Monday, 18 May 2009

The fabled balance

On Friday, my work held a breakfast featuring the inspirational Tony Ryan as its guest speaker. A passionate educator, Tony's work easily spills over into every day life. He is a champion for the little guy; every little thing you do has an effect on someone else, whether or not you know it, and you are the most powerful person on the planet. His book (and blog), The Ripple Effect, echo this sentiment; one can't help feeling empowered by his messages. Every time I seriously consider leaving the education profession for good (like now), along comes something from Tony and I think "how can I leave - there's so much I can do!" I'm not entirely certain that's a good thing. ;-)

I have heard Tony speak several times, and had some great conversations with him over the years, yet I never tire of his messages, or the manner in which he delivers them. A few ideas and phrases caught my attention this time; he does not profess to lay claim to them all, but is keen to spread the word. The first message is: think outside the dodecahedron (because squares are so conventional!).

The second idea that caught my attention was the concept of introducing your physical self to your meta-self. This may sound all very technical and philosophical, but it's a great strategy for dealing with situations where emotions run high, or if you need some space away from a problem in order to gain a clearer perspective on it. By taking a step back from a situation and observing it from a distance, there is less chance of emotion or anxiety clouding the actual issue. He suggested that teachers try it the next time they get mauled by a parent. ;-)

The final concept that really struck a chord for me was the fabled balance. There are many ideas about finding balance in your life: work-life, self-family, inside-outside, etc. Tony suggests that the most important balance is 50:50 and it is yourself-others; this is all that really matters. While there may be times in your life when the balance is less than 50:50, if you tip the scales too far in one direction, or for too long, you will run into real problems. Wow!

What's your balance right now?

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