Copyright © Roger Lajoie 

Don't listen to the world on how you should live, listen to your heart


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             It is perhaps the biggest challenge we all face in our lives – how do we achieve more success and still have some balance?

            Does great success in our careers always have to come with great sacrifice in our personal life? Where is the happy medium for those of us who want more from our careers, but still want to enjoy our family, friends, hobbies, etc.? Is it really “either/or” when it comes to having ultimate achievements?

            It can be very difficult to find balance in life. On one hand the world is saying that you have to dedicate thousands and thousands of hours to your craft to become great (the 10,000 hour rule), on the other hand the world is saying nobody ever died wishing they had spent more time at the office. No wonder we make ourselves miserable sometimes just thinking about this!

            It’s not easy finding balance, but here are three steps to follow.


          1. Stop listening to the world. Listen to your heart instead. Everybody’s definition of success is different. We all want more out of life but everybody’s definition of “more” is different. We sometimes create stress just thinking about the stress we are under to try and do everything. Stop. Breathe. Ask yourself what is most important to YOU - not what you think is most important to the world. Once you answer that question honestly, it’s easier to live your values. Not everyone wants or needs to be a billionaire – really! And not everyone finds the thought of working 80 hours a week awful either. Really!
          2. Have a vision for your life. Many of us spend more time planning our vacations than we do our careers. The biggest reason people don’t have what they want in life is that they don’t know what they want. Once you visualize what an ideal life looks like for you, it will be easier to prioritize what matters the most. Everybody should have a “To Do List” but that list should be prioritized with most important items first, not just random things to do. Tie them to your vision and watch how much easier life gets for you.
          3. Practice mindfulness. When you are here, be here. Living in the moment helps you really absorb the work you need to do, and really helps you enjoy your leisure to the fullest. Multi-tasking is passé – the best way to get things done is to fully concentrate on one thing at a time. For example, if you can only manage to play with your kids for an hour today because work is calling, then make the absolute best of that hour. Don’t live yesterday, today and tomorrow at the same time. A full hour of total engagement with your family is better than two hours of being distracted and on your phone while you are with them.

           There is a great parable of a rich old American tourist who is visiting Mexico and on a boat. He is enjoying his time and sees a young local man working hard to make the tourists happy.

          He calls the young man over and asks him what he does.

         “I work on the boat all day, from 9 to 5,” he says. “I am an employee, been here for several years.

          The rich tourist then asks him what he does after 5 pm.

          “Most days I have dinner and then go to the beach and hang around to play my guitar with my friends.”

         The rich tourist shakes his head. “Young man, you can do better than that. You should get here even earlier, work later, and one day, you won’t just work on the boat, you will own the boat! And if you work really hard, you can own several! Then you will be rich like me and be successful, not just a worker!”

          The young man considers this and looks at the rich old tourist. “Then what will I do?” he asks.

          The rich old tourist gets impatient and yells “Well then you can go hang around on the beach and play your guitar with your friends!”


          What do you want in life friends? Live your values, not the values of a rich old tourist, or a young worker who doesn’t want to be an owner, or anyone else. Do what is important to YOU. Everyone’s definition of success is different. Develop a clear vision for what you want and a plan, then live your life accordingly.

          When you do that, you’ll find it is much easier to achieve balance between work and play. Then by all means go out and work hard and play hard – and live in the moment. We only have moments to live after all!


    Thanks for reading! Please listen to our TEAMMATES podcasts with Chris DePiero, Jim Rooney and Roger Lajoie at, and if you’d like more information about our personal coaching, email We are happy to help you discover ways to make YOUR life better with personal coaching and consulting.

            Have a great week!


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