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The Balance

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The pull, the strain – The weight of all the pressures in our life around us. Everyday we struggle with choices that are far beyond our control. Part of what makes us human is the ability of choice, and that choice is also the crux of mankind. As I’ve blogged before, time is finite, there are only 24 hours in a day. We must maintain the “balance” of our choices to utilize the “time” we have within a day.

There are needs, and then there are wants – the choices of which may genuinely be confused with one another by someone. Almost all errors in life can be traced back to a bad choice, and not choosing to focus on the “balance”. Discovering the difference between the two, is probably one of the most vital things we can do with our lives, and hopefully this blog can assist you with this journey of self-discovery.

Much like in Star Wars, it is alluded that the force must always be in balance. This concept encompasses our choices as we journey through our very limited time on this Earth. As a father of three, boyfriend, 50 hour a week career holder, blogger, and upcoming YouTuber, I am nearly always in a fluster, and continuously struggling to find the equilibrium between all these things. The principles of “The Force” are lateral with our lives, you must maintain a balance between all the choices you make, or you risk pulling the other choice into the pit.

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     Actions have consequences, just as choices have repercussions, everything you choose to do within a day, causes something to happen on the other end. Imagine every choice you make as a tug-of-war rope, and a small pit in the middle. Your choice is embodied as the rope. When you make a choice, the things you choose between stand at each end of the rope, the balance we look to find, is pulling on one choice, and not letting the other side fall into the pit. Normally when we look at choice, we see the short term goals, or shun the other choices after making that decision.

Enter me today, and my struggle – my life is so busy, I am constantly buried under a mountain of choices, constantly clawing at the rope of choice to bring about the balance. I’m not the best, I really have sucked lately at this. My children always come first, let me make that clear. Homework, baths, dinner, one on one time, socializing with them, I do my best to pull that rope, and keep them away from the pit – but let me remind you, the rope has two sides, and sometimes that other side splits into multiple threads.

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     Outside of my children, I am engrossed in blogging, YouTubing, social networking, gaming (mostly for material, but I also try to raid once or twice a week in World of Warcraft), but if you’re paying attention to the article you’ll notice one sufferance here. My girlfriend’s side of the rope has been pulled towards the pit – not only pulled up to the side the of the pit, but she holds onto the edge of it with the tips of her toes. It does not mean I don’t love her, it doesn’t mean I don’t think of her – I feel absolutely awful that I’ve lost so much ground – but I constantly struggle to find that balance. I love her with all I got, and this journey is difficult, but I know it will be worth it, so her side of the rope can be away from the pit forever in the future.

Deep down, I don’t mean to do this, I’m just terrible at making those choices – I want to get better, and strive to do it – but my will is weakened by my glossed over vision of my goals. Don’t get me wrong, my girlfriend understands what I’m doing, and is patient, but that doesn’t excuse my choices, and I need to strive to do better. I want to challenge everyone reading this to do the same, because self-awareness is our greatest gift as a human. You, yes you out there, have the ability to consciously have knowledge of your choices and feelings.

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     Let’s dive into needs and wants. These are your basics foundations of choices. Awareness of these two basics is fundamental to total self-awareness. Let’s start with official definitions to set the tone: A need – this is a function that is necessary for an organism (us) to live a healthy life. A want – a desire (key word here) to possess or do something. Necessity vs Desire. 95% of all are choices are wants – we want (desire) to game, we want (desire) to blog, we want (desire)  to YouTube. Many (not all) would debate love as a need – I am one of them. I need the love of my significant other, I need the love of my children, it is part of what makes me whole, and I probably would not be able to function if I lacked it.

Using that information, and tying in (pun not intended) my rope analogy, we need to keep things in perspective, to maintain that balance between all things. I do not need to blog, YouTube, or game to survive, I want to do this things, but at what cost? I am sacrificing time with my girlfriend after the kids go to bed – the balance is way out of bounds right now. I am not proud of this, and have taken steps (alleviating the blog post schedule, among other things) to try and do better, but still I struggle to get that balance.

In gaming, we are given false senses of needs, and wants, that is through things like “Health” and “Lives” – it creates a dynamic of choice within the realm of the game. The survival of your character, in that specific bubble of entertainment, is a “need” within that sphere – oftentimes we blur the line of realities, and get sucked into this world, losing focus on the true choices.

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     Certain in your mind, through it’s neural pathways, and releasing of chemicals – you believe what you are doing is a necessity. When I blog, or do an article, and publish it out to the world, I get completely saturated by the need to interact with others after the release, help it gain traction, transfix eyeballs to my website, and this takes time. This is your brain at work – you are being tricked into thinking this thing you are doing, transcends the ‘needs’ of your actual life, because in that universe or bubble you are inside of, the lines of reality are blurred. This same practice is easily echoed in everything we do – from gaming, listening to music, writing, reading – anything at all.

This blog was to call attention to that – those differences – every choice, the cause and effect – and ultimately the struggle that I’m sure others just like me have on a day to day basis. Consider your choices, the rope, and the others holding on. Are you dragging them into the pit? I can humbly admit I have, and hope to try and do better, it’s part of why I’m trying to relax my blog schedule a little bit, to balance everything out.

This doesn’t even have to apply to content creators, it can apply to everyone – it’s an important life lesson, reflect upon your minute-to-minute and hour-to-hour choices, what are you doing at that moment, and who is affected, and how are they affected? Is someone important to you being dragged into the pitfall, whilst you reap some unneeded “want” that is selfish?

In conclusion, and on a much lighter (well kind of) note, I wanted to touch on gaming , and choice – for context I hope you could enjoy the following YouTube video courtesy of PlayStation:

     Detroit: Become Human not only folds into this article almost perfectly because of the theme (if you haven’t experienced this game at least once, go out now to your local game store, and get it), but also you have the ability to relive choices through the game. For those of you that are uninitiated to the game, you take the role of an android, that is “becoming human” – gaining self-awareness. You must make difficult, horrible choices, that changes how scenes (and the whole game) play out – but not only that, through systems in place, you can go back and change your choices, to see how that would have played out.

Could you imagine if you could do that in real life, weighing how spending more time on one thing, could affect the other, then go back and adjust your decisions to get the most out everything? That’s what is so great about gaming, a medium with the chance to experience something so personal, and life-changing, through the lens of a unique character, in a world that is unique of itself.

I hope I was able to assist in seeing things at a different angle, and maybe learn something about yourself!

Until next time,
TBG
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