be imbalanced, but make it matter

Happy Memorial Day! 

I spend my days in the technical 'weeds' of multistate taxation, and today I felt like writing about a non-technical matter (especially, since most of you probably aren't working today).

Does success require imbalance? 

If you look at those that are successful in their career, they usually spend more time focused on it than they did on other things, such as their family. We don't like it when people sacrifice their families for their careers, yet we celebrate those who achieve success - strange? Maybe.

For years we have had discussions, seminars, books, and human resources pushing the need for 'work/life balance.' To many in the 'real world,' work/life balance seems unobtainable. Especially with our 24/7 technology. If anything, work has taken up more of our lives, not less. This is why we need to be disciplined in what we say 'yes' to. We can't say yes to everything and hope to spend our time on what matters most - it is impossible. If we do, we will be busy all the time and not accomplish anything.

I think the key to success is imbalance - doing more than what is expected. Spending more time doing something, practicing, etc. than others. However, that imbalance doesn't mean doing busy work or just being busy. It means you are working on something specific - your main objectives and priorities. Thus, when you are spending extra time on your unique goal, talent, pursuit, you will actually make progress to being the best at it.

Don't let your life be unbalanced without gaining ground. So many of us are so busy, we feel like a pin ball. Unfortunately, when that happens, we are busy, but not accomplishing anything.

Let yourself be imbalanced in a disciplined manner. Also, let yourself become imbalanced towards your family as well. The pendulum doesn't always need to swing towards work to be successful. Actually, if you say 'no' to the things that don't matter, then you will only be saying 'yes' to work that matters, giving you more time for family.

Success requires discipline, imbalance and family. When the pendulum swings towards work - make it matter.