Forging in the smithy of your soul

Here’s the hard part about being a blacksmith. 

You have to find a delicate balance of having enough irons in the fire to keep you busy, but not so many irons that you become overwhelmed and inefficient. 

With too few irons, for example, the blacksmith has to wait around until things heat up. And it becomes difficult to stay constantly busy. Plus, he’s vulnerable to a single point of failure if something goes wrong. 

But with too many irons in the fire, the smithy spreads himself too thin. He can’t keep track of what stage of heating each rod is at. And then it becomes overwhelming to keep up a steady pace of work. 

Everyone can relate to this struggle. We all must strike the same delicate balance in our own work. Here are few strategies that helped me over the years. 

First, respect the limits of your executional bandwidth. Identify the optimum number of projects that you can handle at any given time. Only then can you set proper boundaries. Without this critical first step, you quickly become exhausted and exhausting to be around. 

The second step to balance is taking a realistic, honest and humble view of your own goals. Because even if you do start out your workdays with aspirations of grandeur, full of energy and good intentions, that doesn’t mean it’s sustainable. 

The question is, are you moving at pace that allows you to stay connected, and to act in the service of whatever is emerging? 

That’s balance. Choosing not to force the pace of your work. Embracing wisdom over velocity. 

One last helpful strategy for balance is creating a time cushion. Making it easier on yourself instead of always running a race against the clock. After all, most things take longer than you think they will. It’s smart to build some flexibility into your schedules and projects for when the world decides to interfere with our plans. 

Without this cushion, you become too scared to give up the task for a moment and allow yourself the space we need. And that only creates frustration to your already overloaded system. 

Remember, when you feel exhausted, it’s probably because you’re fighting against yourself. 


Do you have the appropriate number of irons in the fire? 

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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