The first kind: change your appearance. Dress differently – wear a suit if you typically live in sweats, go for a short hairstyle if you usually wear it long. This is an investment in apparel and time, to present oneself as groomed, stylish and (if nature has been kind) attractive. The world awaits!
The second kind: redecorate your living space. A splash of color on a focal wall in the living room, a cool new rug found at a thrift store, some artwork your neighbor was throwing out that when newly framed is fresh and interesting. Some throw pillows and a nice quilt in which to curl up on the cold winter evenings, a good book in hand. This is an investment in the only environment over which we have some small control: one’s home.
Then there is the third kind.
There is something compelling about threes: the Trinity, feng shui (health, happiness, prosperity), engineering support systems, the nature of human (mind, body, spirit), the components of film (image, music, text), the points within the enneagram – all themes of balance. I have three things – never more – on my nightstand. I have three candles on the table. I have three pairs of slippers. My parents have three daughters. It is destiny.
The third kind is to discover who we are and ponder the mysterious, complex and compelling paths of our brains to uncover the core of our intellect in all its bizarre and fascinating radiance. How do we make decisions? How does the way we behave correspond, or clash, with the higher calling from our integrated minds? How do we reach the uneasy balance between discovering our potential and handling the minor interactions which are a necessary component of our daily lives?
I had occasion recently to consider these topics in earnest. Learning how to find practical balance leads me toward resolving the dissonance between who I am on the inside and how I interact with other people. It sounds like an esoteric exercise, but it is extremely practical and essential to me in continuing to evolve myself in work while having satisfying relationships with family and friends. The anxiety of one intrudes into the sanctity of the other.
Why is this practical? If I manage my life well, I can manage the work of others well. If I create opportunities for others in the work environment and conduct interactions constructively, the tension in my work life is greatly reduced, creating more time for meaningful work and liberating me from much of the anxiety I have so often carried into my home.