Chaos in the midst of chaos isn't funny,
but chaos in the midst of order is.
--- Steve Martin
Many decades ago, a struggling comedian made crazy jokes (chaos) while wearing long hair, a medallion, and an open, tie-dye shirt (more chaos). Steve Martin worked this shtick for fifteen years on the nightclub circuit with only moderate success. Then he made a huge transformation: he lost the hippie gear and put on a white suit (order) while making his jokes even crazier (chaos). Watching someone who looks like a normal guy at the office acting completely nuts took people over the edge. Martin hit critical mass, became the first comedian to sell out stadiums, and achieved unprecedented success in his field. His story provides a window into the need we have to balance order and change in our lives. Change without order lacks confidence and direction; order without change loses its relevance and importance to us. Think about how your work and life have been coexisting lately. Do you have more of a need for order or change? Have you been doing the same thing the same way for what feels like eons? Do you need to stretch yourself in your approach? Alternatively, do you leap before you look, and constantly jump from idea to idea without taking time to better assess their viability? Consider whether you err too much on the side of order or change, and write down a few strategies to practice this week to better balance your work and life.
Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday each week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).