I thought I had it all

Today, I engaged in a profound conversation with a client, a tremendously accomplished individual who has built a robust career and owned business over the years. For the sake of this article, I will call him Bob. Our dialogue initially was centered around personal objectives related to physical health but unexpectedly moved in a different direction. This shift occurred when I posed the question, “What does health mean to you?”

Typically, health is closely tied to physical well-being. People often express goals such as losing a specific amount of weight, achieving a more muscular or lean physique, or conquering a marathon. However, there’s a vital facet missing from this conventional perspective: the realms of mental and emotional health. Permit me to generalize momentarily: how frequently do we come across high achievers who are both emotionally and physically balanced? I’d venture to say, not many. The demands of stress, deadlines, upcoming meetings, and the next milestones tend to divert our focus from our authentic selves, our true aspirations, and our deep desires.

Consider the ease with which one can dedicate 10 to 12 hours per day, six days a week, to work. This inclination arises from the assumption that the amount of time invested directly corresponds to the extent of the results achieved. Let’s be clear: success and business growth do not manifest on autopilot. Having said that, true efficiency isn’t solely predicated on the time allocated to a task; rather, it hinges on the quality of the time dedicated to it. Within this context, among the various components of the quality equation, mental clarity and life-work balance are worth mentioning.

Let’s reflect for a moment. If you were to run a marathon today, would you dare to run a second one tomorrow? Similarly, if you had a very important presentation tomorrow, would you spend the night out with your friends having fun and a couple of drinks? I bet not. Then the question that naturally comes to my mind is: what makes it acceptable to work day in and day out, fueling yourself with caffeinated drinks and sugary snacks, ignoring mental exhaustion while living a life shadowed by our ambitions, completely unaware of what happens around and inside you?

Now, returning to the focal character of our story. The most profound revelation of our conversation was this: “I’ve missed so much in life due to my inability to strike a balance. I’m inherently a person of extremes.” How many of us resonate with this sentiment? Bob realized that he’d never been able to pick up any of his kids from school due to his work commitments over the last 6-7 years. Family vacations had often transpired without him, as there was always a reason to prioritize work. The toll of spending 8 to 10 hours a day seated had led to stiffness in his hips and lower back pain.

As our dialogue unfolded, he introspectively questioned, “What’s that I am really longing for?” “What is the purpose of dedicating 50 weeks out of the available 52 in a year working for the sake of claiming a wealthy life that I am not able to enjoy? “. Today Bob’s kids are all teenagers and he realized that he has missed most of their life…

Remarkably, this entire introspection occurred within a mere ten minutes. Frequently, we are so trapped in our own routines and habits that we cannot see where we are standing until an external perspective is presented.
So, I ask you, where do you stand in your life journey today? And how does your current life-work balance serve you and the people you love?

It is never too late for a new beginning in your life.