Have you ever seen a person walking on a tight rope across the Niagara Falls?
What balance, grace and ease… Yet, what does it take for someone to attain this level of focus, discipline and expertise?
I am taking this to the extreme, just to bring out the opposite—total imbalance.
There is a continuum from balance to imbalance and most of us are somewhere on this continuum. We function constantly adjusting many aspects of our life to maintain some sense of balance. Sometimes we succeed. Other times we fail. Sometimes we recover fairly quickly. Other times…we may get stuck with a feeling of failure, discouragement, or depression. Eventually we regain our balance, get our ducks in a row and proceed.
Sometimes it is health issues, or financial problems, or relationships, lack of sleep and built up stress. Sometimes our emotions get the best of us and jealousy, fear and anger have a way of distracting us completely, so it is a constant balancing act.
On the other extreme, there are the ones who don’t even try, they think in their head they can’t do it, become disinterested, or go from one thing to the other, any effort is dissipated by circumstances, There is lack of self-esteem and confidence. How one can have confidence in him or herself, if giving up is the preferred choice?
I believe in the magnificence of all of us, we were born to experience joy, to create what brings us satisfaction and contentment. We are born with something great to accomplish, something amazing to express and share first with our loved ones. Then there is so much enthusiasm about our life and we need to spread further, share with friends, colleagues and acquaintances and eventually we become so big and generous, we want to shout to the world, “Life Is So Beautiful”.
Every one of us is different, and we are born with different traits, in different circumstances, have our very own up-bringing, yet we are born with creativity, discernment, intelligence, perseverance, choices and resources.
To go back to our friend walking on a tight cable across the Niagara Falls. When I watched this incredible feat, my thought was: what are this man’s values that drive him to take on this challenge and put himself at such risk to his own life?
I am not saying that one should put themselves at risk to accomplish some goal, what I am observing is the role of values in the face of difficulties. I was contemplating the power of values in accomplishing anything. I imagined one of this man’s values would be excellence, it was important to him that he attain excellence in something in his life, and it was one of the things he lived by. In the movie he states that from very young when he first started to train, he always tied his own cables or ropes and he continued to perfect that skill; It’s interesting that his excellence was in setting up the cables, which enabled him to know the cable had been set with excellence, and that allowed him to do a great performance.
Many years later, he came to New York and wanted to stretch a cable between the Empire State building and the Statue of Liberty. He had to get a special permit to do that. When it came time to set up the cables he was not allowed to do it himself. Most of the story on the movie is about what he went through to set up the ropes himself. It took weeks of working during the night in order to not be seen, carrying heavy equipment, only trusting a few friends to help him, and finally when it was all done, one morning, without announcement of the event he walked across. There were thousands of people cheering him on, the wind was furiously blowing, but he was calm and confident. The crowd was wild.
When he arrived on the other side he was arrested for disobeying the law. He paid his fine and left New York and never came back.
I was touched by this man’s strength of commitment, confidence in himself, and trust in his values. Ever since I saw this movie I always ask myself, what is the value which I want to trust to help me accomplish this?
When values are aligned with what we want to accomplish, it is easier, we don’t get distracted, and we have inspiration.
Think about it, Clea Holdridge.