Often, we are put in a position where a life evaluation is needed. It is important to ask ourselves questions to really understand where we want to be in life. A few questions that will come up are, what are you working towards, what do you want from life, and most importantly, what do you consider the perfect life?
I remember constantly being asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”.
As I grew older, the question became, “where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years?”. Technically, it is the same question, just in different contexts. Most people will have very similar answers; a successful career, the perfect home, raising children, maintaining relationships, being able to take care of yourself and feeling the best all the time, being liked by everyone, and no conflicts or stress. In other words, you want it all and then some.
But can you have it all?
Where did the idea come from? Who came up with this vision of the perfect life?
The term, having it all was used to describe a woman’s journey to finding the perfect balance between personal and professional life. Nowadays, women are NOT the only ones affected anymore. Men are equally burdened by it. We simply all want it and work hard to get it. Truth be told, we are all striving to fight for this unrealistic expectation that can ultimately take a toll on your health, relationships, and even your career.
When working toward something so unreal, we begin to operate like robots because we are constantly in the mode to get things accomplished instead of enjoying the small pleasures of life. It is a downward spiral that only leads to your own demise.
Let me explain.
Having it all is considered an aggressive personal goal and looked upon as a demand from society. Aiming toward that goal and with the severe lack of time to do so will only add stress. You begin to only pay attention to the things that are in front of you which can cause horrible mood swings and extreme fatigue. You will affect not just yourself, but everyone around you.
It begins to weigh down on you, your close ones, and most likely your performance at work. You are not capable of being your best self. You want the perfect life, but you are working so hard to get it, that you might be pushing too hard.
I once came across an amazing article that explained it in a way that resonated. Even though I can’t recall where and when I read it, the meaning is burned inside my brain. The thought goes something like this,
You work hard and endless hours to obtain the perfect life because clearly, financials will play a role. You end up pushing too hard which will cause you to stress out. It is hard to keep performance at work top-notch when you are in a constant state of stress. The stress affects your performance and starts to decline. With the decline in performance, it ends up causing even more stress. It is a downward spiral that many people go through. You are not alone.
You can’t have it all when you don’t have a job right?
So, you might ask, how do you balance it out? How do you avoid the ultimate burnout when trying to obtain it all? There are a few steps to keep in mind when comparing yourself and your life to the stereotypical idea of the perfect life.
Be honest with yourself.
Some people don’t want the parent or college life. Maybe you want to travel around the world instead of starting a family. Maybe you want to take the certification route instead of sitting through numerous classes at a university. That is okay! If you feel a certain route is the best route for you. I say go for it. There is nothing wrong with what path you choose to take. You know yourself better than anyone else.
Learn to be flexible.
Life changes. Your needs and wants change throughout your life and so will your idea of happiness. Something that once made you happy will hold no value down the line. The sooner you accept it and change your expectations, the sooner you can be back on the route of happiness. The most important thing to keep in mind is you don’t have to have your life figured out right now. Life changes and you are allowed too. People are constantly evolving. If you asked me 15 years ago, my career choice would be different from where I am right now. It wasn’t until later in life that I found my true passion in the field of technology.
Be the best you.
Everyone judges. It is a part of human nature. Even if you try not to, naturally your brain will go there. Remember to not worry about how your life and choices look to someone else. They aren’t you, so they won’t know what happiness means in your mind. Living up to someone else’s idea of ‘happy’ is a never-ending cycle and you will be working your entire life to accomplish it.
Goals will be your best friend.
Short-term goals are just as important as your long-term goals. It is the short ones that will add up and help accomplish the long-term ones. Something as simple as passing a class, or understanding a technical concept is a step to achieve the goal of getting a degree or a promotion at work. Remember, no goal is too small. You don’t need to have your whole life figured out at once. Taking baby steps will ensure you aren’t burning yourself out. Better yet, celebrate the achievement of your short-term goals. It will motivate you to keep moving forward.
So, to answer the question of can you have it all in life? Yes, you can. You just need to figure out what ‘all’ means to you and focus on that.
More from this month:
- Four Reasons to Implement MFA For Your IBM i
- SMB Version Support for IBM i NetServer
- Are YOU Staying Current?
- iTech iTip Videos
- Webinar Replay: The Value of Staying Current
- Sips & Tricks: Coffee with iTech
- iBasics: IBM i Education for the Beginner System Administrator
- Let iTech Take You Out to the Ballgame ⚾
- Power Hour Podcast: The Value of Staying Current (NEW!)
- Upcoming Events
- iTech Spotlight
- IBM i, FSP, and HMC release levels and PTFs (July 2022)