A Balanced Life is Overrated
People who live 'balanced' lives don't achieve great things.
If you look at anyone in history who has changed the world, none of them lived a so-called 'balanced life' that all the self-help books proclaim. The truth is, these innovators realized that significant sacrifices had to be made in order to make the kind of impact that they did! I'm talking here about people who put a dent in the universe.
The concept of a balanced life is often chalked up to the idea of checking all the boxes. It is all about the:
- fulfilling career,
- loving family,
- healthy body,
- wild social life,
- interesting hobbies,
- eye-opening travel,
- picture-perfect leisure time,
- consistent sleep patterns...
All at the same time!
While this may be an enticing dream - it is impossible to maintain all of those at the same time if you want to actually make a difference in our world by rising above the noise. If you are comfortable with going with the flow and letting society dictate to you - then by all means, strive for a balanced life. But I'm talking to the aspiring world-changers, those who want to create value and leave a legacy for those to follow - Sacrifices are part and parcel of it.
We hear about successful people all the time and through media - we listen to their thoughts, experiences and accomplishments with huge amounts of respect and even awe in some cases.
But what never comes out on those interview couches are the sacrifices that were necessary for that person to achieve those goals. Those down-times are what should really be earning our respect, not the glory! Those sacrifices are swept under the rug and as such, it is easy to assume that we can replicate that kind of success while maintaining the current lifestyle we have. It's a false sense of security.
It is crucial that we recognize that that kind of success does not come without significant sacrifice:
You will not have a balanced life.
There are areas that you will suffer.
You will let down people that you care about.
Your failures will be all the more destabilizing.
People will not understand you at first.
They will criticize and complain and try to pull you down to their level.
Once you recognize that, and you still have the hunger to carry on. To change the world. To put a dent in the universe?
That's when you can crack on...