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A Perfect World ... Imbalance Creates Motivation

I am a big proponent of balance. Everything has to be just so. I believe that we should all strive to obtain balance in our lives. Balance between career and family. Balance between public and private. Balance between spiritualism, finances, and materialism.

One of the things I also pass on to my clients is that, since things don't always remain in balance, controlled imbalance is also an important part of life. This, because, once you achieve balance, it is still necessary to move forward. However, forward movement causes imbalance, or is caused by imbalance, and the chase to re-achieve further balance.

The Setup

I recently had a chat with one of my friends who was absolutely fed up with his job. It wasn't the work. It was the politics, the wars and conflicts, and the people within his office. He wanted to live in a happy place.

Obviously he was tired, and rightfully so. But, I thought about it for a while and began to realize that his desires were outstanding! So, we tried something. He, his wife, and my wife and I all went to Big Bear for the weekend. For that weekend, we would not do anything that would create conflict. If conflict reared its ugly head, we would stop and do something else. We would just be in a happy place.

Ultimately, it turned out that we did absolutely nothing. Among numerous other non-confrontational issues, we began several conversations, but had to stop because we had a conflict in our views. Then, we wanted to go out to dinner, but that was a conflict because we all wanted something different. By the time we left, we were all so irritated that we were about to blow because of the fact that our desire for no conflict, created massive inner conflict! It was an interesting test!

Originally, his question was, How do I get rid of conflict in my life? However, his new question was, How do I use conflict to my advantage?

Can't we all just get along?

Well, the answer is yes and no. Believe it or not, the positive interactions and negative conflicts that we all encounter daily is actually us getting along. It is movement, motivation, trial and error. It is how we get things done in a world of millions of unique entities!

Conflict comes from two things: you choosing to move in a direction under your own force or you choosing not to move in a direction under someone else's force. Lack of conflict is a sign that you're sitting still. Conflict is friction and is a sign of movement, or the potential of movement.

We all get along on different levels and in different ways. It is this difference in our styles and methods that creates a conflict in our interactions. Anytime you make a decision, it is based on your own emotions, feelings, and desires. However, others will not understand your decision and will feel differently about it than you. Therefore, you must realize that interpersonal conflict is a result of movement and decisions simply because of the fact that the way things are now no longer matches the way things were.

The same ol' same ol'.

When things are at their gloomiest, we want things to be better. We want it so that there is less stress and less conflict in our lives. That would be the perfect world. But, then, what of it? What would be the purpose? If there were no conflict, we would never be motivated in any direction, backward or forward.

However, did you ever stop and think what would happen if we all acted and interacted the same way? Obviously, there would be no conflict. However, there would literally be no reason to communicate because we would then all know the same things and feel the same way about everything. Imbalance would not exist and, therefore, neither would the need to do much of anything else. Perfection! Right?

But, what is conflict? Conflict in life is resistance to change. But, that can be seen two ways: either you're changing and the environment resists this change, or something around you is changing and you resist the change. It is not so much that life is doling out bad things every turn you make, but, perhaps, you're not turning the right way!

When things change, the Universe goes into imbalance. When things are thrown into imbalance, the Universe always seeks to achieve balance in any way possible. The general flow is: Balance -> Desire -> Imbalance -> Change -> (Repeat). But, how does that affect you?

The need for imbalance.

As I teach to my clients and associates, maintaining a balanced life within your own realm is very important. It is necessary to learn how to balance all aspects of your life such that you are running one life instead of a dozen smaller disconnected existences.

However, once you achieve balance, what do you do? Do you just sit there and enjoy the happy world you've created? Surely, after a while this will become boring. But, the way to move forward is to create an imbalance in one part of your life to get it moving forward. However, your aim is to issue small, controllable imbalances so that you can move back to a place where you can re-achieve balance.

Imbalance creates a flow. Imagine a river. Why does it flow? In most cases, it originates in the mountains and flows downhill to a point where it settles in a lake, or the ocean. In the lake or ocean, it is back to a balanced, even state. But, eventually the water evaporates and ends up back in the mountains as melting snow to flow down the river again.

What if the land was flat? The water would just sit there and stagnate. Mosquitoes would birth, diseases would evolve, and eventually the dead water would evaporate and fall back down to go, nowhere. Obviously, it is that difference of potential, that imbalance in the land, that makes that stagnate water do some sort of work so that it doesn't turn into a swamp.

Balance in the Workplace

Applying this idea of imbalance to the workplace is similar to applying it to your own life. Managers purposefully create imbalance to move things forward. Many employees mis-interpret this as bad politics. Well, indeed, imbalance is a tool of politics, and it is a very effective tool.

Let's assume that your manager wants to move the department in a new direction. Instead of trying to explain this direction to a group of people with a dozen different points of view, he simply creates an imbalance in the direction that he wants to go. One of the ways of doing this is sometimes classified as lack of communications. This is always a huge complaint I have heard since the mid-1970's. Instead of simply assuming that there is an intense lack of communications, consider the ancillary activities revolving around this lack of communications.

For one, lack of communications implies power. Over time, you begin to expect, no communications. But, the thing to consider is, what are the side effects of this lack of communications? Where is the department heading? What is the ultimate and desired outcome? If you learn to examine some of the effects of imbalance, you will learn to see the desired outcomes as opposed to the immediate actions.

What's next?

It is a bizarre thing that so many people want that perfect world. But, we live in it! That sounds a bit odd, but it is true. It is as perfect as it is, but, the question you must ask yourself is: how perfect is my world?

I realized a long time ago that we all require imbalance to move forward. We cannot exist in perfect balance all of the time, otherwise, nothing would get done. First, we have balance, then some desire places our world in imbalance. We then experience change and then work to achieve balance again. This is forward momentum.

Politics, games, deceit, hatred, war, and numerous other conflicts create an imbalance, which then causes a change forcing us to move in a new direction. I am not saying that only bad things create imbalance. Love, relationships, ideas, goals, desires, and the like also create an imbalance that force us to change to achieve.

Consider that, it is better to understand the environment instead of rejecting it because each event in our lives allows us to move in a new direction. But, realize that we can choose the direction and the outcome of the change. It is not some random event, but instead, an event that occurs based on decisions for the future. Instead of accepting imbalance as an effect of change, learn to create imbalance as a force of planned change.

Edward B. Toupin, Ph.D., is a published author, life-strategy coach, counselor, Reiki Master, and technical writer living in Las Vegas, NV. Edward works with people to help them strive for a richer life. He also authors books, articles, and screenplays on topics ranging from career success through life organization and fulfillment. Check out some of his recent print and electronic books as well as his articles covering various life-changing topics! Contact Edward at or visit his site at


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