The Ease and Flow of an Integrated Life
“I don’t have time” … “I’m too busy” … “I’ll think about that later.” These are often the phrases I hear my clients say when we explore goals and priorities beyond their professional work. Typically, they are unsatisfied with their home surroundings, their familial relationships, and/or their favorite hobbies.
At work, they’re focused on what needs to get done and on what they want to learn and expand. After all, they are achievers! Yet, outside of work, they put things on the back burner and tell themselves that whatever is needed can wait because it can’t be as important as what is needed at work.
Or can it? While many people are achievers at work, not all are achievers in life. Success is about your entire life.
How we show up both at work and outside of work (aka “life”) is inter-related. At times, the inter-relatedness is obvious: you have a spat with your spouse as you go to work; you jump on a call with a peer and find yourself being short with that person, or maybe not even present – you are still stewing from the previous conversation. At other times, the inter-relatedness is not so obvious: after weeks of working long hours, you aren’t as excited about the work as you’ve always been. In the first case, how you show up in life has carried over into how you showed up at work; in the second, the lack of focus in life (due to your all-in-work focus) has impacted how you now show up at work … tired and unfulfilled.
Living an integrated life is key to being fulfilled. Being mindful of your leadership in life is equally important as it is at work. While spending enough time in both areas is critical, sometimes it can mean reprioritizing work-related matters behind life issues.
“I will make the time” … “I will choose what I do” … “I will defer X until I finish Y.” These are the statements of a leader who is making purposeful decisions and has weighed the consequences of those decisions. This leader is living an integrated life.
This Week: How often do you think of leadership in your life versus leadership in your work? Reflect on the level of ease and flow you have 24/7. If it doesn’t exist, where are the areas that create stress for you? Pick one and brainstorm ways in which you can integrate more ease in that one area – what might you have to do less of in order to make room to more of something else? What impact will those actions have on how you show up in your work and life?
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