positive and full of great energy — to better help them with their dreams.  I don’t want to die with regrets of what could have been.

We are now halfway through the expansion.  Crews are framing, trenching, installing the electrical and making it all come to life.  There are at least 10 people working in the new place every day.  Exciting…scary…motivating…and, yes, stressful.  Talk about upending balance. You can only imagine the “big” decisions being made daily that can create fear and anxiety if I don’t remind myself of my mission, of what I am trying to do to make my place in the universe.  I remind myself of the opportunity that our company has to make a difference in people’s lives.  I remind myself that to become great in life you must take calculated risks.  As Kendra Todd (2005 Apprentice Winner) said in a recent coaching workshop/mastermind group I attended: “Smart Risk + Reward Assessment + Research & Planning X Persistent, Consistent Action = Positive Outcome.”

I have come to this conclusion about “balance.”  As human beings, we are never really in complete “balance” forever.  When we reach balance, we often do things to upend the equilibrium because we innately want to grow.  I have found that balance comes in the quest itself.  It’s the daily efforts we make to exercise, eat right, and make time for quiet moments, family time and all our other needs.  I feel tremendous peace about the process and journey I am on.  I find my “balance” trusting my faith and my vision.  If I don’t work out, if I don’t get down-time or mellow-yellow time, I feel it.  If I take care of myself, I have the energy to carry out my mission.  Balance is found in trying to get back to equilibrium on a daily basis.  The decisions we make every day will affect daily balance.  The best thing to do is stay present, in the “Zen,” and focus on the “NOW.”

I share this with you because I find many people in the same situation.  We are working hard, trying to do well at work, exercise, eat right, spend time with our family – in short, to fulfill our own dreams of happiness and prosperity.  Find balance in the daily efforts and the steps you take to commit to greatness and you will find peace and happiness.

I leave you with another quote:  “He who is not currently conquering some fear is not fully living life.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peace and health on your journey.  Stay “balanced”!

Todd Durkin is a 2 Time Personal Trainer of the Year and Founder of Fitness Quest 10 & Todd Durkin Enterprises in San Diego, CA. He trains people from all walks of life, but is best known for the work he does with over 25 NFL Superstars. He trains the likes of LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, Reggie Bush, Alex Smith, and Donnie Edwards amongst others. His expert staff of 30 trainers, coaches, and massage therapist/bodyworkers perform over 400 weekly sessions and help educate, motivate, and inspire the world to greater levels of health & fitness. Todd has 17 DVD’s on fitness & sports performance and has been featured in many national magazines and media outlets. His ezine newsletter “TD Times” is his way of connecting clients, trainers, coaches, colleagues, and friends from all over the world. He can best be reached via his websites,, or by using the contact form below: [easy-contact]

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