I live in the heart of Silicon Valley. Never before in history has there been such a hotbed of innovation. Within 30 minutes from my house, I can visit Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Genentech, Apple, Zynga, Electronic Arts, Salesforce, Evernote, and Tesla. Each of these great companies succeeded through people’s hard work and personal sacrifice, but also with exhaustion that is accepted with resignation as the way it has to be.
I know these rationalizations well. I am a recovering workaholic, and there was a time that I worked 90 hours a week as a “successful” marketer here in Silicon Valley. The long hours harmed my health, my relationships, and ultimately my career.
A monthly question from readers. Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month’s question: “As I pursue the beautiful trait of equanimity, won’t I be giving up on experiences of joy? My experience of joy is totally unbalanced, tipping toward a wonderful extreme. Should I aspire to give that up in favor of equanimity?”
TMI is offering a half day of learning in our Mussar Caravan in various cities. The Mussar Caravan may be coming to a city near you:
- April 26 – UCLA Hillel, Los Angeles, Calif. Register now.
- May 3 – location TBA, Manhattan
- May 17 – Stanford University Hillel, San Francisco Bay Area
- TBA – Houston, Texas
Save the date for Kallah XIII – Nov. 12 – 15, 2015, Zion, IL
A key to developing the middah of balance is heightening awareness of our everyday actions. This includes bringing attention to habit and everything around us.
At five moments each day, call yourself to be aware. Set an alarm, on a phone or tablet or computer, if need be. Schedule five times—
At those times, become fully aware of all the sensory experiences in that moment. What do you see? What sounds do you hear? Is there anything to smell or taste? What is your skin in contact with that gives you sensations of touch? A repeated and regular inventory of your sensory experiences like this makes you more aware.
Journal your experiences and take note of how your awareness increases.
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