Balance As A Noun & Verb

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 Balance As A Noun & Verb

In this lesson, we're going to talk about balance as it relates to our lives.

We often hear that we should live a life of balance or that we should seek balance in our lives. 

Most of us live very hectic lives. We have long to-do lists and many work and family responsibilities.

Life can often feel overwhelming and off-balance.

Achieving balance sounds like a pretty good idea! Let's examine how a shift in thinking about the word balance might help you live better. Let's go!

Background

Whenever the stars align and I'm able to wake up before my two daughters, I pour myself a delicious cup of coffee and sit down to read personal and professional development books. It's a great way to start the day!

I was recently reading this book, The One Thing by Gary Keller, and I came across an idea that helped me think about how to live better.

The idea relates to grammar.

Here's what the author writes:

"The One Thing" Book Cover

"Nothing ever achieves absolute balance. Nothing.

No matter how imperceptible it might be, what appears to be a state of balance is something entirely different - an act of balancing. 

Viewed wistfully as a noun, balance is lived practically as a verb. 

Seen as something we ultimately attain, balance is actually something we constantly do."

Think of balance as a verb rather than as a noun.

We can categorize our words into groups called the parts of speech. Nouns and verbs are two of the parts of speech, and balance can be a noun or a verb. 

  • Nouns name people, places, things or ideas. 
  • Verbs tell us what something is or does. 

Gary Keller, the author of this book, challenges us to think of balance as a verb (something that we do) rather than as a noun (a state that we attain). 

As he says, "Balance is something we constantly do." 

I found this idea quite helpful, and I hope that you do as well! It reminds me to live my life in a particular way rather than to pursue a particular state. 

See the difference in sentence diagrams.

Sentence diagrams are pictures of sentences that illustrate the grammar of the sentence. 

Here is an example to show you how some of the parts of speech are diagrammed.

Sentence Diagram

Let's look at how the shift from balance as a noun to a verb looks in a sentence diagram. 

Balance As A Noun

Sentence diagram of "balance" as the object of a preposition, a noun

My life is in balance. 

Balance is the object of the preposition in. It's a noun.

Balance As A Verb

Sentence diagram of "balance" as a verb

I balance my life. 

Balance is a verb.

Understanding grammar helps you think.

Most of us think of the parts of speech as something that we learn in order to know more about grammar and language.

I like this idea of shifting balance from a noun to a verb because it shows us how the parts of speech themselves are useful concepts for understanding life and how to live. 

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Elizabeth O'Brien from Grammar Revolution

If you don't want to teach or learn grammar by yourself,  click here to see how I can help you.

I continually find your wonderful email messages to be uplifting and inspiring.  
- Gary

If you'd like me to help you teach or learn grammar in an easy and approachable way, check out The Get Smart Grammar Program. It lays everything out clearly and allows you to move at your own pace. Just watch the videos and complete your assignments. By the time you finish, you'll have an excellent grasp of grammar and sentence diagramming, and you'll feel much more confident. 

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Elizabeth O'Brien

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