Many a self-help book has been published and a motivational speaker has lectured on the notion of leading a “balanced” life, integrating family, work, friends, hobbies, etc., into one harmonious existence where every aspect of your existence gets equal treatment, and everything is wonderful and perfect, and you become a better, more “enlightened” person because of it.
Well guess what? That’s all bullshit.
If your goal is to be a success in any aspect of your life, you need to be very unbalanced. Are you an entrepreneur looking to start or grow a successful company? Prepare to kiss your personal life goodbye for a few years and get ready for 4 or 5 years (if you’re lucky) of working 60, 70, maybe 80 or more hours a week. Hobbies? Good luck with that – most every spare cent you have will be funneled back into your business so it can turn a profit as fast as possible – then maybe you can start thinking about that Harley you’ve always wanted.
The same goes for anybody who has ever been successful at transforming their body. I cannot count the number of excuses I have heard over the years about why somebody wasn’t able to make their training sessions, or why they didn’t have money for their supplements, or why they were unable to eat the way they were supposed to. Maybe some of these sound familiar:
“It was my cousin’s friend’s roommate’s birthday – we HAD to go out drinking on Saturday!”
“Thirty bucks for a multivitamin? I need that money for my life-sized Lego statue of Darth Vader that I’m building in my garage!”
“You want me to stretch for 20 minutes a day? I don’t have the time – Netflix now has every episode of The Golden Girls and that takes up 5 hours of my night, every night.”
“Sorry, I can’t train for three weeks. I got stupid-ass drunk this weekend and walked in front of a bus.”
“You want me to diet? On a Sunday? That sounds like work, and my religion doesn’t allow working on Sundays.”
It boggles the mind how many times I have encountered people who walk in the door, credit card in hand, highly motivated to start working with a coach. “I want to drop 12 dress sizes by this time next year.” Then, after their first nutritional consultation, the excuses start pouring out. “There is no way I can give up my morning latte. And I’m addicted – ADDICTED – to bread. I can’t get rid of it.”
I have some very unpleasant, yet very accurate, news for those people – you are going to fail. If you want to look like a cover model, yet still go out with friends two or three nights a week, only train twice a week, and have an “easy” diet, guess what? It’s not possible. It doesn’t matter what ad you heard on the television, or what Oprah said, it’s all bullshit. Success in any area of life – parenting, starting a new business, trying to go pro in a sport, or having a six-pack – it all requires that you discard and reduce things that get in the way. Sometimes it isn’t pleasant – in fact, it’s almost NEVER pleasant – but it has to be done.
Then, when you have succeeded, you can begin to think about “balance” again.