The reason successful people seem to be successful in all areas of their lives is the same reason vehicles don't run if there's a part missing in the engine.
It's because the various areas of our lives don't exist in a vacuum. Like a car leaking oil, if one area of your life is “leaking”, the other areas don't run as efficiently or successfully.
Put more simply: [Tweet “Fulfillment in one area of our lives can't happen in spite of unhappiness in another.”]
A car with an oil leak can get you to your destination, sure. But you run the risk of the engine seizing up, and the oil leak has a negative effect on the other functions of the vehicle. The oil drips out, leaving less to spread to the rest of the parts under the hood. Friction heats the car and it could stop running at any time. In other words, you arrive at your desired destination at the expense of something else.
You can hate your job and be in peak physical shape outwardly, but underneath that muscle your body isn't healthy. Bodies react to stress no matter where it comes from and damages your heart, your liver, and your brain. You can notice this in other areas of your life, too:
- No matter how much you love the work you do, it's difficult to be productive when you haven't had much sleep.
- When you're physically unhealthy, it plays a toll on your relationship with your spouse or your friends.
- When you wake up late and rush out the door, it colours your entire day.
The different areas of your life are like cogs in a machine. They work together to make magic. Like an engine, if one area isn't working properly, it affects the performance of the entire vehicle.
Last year, I experienced this.
My relationship was the oil leak. My husband, Jason and I tied the knot on July 19, 2014, and shortly after, I began to build Unsettle. I found myself working around the clock to start Unsettle with a bang. Jason was supportive. He cheered me on as I decided not to renew my contract at my job in HR to pursue blogging. He even supported me through the decision to buy a one way ticket to Europe, leaving him with our dogs and our house for 6-10 weeks.
As I paid less and less attention to the health of my relationship in favor of pouring my heart and soul into Unsettle, I put my new marriage in a precarious position.
As my relationship frayed at the seams, my business did, too.
I stagnated, procrastinated, and had difficulty focusing. I wasn't sleeping well, and I wasn't eating well, and both of these things made it more and more difficult to focus on the things I needed to do before Unsettle's launch. I was less unhealthier, unhappier, and less productive than ever before. The oil leak was throwing my entire life off track.
Balance is Never Truly Achieved…
We like to strive for balance.
Balance is one of the most overused words of the last couple decades, because as the lines blur between work and life, we feel the impact of our life's oil leaks acutely.
Chasing balance becomes a fool's errand, because balance is never truly achieved. As primitive beings, we focus our energy on the areas of of lives that hold the most pressing issues.
There will always be one area of our life that requires more attention than the others.
…But if You Neglect One Area of Your Life, Your Entire Life Suffers
Including that one area that requires more attention. I'm not proposing that you strive for perfect balance. That's impossible. But we would all benefit from being sensitive and attentive to all areas of our lives – our relationships, our physical, emotional, and financial health, and our careers.
And when we're healthy in every area of our lives, victory will be that much sweeter.