Sometimes one of the things we can perceive as an obstacle to pursuing our passions is having a family.
Everyone’s situation is different so if you’re single this may not apply to you.
But many of us have a significant other, spouse, and children.
If we’re not careful we can begin to see our families as standing in the way of doing the work we love.
Instead of hearing your child say, “Can you take me to the park?” we hear, “I’m going to stop you from working toward your dream today.”
If you believe this for long enough you will begin to resent your family and in some cases this thinking may destroy your family and your relationships.
What Can You Do?
Reframe your thinking to understand that having a successful career does not mean you have a successful life.
You can get to the top without your family and significant relationships but you will be lonely and isolated.
You can get to the top by prioritizing your career over your family but in the process you will have destroyed the mental and emotional well-being of those who loved you most.
There are seven key areas of life to be invested in that will help you have a successful, meaningful, and fulfilling life:
Your career is just one of those areas.
How To Pursue Your Passion With A Family
Define your non-negotiables. What are your priorities? The best resource I know to help with this is Michael Hyatt’s Personal Life Plan. It’s a free download when you sign up for his newsletter. It will help you define the order of priorities in your life. So when you must make a decision about where to spend your time and effort this will help you know the order of importance.
Join the 5am club. If I’ve learned nothing else since being married and having children I’ve learned this. My time is not my own. If you’ve decided to add the responsibilities of a family to your life your “free time” comes at a price. But guess when my wife never asks me to help her with something? At 5am. Guess when my kids never want to play? Yep, 5am again. You can be selfish at 5am. You can work toward your passion and focus on you at 5am. A great resource to help you start getting up early is Andy Traub’s book Early To Rise.
Understand the opportunity this presents. Do you know how many blogs I started, how many people I coached, or how many books I wrote before having a wife and kids? None. Having those wonderful relationships in my life forced me to look at how I was spending my time. Think of it almost as a purification and refinement of your life. If you want a successful life you can only afford to spend time investing in the things that add value in all seven areas of your life. The rest is just fluff.
The world will heap awards and acknowledgement on you if you achieve success in your career.
Yet rarely are we applauded or recognized for investing in the relationships with our loved ones.
There is a tension between pursuing your career goals and investing in your family.
You’ll mess up in both areas at times and you’ll never achieve a perfect balance.
However, after the awards have rusted and the spotlight has been turned off, if you’ve invested time in your family, guess who will be there to tell you how much they love you and how important you are to them?
That’s where success truly begins.
Question: What is another solution to working toward your career goals without destroying your family?
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