A motley group of people are performing under the stark lights of entertainment, enthralling the audience who can’t take their eyes off them. It is but all in vain. The minute the tightrope walker appears, the dances and jokers, the mimes and rope tricks are all relegated to the shadows. A collective gasp, the adulation in their eyes, the incredulity on their faces and the enthralled applause at the end of the tightrope act is unparalleled. Everyone wants to be that person on the tightrope – dressed in finery, doing the balancing act so well, apparently effortlessly and being the centre of attention. Fortunately or not, many of us have mastered the act really well. We do it everyday, every minute. “Balance” being our mantra (work-life balance anyone?), the cheers of others our fodder. We adore the act so much, we never want to let go. On the contrary, we’d like to add some tricks to it. The admiration increases, you enjoy what you are doing, life is great. Now, have you heard of sine waves?
No? Here is an example – Sine wave. Do you see the peaks and troughs? That, dear entertainers, is the fact of the act. However talented you are, however much you’ve practised. You’ll be doing it so well, it will soon be taken for granted. That doesn’t matter? Great! You are the best tightrope walker in the world, congratulations. Yet, even if you do it for the sake of doing it, it will slowly get monotonous. You, the best tightrope walker in the world, will slowly have calloused feet, think one-dimensionally and your vision will blur so much that only the rope will be visible – the people you do it for, the praise and pride will fade away in your eyes. So what will you be left with at the end of the day? Nothing positive comes to my mind.
So, get off that damned rope every once in a while. Nobody is asking you to shirk your responsibilities – quite the opposite in fact. You have a responsibility to yourself. So stop the act, breathe. Go watch the joker juggling hats and bats. Or just do nothing – can you do that? Absolutely do nothing. When you get back, you’ll have a renewed enthusiasm for the walk and a better appreciation from the hordes watching you. Go ahead, try it. You are no Atlas, so there won’t be any irreparable damage if you let go for a while 😛
“The really idle man gets nowhere. The perpetually busy man does not get much further.”
–Sir Heneage Ogilvie