A Perfect Combo: A Balanced Mind + An Unbalanced Life

I am on a year long leave from work to search for something. I don’t know what I’m looking for but I know I want a life that grows my heart and mind. What I am doing now is not the norm. Am I looking for a balanced life? Is this the answer and is it my purpose to figure a way to get this while I’m on my one-year vacation?

Many times I hear self-help gurus and other people spew the importance of being balanced in our lives. I also spew this line of thought to others and yet, when I come to think of it, I don’t really know the meaning of it. Without this understanding, how can I use this principle effectively? I don’t want to blindly accept this wisdom and apply it in a way that may actually limits me to grow as a person. It’s time to shut my trap and reflect on it a little bit.

There are two levels of balanced that I can think of: Balanced of the mind and balanced of one’s life. Each level takes on a different meaning for me.

Balanced of the Mind

A balanced of the mind is an important quality for person to obtain. It shows the mastery over the mind. The mind becomes the servant and not the master. The mind is like a wild animal. If it’s not trained, it’ll consume the owner and the owner will be powerless. The owner will act out its impulses. If I observe my monkey mind, it’s a scary thought to let it have its ways.

The good news is that the mind can be trained through building up the awareness of it. What is awareness? According to Wikipedidia, “Awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects or sensory patterns.” When a person shines his awareness on his mind, he trains it and he gains insight into the nature it. The power of the mind can then be focused to do productive work.

Without awareness, a mind runs wild. For example, an opposite of a well-trained mind is a person walking down the street talking incoherently out loud. Blah blah blah. We have witnessed this kind of behaviour before from a person. We then call this person crazy. The awareness of this person has left the building and the person’s mind is now the master. His monkey mind is jumping from one thought to another. Frankly, without my awareness, I will act like that too. Kinda of scary how thin the line is between sane and insanity.

It’s good to have a balanced mind so that I can focus on the kind of experience I want in life.

Balanced of Life

What does this mean? I don’t know. When I reflect on the people I admire, the Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi and etc, they went all out to achieve their innate destinies. Their lives were very unbalanced.  Buddha left everything to obtain enlightenment, Jesus died for the sake of human, Gandhi went on a hunger strike and yet, their minds are so balanced and focused towards their objectives. And look at what they have done for humanity! So, is saying “I want a balanced life” is another way to say “I don’t want to take risk”? Here’s a quote I like to share with you and for you to reflect.

“The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” – Leo F. Buscaglia


I think I want to be balanced in mind and be unbalanced in life so that I can grow my heart and mind. I like this combo. Oh yeah, may I have it super sized?


Finding Agility At The Farmer’s Market

I went to the Sacramento California farmer’s market with my aunt and uncle. People were walking around and mingling with each other. Farmers and the customers were talking and joking with each other. It was a vibrant and uplifting place place to be.

One reason why many people come to the market is the connection they make with the farmers. People refer to the farmers by their names and vise versa. The customers get direct access to the people who are feeding them and on the flip side, the farmers get to talk to the people who eat their food. This creates a powerful connection and understanding. Both support each other to grow the right kind of fruits and vegetables for the community.

The same can be said about why Agile is successful — connecting with the customers directly. In essence, Agile creates the developer’s market for their customers so that the application a development team produced is what the customers want. Does your organization have a vibrant developer’s market?


Help Me, Asia

In a couple of days, Shawn will launch a travel memoir of her trip through Asia.

“At 31, after her boyfriend dumps her and she gets a weird autoimmune disorder, Shawn Phelps quits her job as a business magazine editor and sets out on a seven-month journey from Thailand to Nepal to learn the secrets of happiness from Asia’s sages–not knowing who they are or how to find them.”