How to not sacrifice parts of your life to successfully maintain your work life
If you want to be successful professionally and make a lot of money, then first you have to work hard, secondly, be a badass, and thirdly put the fun in your life on the backburner. This may sound extreme and somewhat "old-fashioned" today, but these thoughts may not be completely far-fetched after all.
The alarming idea that we have to sacrifice one part of our life in order to successfully maintain the other part is nonsense.
The ideal state is to be successful in our professional activities, to enjoy pleasure and meaning in our lives, and to make the world a better place - all of the above, not just one of those.
These are not mutually exclusive ideas! Quite the opposite. All areas are interrelated, interdependent, and complementary.
Pay attention to all the important areas of your life - Love it all - that is where your success and satisfaction as a HUMAN being comes from.
When all areas of your life are in balance, they influence each other positively and ultimately lead to a life that feels authentic to you. You feel at peace and are satisfied with yourself. Plus, you are successful. And even happy.
What are life areas?
Depending on the source describing the various aspects of life, there are usually between 6 to 12 areas listed. From this I have compiled the following sections for myself, which I like to recommend to you:
1. Quality of life/life vision
3. Family / partnership / friends / relationships
4. Creativity / inspiration / spirituality
5. Thoughts / emotions / character
6. Profession/career / further education
We should pay equal attention to all of these areas, because they balance, nurture, and support each other.
Health / Fitness
Your physical health influences your heart and mind and vice versa. What do you do for your health? How often do you exercise? Getting some fresh air and going for a walk is as much a part of my day as brushing my teeth. Not only does it feel good physically, but it clears my head and fills me up with new energy for work.
It's all too easy for us to over-exploit our own bodies and endanger our immune systems and long-term health because we always put work first and don't notice the negative effects until later. Often when it is too late. Helloooo?! Ever experienced this?
Family / Partnership / Friends / Relationships
Which people in your life are important to you? Do you spend enough time with them? Which relationships contribute positively to your life and which are rather stressful and should be let go of? Are you nurturing your friendships or are you putting this off until later in life because of your career? And when later comes around you wake up to no more friends as they got tired of waiting for some attention within your busy calendar.
Creativity / Inspiration / Spirituality
Who or what inspires you and who or what would you like to be more inspired by? Do you give yourself space to be inspired? What do you believe in life, what is your north star, your orientation? Do you think about your meaning in life and your visions for your working world/business?
Thoughts / Emotions / Character
How do you feel emotionally and mentally? How much attention do you pay to yourself, how much time do you spend with yourself? What thoughts and feelings come up frequently? What do you do good for yourself?
Your character is your foundation and influences how you approach all the other life areas. Who do you want to be? What are your values? What kind of world do you want to live in?
Profession / Career / Education
Are you satisfied with your job and does it fulfill you? What drives you in your work? Helping others and making a difference in the world is something that drives and motivates many in their work. How do you see this for yourself?
What are you currently learning new? Are you living up to your potential? Can you envision your ideal job and work environment? Does it reflect your character, values, and principles?
Financial / Material
How good are you with your finances? What is actually the true nature of money and how does it flow, where does it come from and how is wealth created? What beliefs about money and wealth do you have that may be blocking you from being financially successful or fulfilled?
Are you investing in yourself through education, coaching, time to reflect, inspirations/hobbies? It's all a cycle. The best investment you can make is to invest in yourself - that's how financial guru Warren Buffet describes it.
Quality of life / Life vision
You have thought about all life areas. Now look into the future and visualize for yourself what kind of life you would ultimately like to live.
As an exercise, it also helps to put yourself at the end of your life and look back and ask what kind of life would fill you with satisfaction? This should give you clarity on what is important and valuable to you and will serve you as a guidance or north star for how to shape your days, months, and years.
What makes up your quality of life?
Are you paying attention to these qualities that you define for yourself and building them into your daily (monthly/yearly) life? Important aspects for my life quality are exercise/sports, exchanging life and ideas with friends, spending time with my husband, having time for myself.
What makes up your quality of life? If you are aware of this and cultivate it, you will discover the positive influence on all of your other areas of life.
All areas of life, including work, make up your lifestyle. And it is in your hands to style your life.
If you are happy with yourself, if you know your values and principles, and pay attention to both your physical and mental health and people you care about in your life, you will not only be more fulfilled, but you are more inclined to treat people with respect, understanding, and kindness.
Your lifestyle and work style will more likely be authentic and reliable, contributing to your personal growth, and encouraging others to grow as well. And this affects the efficiency and prosperity of your business and work environment.
All areas of life are interrelated, interdependent, and complementary. In the long run, you're not doing yourself any favors by neglecting some areas.
And in the short term - every day should be successful, appreciated, and lived.
photo © John McDermott