A Coaching Power Tool created by Jay Kumar Hariharan
(Executive Coaching, INDIA)
To go past the mark is as wrong as to fall short. Confucius
If there is any entity that has taught us the importance and sanctity of balance ,it is Nature .It has a self correcting mechanism that ensures that any imbalance is countered and the system returns to a state of equilibrium. The balance of nature is a theory that says that ecological systems are usually in a stable equilibrium (homeostasis), which is to say that a small change in some particular parameters will be corrected by some negative feedback that will bring the parameter back to its original “point of balance” with the rest of the system. We can sense that need for balance all around us ,any upset in this balance in either direction sets us off .
The world seems to celebrate excesses in a wanton manner –hyper, aggressive and excessive behavior is celebrated. The media indulges in a feeding frenzy to create a pop culture that is completely over the top. Movies stars, fashionistas and a general worship of the maxim “more is better” is a sign of the times. Having Meaningful goals that are in alignment with your values and beliefs are goals that would make the world a better place ,but even for that ,a certain amount of disengagement and emotional stillness is required to be centered. Even passion for anything in excess leads to pain .In fact the word passion is derived from the Latin verb pati –meaning to suffer
Emotional intensity and fulsome engagement with the environment around us will result in yo yoing feelings of elation and depression .An emotionally wired person would be able to identify these feelings after distancing himself and hence will be able to course correct .As Marshall Goldsmith mentions in his book ‘What got you here won’t get you there “.The way we think and behave has been hardwired by our success and constant reinforcement by our ecosystem, it’s easy to get carried away by embracing only one or two ways of operating our emotional operating system, then the same ecosystem knocks us down because we are not able to access the other end of spectrum of our behavior ,which is why a sense of balance is very important . This is when the need to step back, realign ,find a sense of balance and move on becomes important .Any habit is a strength only when it is in the right proportion and in the right context ,this can get easily into erroneous territory if its usage is appropriate in a a particular context.It is said in the Hindu Holy Texts even the divine nectar that emerged as the celestial drink of the gods if consumed beyond a limit would become poisonous.
The best way forward is to accept the process and not worry about the end result ,this would help in a huge way to restore balance within.
In philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. For example courage, a virtue, if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness and if deficient as cowardice. The earliest representation of this idea in culture is probably in the mythological Cretan tale of Daedalus and Icarus. Daedalus, a famous artist of his time, built feathered wings for himself and his son so that they might escape the clutches of King Minos. Daedalus warns his beloved son who he loved so much to “fly the middle course”, between the sea spray and the sun’s heat. Icarus did not heed his father; he flew up and up until the sun melted the wax off his wings.For not heeding the middle course, he fell into the sea and drowned.
The term Middle Way was used in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, the first teaching that the Buddha delivered after his awakening.[c] In this sutta the Buddha describes the middle way as a path of moderation, between the extremes of sensual indulgence and self-mortification. This, according to him, was the path of wisdom.
He said “Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable”