Do you struggle with finding life balance? Do you struggle to ground yourself and stay focused?
The saying “keep your head in the clouds, and your feet on the ground” is something my dad used to say. While I’ve heard this saying many times (and have always thought it was pretty corny and cheesy), I’ve started to think about it more deeply and realized the true wisdom of this idea.
As I’ve been thinking about it more, I notice that while I often have my “head in the clouds” (thinking about big aspirations, dreams, ideas, and more) and my “feet on the ground” (staying grounded in “reality,” taking practical action, and keeping things “real”), I rarely do these things simultaneously.
Tips on How to Create Healthy Life Balance
Here are a few things you can do and think about to balance the yin and yang energies of dreaming and doing in your life.
1. Notice where you are on this spectrum.
Take some time to reflect on where you fall on the “head in the clouds, feet on the ground” continuum.
While many of us move back and forth on this spectrum, most of us have a natural place where we settle – i.e., we’re more of a “dreamer” or a “doer.” Once we recognize where we are on the spectrum, we can choose to move and create more of a balanced approach. It’s important to remember how strong we are – in this specific regard and in general.
By acknowledging and understanding where you are on the spectrum, you can set goals and create new habits to help you live a more balanced life.
2. Allow yourself to focus on your dreams.
What are some of your biggest dreams? What do you truly want in your life?
Having passionate desire without attachment is one of the most essential elements of making our dreams come true.
However, because most of us have been hurt, disappointed, or let down by goals that haven’t been attained, we tend to hold back when thinking about, visualizing, and talking about our deepest desires and most important dreams, especially these days.
Having our “head in the clouds” is about giving ourselves permission to dream and dream big. Don’t let past mistakes or failures bring you down. Remember that the mistakes you’ve made in the past are lessons. Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success. And when you allow yourself to focus on your dreams, you can better visualize them and work towards achieving your goals.
3) Take intentional and effective action.
One of the biggest challenges we encounter in our journey towards our dreams is either not taking effective action (because we don’t know what to do or we’re too scared to do it) or taking too much ineffective action (because we’re running around doing stuff just for the sake of doing stuff, often in an unconscious way).
When we allow ourselves to dream big (with our “head in the clouds”), how we keep our “feet on the ground” is by coming up with intentional and appropriate actions to move forward with our goals, even if we’re scared and not sure how things will turn out. We often need guidance, advice, and support in this process – because it can be confusing, intimidating, or both.
When you’re open to guidance and advice as you work on taking effective action, you open yourself up to new possibilities and push yourself forward in turning your dreams into reality.
4) Get good support and feedback.
To stay grounded, you must have a strong support system.
Support and feedback are essential aspects of life, success, and growth. When accomplishing our dreams, we must have empowering support around us. Some of us need people who can challenge us, think big, and help us reach for our goals.
Others need people to help ground us, keep us in reality, and help us focus our energy, passion, and ideas in a practical way.
Most importantly, we all need people who can cheer for us, hold us accountable, and support us on our journey in an authentic and meaningful way. We can’t do it alone – at least not nearly as easily or effectively.
5) Have fun!
Accomplishing our goals doesn’t have to be strenuous, stressful, or frustrating. It does take a lot of hard work and grit, but it’s also an important growth process that can help us learn more about ourselves and gain confidence in what we do.
It’s essential for us to enjoy the journey and not take ourselves or life too seriously. Sometimes, as you may have noticed, we get tense, uptight, and stressed out about our dreams – almost as if we’re holding our breath and waiting to exhale once things turn out.
When we stress ourselves out about our goals, it creates a challenging dynamic in our lives. It’s not the most conducive environment (internally and externally) for us to create success and fulfillment. Having fun along the way ensures we keep things in perspective and enjoy the ride, regardless of the outcome.
Keeping our heads in the clouds and our feet on the ground is much easier said than done. However, when we can do both things with passion, intention, and focus, we create a sense of life balance and peace that can allow us to have what we truly want in life.
How can you balance having your “head in the clouds” and your “feet on the ground” in your own life? Share your thoughts, action ideas, insights, and more in the comments section below.
Mike Robbins is the author of five books, including his latest, We’re All in This Together: Creating a Team Culture of High Performance, Trust, and Belonging. He’s a thought leader and sought-after speaker whose clients include Google, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Schwab, eBay, Genentech, the Oakland A’s, and many others.
Liked this article? Here are three more!
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- The Difficulty and Necessity of Accountability
This article was originally published on April 29, 2010, and updated for 2022.