“The Juggler” 1981 Oil on Panel by Michael Parkes
The Juggler by Michael Parkes


I feel the greatest factor in order to maintain consistency and focus is balance.

It’s about skillfully balancing practicing your passion while juggling all the necessities of life.

I’ve learned that it is very, extremely unproductive to compare myself to others who don’t share the same situation as me. I have the bad habit of being a perfectionist and wanting to be the best at everything I’m into. So when I hear people write or draw or study those things six to eight hours a day, I feel like I need to do that too or even more.

But most of those people either figured out a way to balance their life or sacrificed or just simply have the time to make that work.

I know I’ve allowed myself to feel bad by an aspiring artist friend of mine. Drawing for three hours a day is slacking off in his book. And often he’s lectured me about my inconsistency….which I cannot deny.

I am extremely inconsistent. I’m very much aware of it and if there’s one thing I want to change most about my behavior, it’s that.

But I also have to face reality.

I’m living with my 17 year old brother (I took him back in. Inconsistent, I know) with a house that is falling apart, working a part-time job. I have to pay the bills, do the laundry, stock up the fridge, budget my spending, clean the house, monitor my brother’s whereabouts, drive him to places, go to work, make sure my brother is taking care of his pets, etc…

AND pursue my dreams and somehow start a career.

Needless to say, writing and drawing eight hours a day isn’t going to work.

For me, it’s very easy for me to freak out and lose focus, especially with a history of crippling anxiety and depression since I’m way too hard on myself.

Balance is the key.

Flexibility and sacrifice helps in creating Balance. It’s like juggling. You need flexibility to catch everything and sacrifice items, juggling less than you’d like in order to make it work.

It’s all about doing whatever it takes.

How do you achieve balance in your life?


4 thoughts on “Balance

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  1. I know how you feel. Much in the same position as you, teen brother and all. I don’t know if I have any kind of balance, all I know is I do the best with what I have. If my day is so busy I get no time to write, much less anything else like drawing, I make sure to set aside at least at hour at night before bed–most times from 1-2 am when everyone is asleep–to get some work done. Sometimes this works and I make alot of progress in a short period of time. Sometimes it’s barely 200 words. So… pretty much just consists of squeezing writing time in whenever I can.

  2. I read a great post about this on Zen Habits recently. He suggested making very small changes to your life, one at a time. I think if you start with your typical routine and gradually add in small commitments to writing, drawing, etc., that might be a reasonable strategy. Then the balance takes care of itself.

    Full post here if you’re interested:

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