The Yin and Yang of Sources of Insight



I wanted a visual that could express one of the idea of Sources of Insight.   I think the Yin and Yang is a good model.  According to Wikipedia, the Yin and Yang expresses how seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent.

I think this is true of work and life.  I think this is also true of soft skills and hard skills.

One of the things I like to do is to inject more “life” into work.  By that, I mean using work as self-expression.  I also mean using work as an arena for personal growth.  I also mean living your values at work.  So rather than see work as a task you do, I see work as a way to grow your skills, challenge yourself to new levels, express your best, and contribute your unique value to the world.

I also like to inject more “work” into life.  I learn a lot of skills that apply well beyond the workplace arena.  We’ve learned a lot about business skills.   Those same business skills can serve you in life.  A sustainable business has a vision, mission, and values.  It creates unique value.  It plays to its strengths and limits it’s liabilities.  It knows who it serves.  It considers the economic realities and it’s contribution to the world.  A successful business is adaptable, and it knows the market.  All of these same skills apply to “life.”

I think we get better at life when we borrow skills from the world of business.  For example, executive thinking skills can help us frame problems better, or make more effective decisions, or prioritize in a more deliberate way.  Strategy skills can help us better differentiate and be our own best self, in a world of too many “Me-Too’s.”  Project management skills can help us get things done in a more predictable way, and bring order to chaos.  And basic business skills can help us fund our life styles so that we can take care of the basics as we find our way forward.

So I really do like the blend of work and life and the possibilities that creates.  But that’s not all.  I also chose the Yin and Yang because I’ve always been a fan of blending hard and soft skills.  I think in this case, what this means for me is that to thrive in the world, we need hard and soft skills for work, as well as hard and soft skills for life.  I plan to bring more hard skills to life, and more soft skills to work, and Sources of Insight is my arena for sharing what I learn.


  1. Hi JD! The yin and yang is perfect visual. It is a blend of 2 different things that form a whole.

    Work and Life and the struggle to achieve a balance. As i go through the usual run of challenging moments and work achievements i can only say that getting caught up in either one is not very effective because both are temporary. It is a continuum.

    But your celebration of three wins which i forgot to do at times has consistently made me feel better. I get so focused on hitting the target that i forget the journey and how change can alter things.

    Pacing and adaptability is key to achieving that balance. Thanks:))

  2. @ Riza — The pace really does make a difference. When I realize I am going too hard against the grain, I’ll change the pace to see if that helps the flow. Other times, I just add a little more elbow grease to see if that does the trick.

    Our questions and our focus are the twin-powers that shape our experience.

  3. I like your work style.

    In order to have an optimized work life balance, you need to be able to do all those things.

    Only then do work and life flow together instead of being at contrast.

    Thanks for sharing this.


  4. JD,
    Yin and Yang metaphor resonates w/me a lot. Flat liner does not help growing, stretching and then flexing my muscles, literally and figuratively speaking, helps growing.

  5. I like the idea of “balance” that the Yin-Yang represents. In ancient Judaism, there was no masculine pronoun for God, but a combined symbol of masculine and feminine, what later became known as the Star of David. They were two arrows pointing both up and down. They represented a balance of the Supreme Intelligence. The Yin and Yang are basically a rounded variation on the same thing. Interesting just how much this concept is presented in our world and in our varied cultures.

  6. @ Bryce — Life flows better when work is in harmony. Conflict is a drain.

    I used to try to fit myself to jobs more. Now, I try to find the jobs that are a better fit. I think our passion is one of our most important assets in today’s world, especially for dealing with setbacks and curveballs.

    @ Alik — The more I think about it, the more work is like a gymnasium for me, to test and flex my skills. It’s the best place where I can grow my skills and keep expanding what I’m capable of.

    @ Bryan — I’m a fan of balance. I think to truly know balance, is to know the extremes. Even though the pendulum tends to swing, once we know the continuum, it’s easier to find the balancing point.

  7. @ Angie — It’s so true in so many ways. To really know something well, or to fully appreciate it, we often do need to know its opposite.

  8. Like this JD – who we are and what we work and contribute to life are a wonderful co-joined energy and the Yin Yang diagram fits that perfectly. It also shows the known and hidden talents of who we are and have inherent within us – that which we honour, that which we deny. The whole Yin Yang is us – we have many levels, but we are one source of the amazing, the divine, and the potent possible whether it lights up the world or we hide inside.

  9. @ John — There is always so much possibility. And, as always, that possibility so very much depends on perspective, playing to our passions, and unleashing our strengths.

  10. Hi JD – this is great .. work influences our life so much, as does our life influence our work … and somehow we all need help understanding that boring tasks can be made more interesting .. by taking an interest in them: life will be more interesting and happier. Somehow we all need to think beyond the boundaries that are presented to us .. there are no boundaries – life is free flowing .. in all its guises. So your Yin Yang symbol is great for Sources of Insight .. thanks for sharing with us .. cheers Hilary

  11. @ Hilary — Well put — we do need to think beyond the boundaries presented to us.

    I think the secret in life is that if we can inject our values into whatever we do, we flow a lot better.

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