The highest levels of performance in sports, the workplace, school, or the nonprofit world, never happen without trade-offs and sacrifice. The extra hour an Olympic athletic spends training is an hour less he or she can spend with their family. The extra effort it takes to win that major client project means chipping away at your personal life. For most people, the illusive idea of work/life balance is an illusive ideal, because in reality, it’s one of the most difficult goals you can achieve. That’s why I moved from
I’m a big Walt Disney fan. How he converted a small idea like “Mortimer Mouse” into an entertainment empire should be required reading for anyone launching a creative business. But over the years, one of this most famous quotes has always bothered me:
There have been hundreds of books, seminars, and consultants focused on helping people negotiate the demands of balancing life and work. Yes, there are workaholics who can’t seem to turn it off – ever. But here’s what I think: Life-work balance is only necessary when you’re doing a job you hate. That could cover a lot of careers obviously, because everyone has their own preferences. So if you hate your career (and plan to stay there) then yes – start working on the balance thing. But if you
We’ve all heard so much about “passion.” People want to be passionate about their work, so they search for a career or calling they can feel passionate about. However, I’m not a big “passion” person because passion is transitory, temporary, and often shallow. It has too many ups and downs. Passion is great, but it simply won’t get you very far. So what do I recommend?
Everyone talks about “passion” these days, and truthfully, it’s a wonderful thing. It’s always better to be emotionally plugged into projects and excited about the possibilities. But these days, it seems that people talk about passion a lot, but they don’t see the importance of preparation. For instance, you’d be amazed at the number of people who call our office hoping I can introduce them to a literary agent – except for the small fact that they haven’t actually written a book yet. The other day someone asked me to
Biographer Ron Chernow, discussing his outstanding life of George Washington, recently mentioned how important “focus” was for our first president. Chernow said that at the beginning of his presidency, “[Washington] couldn’t seem to sit down for dinner without 20 people being there—strangers sponging off his generosity, eating his food, drinking his wine. Washington had to create barricades if he was going to be able to function as president. . . . He saw that he needed to
I grew up in the South and spent my early years watching buddies hang out their entire lives. Usually these buddies were picked because they wouldn’t challenge each other, push each other, or inspire each other. You probably know some people like this. They’re buddies that do nothing but “hang out.” So I decided early on that I wanted to do the opposite – to surround myself with smarter, more talented, and more driven people than me. And for most of my life, my friends have done some amazing things. They produce
This past Christmas I was reading about the Nativity story, and one line in Luke Chapter 1 stood out: Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” I’ve read that line a thousand times and always thought about “magnify” in terms of praise or thanksgiving. Mary was praising God for the incredible news that she would bear the Savior of the world. But then again, the idea of a