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Balancing Your Life

Part 1 – Elevate your Focus to Navigate Uncertainty

Please watch the Video Presentation of this message by clicking the play button below. To watch full screen in High Definition, click the arrows in the bottom right corner, and choose 720 or 1080p. Transcript of the video follows.

This is the first part in a series of three video segments teaching the principles of effective balance from atop a ten foot high “slack rope.”

Begin Transcript

Do you want to know the secret to balancing your life? Hi, I’m Dan Thurmon, author of the book Off Balance On Purpose, and today I’m up here in the trees hanging out with the birds, and we are going to talk about the secrets for effect balance in life and, in particular, on this slack rope. [Dan stands atop the slack rope, ten feet in the air.]

I believe that this represents the kind of challenges many of us face in our lives. So we are going to use this as an illustration for what we can do to become better balancers. You see, that’s the thing. You’ll never attain the “perfect balance,” a state of perfect where everything in your life has “evened out.” That’s because we are always in transition. We are always learning and growing and changing … and that’s a good thing.

But the question is, how do you envision your path and then take the steps necessary in order to move forward? And the first step is very simple: Don’t look down! If you stare down at the rope, which many people do when they are trying this for the first time, you will immediately head toward the ground.

And in life we often look down at our challenges – down at our negative situations – down at the immediacy of what is happening and what we think is important, instead of looking up and outward to grasp the whole situation and understand what is really necessary. Only with that longer range viewpoint can we begin to take the necessary steps to move forward.

[Dan pushes off from the tree and begins walking atop the ever-moving slack rope.]

Notice even while I am walking I am looking forward, not down to where my foot is in contact with the rope. I feel for it to get a sense of security and alignment, but then I move forward with my vision fixed ahead of me. That is the only way to effectively move forward. If you look down [Dan looks down at this feet and the rope, and loses control and composure.] Woah! [He “falls” to the ground, landing on his feet.] Immediately, you are going to fall off of the rope, and you will be in big trouble.

So, the first lesson is to manage your focus, to:

  1. Raise your vision above your challenges.
  2. Set a higher course for your life, in terms of your goals and objectives, and to
  3. Keep your focus fixed down the path.

To be continued…


  • diana thurmon says:

    That was a GOOD decision to do this in sections. Very effective and succinct now. By the way, I love you, Mom

  • Neil McGuffog says:

    Hi Dan,

    We met about 2-3 years ago while you were the session opening speaker at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Indiana chapter. I, too, am a University of Georgia graduate and am currently in the wellness field.

    Great messaging – terrific presentation style. Engaging indeed. I’m in ToastMasters International currently working on my public speaking. If you’re ever back in Indy I’d love to invite you to our Friday morning (7:00 am) Classic Communicators ToastMasters meeting. You’d be an outstanding hit!

    Thanks for the positive messaging and inspirational thoughts.

    Neil McGuffog

  • Tim H. says:


    Super-simple concept with a great visual example! Sometimes it seems like the path ahead is realy that narrow and difficult, but your decision to get on the path and conquer it is the first step, and the positive upward focus enables you to successfully cross from side to side.

    Way to go!

    -Tim H.

  • dan says:

    Neil and Tim, thanks very much for your comments to this post. I greatly appreciate the feedback on both this video and my live presentations. Neil, you can sign up for the “SpeakerTrack” service, which can notify you when I’m in your town, at this link:

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