Balance is one of those skills that looks so easy to the casual observer. Watch an Olympic gymnast compete on the beam—they perform on it like it's four feet wide. But it's actually four inches wide, the same width as a Coronavirus vaccination card.1 That's why balance is tricky; it looks so easy when you don't know the effort that goes into achieving it.

Balance for Beginners

I used to think I was fantastic at balance, particularly when I was in college. As important as my studies were, I made sure that I had a fulfilling social life. In college, my goals were good grades, fun, and enough money in my pocket not to feel stressed all the time, and that required striking a balance. I learned to maximize my time by prioritizing; if I had schoolwork to do, that was done first because I knew I couldn't relax and enjoy myself until I finished my work. Procrastination has always stressed me out, and I can't put forth my best work when I feel pressured.

I loved a good gathering and was fortunate to go to Trinity College, a school with both incredible academics and countless parties. I was able to go out five nights a week and, often, two parties a night. I loved my social life in college, and it went a long way toward making up for tenth grade.

Some people thrive under a pending deadline, truly pulling it together when in a pinch; they're called lunatics, and I am not one of them. Every morning when I'd wake up, I'd create a plan for my day, knowing that if I accomplished ...

Get Dream Big and Win now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.