by Mel on February 1, 2013
I crave being in action. Some people might call it an addiction to productivity, but F that, I call it extreme engagement in my life. Yesterday, I got up at 5am took my friend to the airport, had a call with a client in Australia at 7:30am, another call at 9am, then didn’t stop working until 9:30pm, minus the few times I got up to pee and make myself some sustenance. The only reason I stopped working at 9:30pm is because I knew I had another client call at 7am the next morning, and at some point I’d need sleep to be optimally engaged and productive. So I got out of my chair, brushed my teeth, washed my face, and hopped into bed. Still ended up reading articles and tweeting from bed because my brain was still very much”on.” So I suppose the real day-done time was 11:45pm when Nick (my fiancé) texted me that he was headed home and told me to go to sleep. I decided to listen. Checked my alarm and put the phone down. Apparently I was making weird sleeping sounds when he arrived 20 minutes later. Sweet.
So what’s the reason for my overly detailed story about my seemingly ridiculous daily timeline? The reason is this: When you are truly on fire for what you’re doing, you don’t need classic “work/life balance.” When your work aligns with your deepest core values, you have a seemingly unlimited supply of energy for it. You feel happy while engaged in your work. If you truly believe you’re using your time in the best possible way, then logic prevails you’d want to use it all that way.
As an entrepreneur, you likely do use your time in this way. You get up early, you stay up late, you work a LOT. You lead a life that doesn’t look anything like the normal 9-5. This type of work life, can often get labeled as having “no life.” You might feel pressure for not making time for things other people consider more important. Sometimes you may just get a sideways look that comes from simple lack of understanding. I’m not saying it’s better or worse to have that type of passion and singular focus, I’m just saying it’s a typical trait of truly happy, often successful, entrepreneurs. And sometimes that comes with feeling misunderstood by people who are not part of the entrepreneurial world.
You know what? This is totally normal. And it’s all good. It’s not the most fun thing to be faced with any kind of judgment, but my guess is 99.9% of the time, those other people in our lives are just trying to help. So even if you feel misunderstood, want to push back or flare up… know your people are engaging you out of love. Know they truly believe that having a more “balanced” life will be a genuinely good thing for you. Even if you disagree.
This perspective will allow you to keep your calm in conversations that maybe have pushed your buttons in the past. Keeping calm and connecting to that love, instead of the feeling of judgment, creates a space for true discussion to take place. With that, you can share your stories, share your passions, and have a real shot at not only being understood, but inspiring those people who love you to believe they too can chase their dreams and work in their passion, if that’s what they want.
A quote to end on: “The center is not always the point of balance. When you find that place where balance is achieved, peace will result in all situations. There is no conflict, for everything rests without strain.” –Daniel Levin, Daily Zen
Melanie Curtis is a life coach, writer, world traveler, art lover, movie-maker, homeowner, professional skydiver, fiancé, and Founder and CEO of Highcomms.com. Melanie goes huge in all aspects of her life, living her version of “the dream,” and helps other people live theirs too through coaching, education, transformative conversations, and no-nonsense accountability.