Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Balancing Culture

So, this post was inspired by a talk on Twitter about entrepreneurial balance. There was a very nice broadcast by Dr. Jeff Moore.

Now, unless you're catching this within 24 hrs of the Periscope broadcast, it'll be gone unless Dr. Moore posts it on YouTube or something. The theme of the matter for him was this: Entrepreneurs don't have balance. Work-Life-Balance goes AGAINST the grain of entrepreneurialism.

To this: I agree! I'm an entrepreneur now and I completely see how this is true. However, I'd modify this in that the work-life-balance that people have sought in the past is no longer the norm to consider.

Rather, vertical balance is the new norm versus the horizontal balance you'd see in a pie chart or Venn Diagram. Then it hit me! The same goes for balancing culture!

Balancing Culture

So, instead of thinking: Okay, I'm American, or I'm Canadian, or I'm Australian, or whatever your national culture may be vs. your inherited and/or ethnic culture... I'd encourage the Millennial Asian to stop thinking about balancing out your culture as the middle point balance of this:

And, think about stacking your cultural self vertically -- on top of each other, existing in the same 2 dimensional space and adding depth from the ground up.

All too often, I found that there's this weird colonial dissonance & slow dripped modern toxins present in the lives of Millennial Asians which have in concert, destroyed the vitality and positivity of that could be the Millennial Asian culture.

So, rather than trying to balance out "even time" and "even emphasis" the cultures that are a part of you and that you identify with... stack them on top of each other. For myself, I have Taiwanese, Chinese, Dutch, and Polynesian in my blood.

I'm very proud to be born in America and couldn't be more American... just ask my wife.

How I balance this is through having all these aspects exist in the same space, stacked on top of each other, balanced like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It doesn't matter that I'm more American than I am Dutch. I acknowledge both evenly in the same space on the ground which these layers exist above. They aren't in competition. They balance on top of each other; relying on each other to balance both the layers above them, and below them. And, certainly, there are priorities. My American identity is my priority. And, that's a good thing! However, instead of trying to divvy out resources across various areas, isn't it better to acknowledge they all exist and to give each their representative recognition as an important part of you? No matter how big or small?

That's how I do, for balancing culture.