Enjoy this excerpt from Life Lessons from Motorcycles, 75 Tips for Being in Balance. Download the entire ebook for free.
Look no further than motorcycles for life lessons on balance. When you’re out of balance on two wheels, the feedback is immediate and the consequences are real. Learning how to achieve balance in your life is every bit as important as learning to stay upright on a motorcycle.
Maintaining a healthy life balance helps you heal energetically, emotionally, and physically, and helps you live life to the fullest. Knowing how to stay in balance allows you to change how you live and die. Balance promotes happiness, strength, and clarity, and leaves you feeling energized and productive. Understanding that and achieving it are often two different things.
Balancing all aspects of life can be tricky. How do you balance challenging yourself intellectually with carving out time for your mind to rest? How do you balance giving and receiving love? How do you balance fulfilling social needs with the need for time alone? How do you push yourself to achieve work goals without forfeiting time for physical exercise or spiritual time?
The outcomes of being off-kilter on life’s Road can be harder to recognize and take longer to become apparent than does being out of balance on a motorcycle. Left untreated, they are equally as disruptive. Not responding to messages from your body and your intuition depletes your energy and leaves you tired and feeling ineffective. Left unchecked for long enough, it increases the potential for developing an illness or having an accident.
Five Overarching Tips for Being in Balance
- Patience. Learning a new skill or undertaking a new challenge can be exciting and exhilarating. Until you’ve got the knack of what you’re learning, it can also be frustrating. Getting upset and berating yourself is wasted energy. Instead, cut yourself some slack, reward your progress, and notice how much easier it is to stay centered, even while under pressure on a steep learning curve.
- Attentiveness. Conducting routine circle checks before getting underway on your bike helps you detect conditions such as low tire pressure, leaks, or mechanical failures, which could throw you off balance down the road. Pay attention to the signs your body sends, and take action to maintain balance in your life.
- Resilience. Mastering balance is the first lesson in learning to ride a motorcycle. Getting the feel of the bike under you, learning how to stop, and understanding how to manage the controls involves the integration of complex motor and cognitive skills. Students frequently lose their balance and drop the bike. Yet, like life lessons, if you let that stop you, you’ll never ride. Get beyond it and a whole new world will open up.
- Perspective. Motorcycle design, the size and shape of the rider, and the size and configuration of a load all influence the weight distribution and thus the ease of balancing. These combinations and how they affect the rider’s center of gravity are unique to each situation. Riders need to take this into account to achieve and maintain balance. Balance is an individual situation in life too. Well-intentioned others offer advice through their eyes, not yours. Measure yourself only against yourself, and do what’s best for you.
- Strength. You need strength to maintain balance, but inner strength grows best on a solid, balanced foundation. Strengthen your relationship with your higher self, listen to your intuition, and you’ll find it easier to maintain balance.
Life lessons on balance from motorcycle riding are vivid, forthright, and plentiful. Apply them in life as you would on a motorcycle—with skill, insight, and a sense of adventure.