Finding A Work/Life Balance

Posted by Aaron Davison on Thursday, January 15, 2015 Under: January 2015
I have a good friend who is perpetually broke and always complains about it.  He lives way above his means, he refuses to move out of his apartment that he can't afford and he constantly goes out and spends money he doesn't have.  He has one excuse after another for his situation.  Some of them are sort of valid.  He went through a divorce a few years ago that was pretty hard on him financially and experienced a job loss a couple years ago that he's still trying to catch up from.

But despite all the things that have happened "to him" and that really are beyond his control, I can think of many ways he could improve his situation.  He could move out of the apartment he can't afford, he could get an extra part time job, he could start a business on the side to supplement his income, he could not go out much and save more of his money. There are things that have happened to my friend that are outside of his control, but there are many factors that are still within his control he could change to improve his situation, if he chose to.

I have another good friend that is very wealthy.  He created a business selling e-cigarettes a few years ago when the idea was new and relatively novel.  His company has seen massive growth in the last few years and he has done very, very well.  This friend, in contrast to my broke friend, constantly complains about how busy he is and that he never has time to socialize and enjoy himself.  He works non stop, in fear of his company declining in value.  He claims that he values his free time and wants to have more fun, but yet he can never seem to find the time since he's become consumed with growing his company.

I think both of my friends have lives that are out of balance.  I don't say this to pick on either of them and I can relate to both of my friends and their challenges.  I don't think any of us have perfectly balanced lives.  There is an opportunity cost to every decision you make in life.  The very fact that you are making a decision means you are simultaneously giving up another decision.  We can strive to create a life that over time has balance and equilibrium, but we have to make choices along the way that will ultimately shape and form our lives and how we experience them.  Choices, by their very nature, limit us as much as they define us.

My approach to life is to assess what is most important to me, pursue those things with as much diligence and passion that I can muster and try to have some fun along the way. Whatever you want in life you can achieve, but there will always be a price to pay.  The challenge, in my opinion, is to figure out what you really want and determine if you're willing to pay the price and if you are, get to work.  Conversely, if you're not willing to do the work required to reach a particular goal, just admit that and move on to something else. There are very few things more annoying to me than people who say they want one thing but then undermine and sabotage what they say they want, every step of the way.

If you want to be a beach bum and live a minimalist lifestyle, fine.  Make a decision and then own it.  If you want to be massively wealthy and have a non existent social life, that's fine too, in my opinion, although not a price I'm willing to pay.  If you want to make a "respectable" income and still have time to socialize and go out a few times a week then do that. Whatever you do, don't say you want to do one thing and then do another.

I used to want be a rock star really badly.  It was a goal that I was consumed with throughout my twenties and early thirties.  I was driven by my goals and spent a lot of time pursuing them.  Over the years I started to not care as much.  Not because I had become apathetic or anything, I just began to realize that I was pretty happy with myself as I was and although I will always love and play music, whether or not I became a "rock star" didn't really matter to me that much anymore.  I also started to realize that the price I would have to pay to realize my dreams would most likely be, in my estimation, too high. For example, I started ending relationships that I thought were a distraction to my goals. I didn't make time for close friends and family because I was so busy trying to "make it". I became so focused on my goals that I started to feel very out balance.  

Although these days I don't really care if I become a rock star or famous per se, I still want to be successful and I work as hard as anyone I know. Although I don't really care if I become famous I still pursue music with as much passion as ever, I just refuse to let myself get burnt out in the process. My days are filled doing things I'm passionate about.  I spend my days writing new songs, creating music business courses, pursuing licensing deals, writing blog posts, talking with clients, creating websites, playing shows and enjoying the company of family and friends in my free time.  I've made peace with myself and my approach to life.  I despise people who are lazy (mainly because I used to be really lazy and I know how much it holds people back in life) but I also think people who are so consumed with the idea of being "successful" that they sacrifice things like health, friendships and their own sanity are equally missing the target.

In : January 2015 



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