I’m currently in Northern Ireland with my brothers. It’s the first stop in our Euro Tour (you can follow the shenanigans of the #DCSummerTour here), and something has been eating me up.
One of my weaknesses is the tendency to check out of life and go deep into “vacation mode” when I’m traveling or visiting with my family. I stop writing, tweeting, posting, and creating value. I disappear from the online space. I drink a lot of Guinness, eat like shit, and the only sweat I break is during my hangovers in the morning.
And sure enough I am doing it again on this trip.
I think a lot of us live in this push/rest type formula. We alternate between periods of high-stress, focused work and then completely letting go of ourselves for a 2-week vacation (in Ireland 14 days is called a “fortnight” fyi). Have you ever felt like you’ve needed another vacation just to “recover” from the vacation you just took before heading back to work or school? Yeah, me too.
Seth Godin says “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
Rather than working on Work-Life Balance, maybe we should try to figure out how to have Work-Life Integration.
Work-Life Integration is the idea of building a career and life that flow together.
Of course this is easier in theory, but I truly believe that life is something that you create. I do believe that you can “have it all.” You can have great relationships, be successful financially, and have great health, and I don’t believe that’s naive. Of course there are trade-offs in life. Entrepreneur Tai Lopez says, “you can have anything you want in life, but just not everything you want. At least not all at once.”
Trade offs are the idea that you have to give up some things in order to accomplish others. You only have some much time and energy that you can devote. That’s why we see multi-billionaires with terrible health, super-athletes with shitty relationships, or health-nuts with no money. To counter trade offs, we have to tap into what author Jeff Olsen calls the Slight Edge.
The Slight Edge is the idea that small actions performed daily make a big impact over time. So the key to having everything you want in life is to decide what you want, and figure out the daily actions that need to be taken to get there.
THAT is work-life integration.
For me, I want to have an internet education company that teaches, inspires, and improves the lives of thousands of people all around the world. I want a career with no boss. I want the option to pick up and fly somewhere in the drop of a hat. I want to teach, and I want to make money doing it. I want to have shredded abs, good energy, and good health. And I want my friendships and relationships to be strong and passionate.
So the point is that just because I come to a beautiful country with the people I love doesn’t mean I can pound Guinness, destroy pancakes topped with bacon, and relax all day.
My sister Jill wrote an awesome post that I’ve read 10 plus times. It’s all about having grit and why we should stop expecting things before we deserve them. It’s about showing up every day and taking care of business.
She always pokes fun at me that if I want an online business then I have to be online, and I have to be there everyday. It’s not a Monday thru Friday gig.
I want to be healthy, energized, shredded, have a successful online biz, and a great relationship so I have to create value online, direct energy and effort to romance and woo my girl, and eat healthier day-in and day-out. Week after week. Year after year.
That’s the idea of work-life integration; building a life that you actually want to show up for everyday, not because you have to. In order to have that, we have to set up a daily routine that supports that. Consistency is key. Sunday night should feel the same as Friday night. Decide what you want, and then perform small, daily actions that will give you the slight edge and create big time results no matter where you are in the world, or who you’re with.
Comment below with your thoughts. I was out the other night with my brothers and we were talking about whether it’s possible to be super successful in wealth, health, AND relationships. Can you have all three or does one have to give? What do you think?