Sunday, July 15, 2007

The one thing

Have you seen the movie City Slickers ? After having a mid life crisis, Mitch has joined his buddies on a cattle muster through the mid-west of America. While riding along they start talking about the 'one thing' that is important to them. Throughout the rest of the movie they talk about the 'one-thing' and in the end this 'one-thing' is different for different people.

It got me to thinking about what the 'one-thing' would be to a business. What 'one-thing' do you need to have in business ( or life ) to succeed. Could it be defined ? Could it be made simple ? Could it be made generic ? All interesting questions but I think I have come up with an answer. What is it ? Well, I reckon the 'one-thing' is BALANCE.

Business ( and life in general ) is all about maintaining balance. You need to balance the needs of the customer with those of your staff. You need to balance the cash needs of the business against investing enough for future growth and development. The whole thing is about balance the more I think about it. When the business is having problems if you stop and look at it, then you'll probably find there is an imbalance. Maybe, there's been too much time dedicated to something or too much money has been spend somewhere. Just take a look and you'll probably find an imbalance.

You will also probably have to balance your work and private life so I think a simple thing like balance extends a long way into our lives. Think about it, when were you most happy in your life ? Probably when everything was in sync and balanced. Think again, when were you most ill at ease in your life ? Probably when something was weighing you down. When did that feeling disappear ? Probably when you got your life back in balance.

It seems today that so many people are trying to find something that is missing in their lives. Have you ever seen the Ying and Yang Symbol ?

This symbol represents a perfect balance between two opposing sides ( black and white ). Where black is most dominate at the top white is weakest, however the opposite is true at the bottom of the picture. Also, totally enclosed in, where each side is strongest, is an island of the opposite colour. A very profound symbol if you take the time to study it.

Over the years, grasping to understand balance, I have have come to understand that it is not possible to totally eliminate one side. Thus, in the above symbol to totally remove one colour would remove balalnce. Thus, the world in which we live will always be filled with opposites. It is also a world where we can never totally eliminate one side. The truly wise man understands that many forces come to bear in their lives and they don't try and eliminate what they don't like or ignore what they can't handle, they learn to balance the forces to achieve harmony.

Deep eh ? But how does one achieve this balance ? Well, that will be the subject of my next post grasshopper. The path to balance comes from control.