To be frank, the idea of “having it all” sounds downright exhausting to me.
Instead, I’m trying to embrace the Pick Any Two philosophy, which is all about examining your personal values and beliefs, and then prioritizing your activities to match.
If your kids are important, then quality time with them beats having a clean house. If you value exercising, then you pay for your gym membership even if it means you can’t afford new clothes.
In other words, instead of trying to do it all, I think you should just do what you love. Tweet this!
It sounds quite lovely, doesn’t it? Doing what you love all day long. Just rainbows and butterflies and long walks on the beach, right?
Of course not.
I work with a nonprofit that offers free counseling to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The counselors who work there are downright saints, giving so much of themselves for barely any pay because they want to make a difference.
Ask them why they work there, and they’ll tell you: They’re just doing what they love.
A few weeks ago I went to that counseling center for a meeting, and on a giant white board in the staff lounge I saw the following phrase scribbled in blue:
Doing what you love sometimes means doing what you don’t. Tweet this!
Now there’s a great perspective.
When you think about it, it applies to so many aspects of our lives:
- I love taking care of my toddler, which means stinky diapers and mashed potatoes in my hair—both of which I don’t exactly love.
- I love feeling healthy, so I wake up 5:30am to exercise, even though sometimes I’d really rather not.
- I love having a close relationship with my husband, which means listening attentively when he talks about the latest developments in computer programming—more his passion than mine, for sure.
- I love writing a high-quality blog, which means engaging in marketing and self-promotion efforts that are outside of my realm of expertise—not my favorite thing to do.
Doing what you love doesn’t mean life is going to be easy. It doesn’t mean you aren’t going to get stressed or frustrated or exhausted sometimes.
Sometimes doing what you love means doing things you don’t, and that’s not a bad thing. Because in the end, those things you don’t love make you stronger and bring you closer to those things you do.