I used to believe in the philosophy that there had to be a balance in work and in life. The harder I tried to create a balance the further away I got from what I actually wanted. I spent years of my life running after happiness, thinking it would be the solution, but all it resulted in was immense frustration and walls of grief. Everything changed when I stopped trying to fit in the box everyone kept putting me in and I instead focused on just being myself.
Define What is Important
Before you can even begin to get life in order you need to understand your priorities. Start with asking yourself. “Who can I not live without?” Then, “what can I not live without?” Besides the obvious, food, shelter, clothing and security, what can you imagine needing?
If you have to think about these questions then you need to start over. These should be obvious to you because they are the primary people and things in your life. For me, faith, family and friends top the charts. For the what, I immediately go to my instinct “I can’t live without helping people.” Seems silly, but it has 100% driven every decision I have made. Sure at one point I wanted to be a surgeon, but it was to help people be healthy. I wanted to be a Fighter Pilot, but it was to help protect my country. And yeah, I wanted to design, but at the root of it all I want to help businesses thrive. And not in the typical sense of financial exponential growth, but rather reaching the individual life goals of the person running the business.
Forget Negativity and Just be Positive
Regardless of who or what is in your life you have to make it a positive experience. I spent way too long wailing in my sorrows, gossiping about my problems and focusing on all the bad things that were happening. The moment I switched my focus to what was going right the moment my mood uplifted. Sure bad things still happen, but they don’t weigh me down like they used to. Maybe this is just the new outlook, or all that therapy finally paid off.
Where are You Going
I have always been a planner. I would day dream about 5, 10, 15 years away. This is great, but it doesn’t do me any good to dream. I have to put in action the plans I want to go after and the path I want to go down. If you need a good exercise in defining your goals and creating a plan of action check out this article I wrote.
If you have a destination in mind, there is always a way to get there. The vehicle you take depends on the path you need to go down. It isn’t the same for everyone. So me telling you to quit your full time job and be a business owner may not be the path you need to take. You have to find the right tools and roles to get you further down the path.
You just have to get out and do it. You know what you want, you are just too afraid to say it. Write it down, share it with your family, make yourself a t-shirt if that is what is going to take to get you to jump after what you want. It’s like flirting. You can tease and smile and be cute all you want, but unless you are upfront, that date is going no where. Stop flirting with destiny and go after it. You just might be surprised that you reach your destination faster than you ever thought possible.
For me, reality is my life and work will never be separate. I live and breathe my work (to your benefit I might add) and it is a part of my life. My life revolves around helping people, because ultimately that is what I want. Sure in work I get paid to do it, but in life I do it because that is what I want to do. So whether I am designing a brand and website or volunteering my time to support the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri, I am striving towards my goal.
Life is work and work is life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
P.S. I have never cussed online and the whole time I was writing this I couldn’t stop thinking about the first time a said a cuss word in front of my grandmother. She is probably laughing at me up in heaven right now.
What keeps you focused?