Balance, Sustainabilty and Exhaustion

A proper handstand is an inversion you can enter, hold and exit with control. I cannot do a handstand. Do not be fooled by this picture which depicts a point in time of one try out of eight. Trust and believe, I wouldn’t try this on the balcony of a confined space because I can’t sustain it. I can run fast, if it’s only going to be for 10 seconds. I’m good for a burst, not for a long run. Physically, I know a lot of my limits. I can distinguish between things I can sustain and things that will lead to exhaustion. At work, it is a different story, This week, I realized, there are times when I have mistaken a burst, a moment in time when things came into alignment as sustainable.

I worked on a project to identify every process impacted by HIPPA. I was in “the zone” and for three days with little sleep, I cranked out 105 pages of process maps, tables, risks and recommendations required for compliance. It was 6 months worth of work done in 3 days. While that was a great triumph lauded by my peers, it messed me up for 4 years. I unconsciously kept looking for the “this was incredible, no one else could have done this, wow what a success” exhilaration. As a result, I took on too much work at times, under estimated  scope for others, because I didn’t recognize that one event was a perfect alignment. I chased something as sustainable, something as normal when that project was a rare instance when the needs of the client were tailored to my expertise.

Have you mistaken intermittent balance and burst of strengths for sustainability? You were in the right place at the right time, you got a great assignment, you knew someone who knew someone. This is all great. The frustration starts when you try to pursue the magical, extraordinary times as normal without acknowledgement of the components that made it possible. This leads to a whisper of subtle frustration; until one day you find yourself in search of something seven years from your past instead of assessing what’s in your present that will make your future.

The lesson here, we can all have moments of greatness, but understand sustainable and attainable. You can exhaust yourself with anything, trying to get that good project, cook that wonderful meal, do that solid handstand, have that great relationship. You have to understand what went into it, to get repeatability and sustainability. Observe where you “chase the magic.” What was it that made it a success? Can begin to see how you can sustain or where you may need to build strength as not to exhaust yourself? Do a quick inventory your strengths.  Where did you excel in the last 6 months? Does this match your pursuits? If not, do you need to build strength or reevaluate goals? How will you attain sustainability? The power is knowing whether that great round of golf, good hair day or surplus of cash is the result of magical alignment at a point in time or the result of work.




The trained eye can see my back has to much of an arch and my hips are not aligned with my shoulder, hence, I can not sustain this handstand. The work is to use a  wall and hold proper alignment for minute or more daily.   Check back with me in 6 months, because right now, 30 seconds is all I can sustain.


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