There is a lot of books and articles preaching about what it takes to succeed in life — I add my words to that pile readily enough — but most of those words and formulas and methodologies forget that true success in not just about work. Balance matters.
If you don’t stop and smell the roses with great regularity, you are in great risk of missing what life is all about. It does not make sense to work every minute of every day, relentless in the pursuit, to then “enjoy” the fruits of your labor when you are too old and too tired to play in earnest.
Do you work hard? Do you then have an “off” switch? Do you play hard? When is the last time you played around, completely carefree? Do you enjoy quiet moments of peace and tranquility in the sun, smartphone out of sight and out of mind? How often? Be honest with yourself…
When is the last time you went to a music festival? Had a few beers with really good friends? Played paintball? Read a book in a shady hammock? Ice skated at the Galleria? Fell in the deep powder of Utah’s slopes? Walked the dog because you wanted to? Had family game night without the T.V. on? Laughed out loud until your side hurt?
I’m as guilty as many others — my smartphone interrupts meals with the family, while I’m reading a good book, and during my kid’s soccer match. I look at my calendar and realize it has been way too long since my wife and I had a fun date night. I realize I must improve this equation, and realization is important. There is no time like the present.
My readers know I’m a freakish believer in planning my life on a calendar, ahead of living it — I believe your day is far more likely to turn out as you wish, if you design it ahead of time — and then taking notes on how I did in relation to my plans. I have learned that the human memory has convenient lapses when you don’t really want to know that you have not had a carefree fun event in weeks or months. But the calendar/paper/journal doesn’t lie — and facing reality does inspire a person to change their ways.
I’m going to improve on my “off” switch in 2012. I’m hoping you consider doing so too.
I.M. Optimism Man