Life is all about cycles. Although we’re desperately trying to balance the pots we perceive as important, we often fall prey to the illusion that we can graciously juggle and multi-task several aspects of our lives at once. I tried this game numerous times and I failed at it. I had to learn the hard way that there is no such thing as balancing our most important pots at the same time. The only thing we can do is consciously choose between the pots and communicate accordingly to those we love most.
Why is conscious choice essential?
I always said that I’m in the ‘minimize regrets’ business. I like to reverse-engineer things in life and therefore, whenever I decide, I ask myself this single most relevant question: “Would I regret not doing XYZ?” If the answer is “yes”, then I go ahead and do it. If I get a “no”, then I don’t follow the pursuit.
However, recently after having a really deep conversation with a very wealthy business owner, I came to understand something of great importance which led me to revise my previous statement to the following:
Choose your regrets!
There is an opportunity cost to every single decision and choice we make.
Family and business are very important to me. If someone dear to me is having a birthday party or a wedding but at the same time, if there is a client that has flown in from another continent to sign a contract, I will need to decide where to go. I can’t be in both places at the same time.
There is a cost aka regret attached to attending the business meeting instead of celebrating with my loved ones. And equally so, there is a cost aka regret attached to attending the party while ditching the meeting.
Yes, we can do whatever it takes to best combine the two, however, it’s going to be accomplished one after the other. There is a ranking to it. And that’s what it comes down to when we talk about opportunity costs.
(Applied) Knowledge is Power
A few weeks ago I attended a keynote by Baroness Karren Brady in London and what stuck with me most was her approach to “balancing” her three main pots or boxes as she likes to call them.
Her three main boxes are as follows (no specific order):
1.Family (and friends)
2.Career / Business
Interestingly enough, I resonated with her boxes as mine are similar, except I call my third one ‘health’.
She went on to say that she can’t be at the same time in two or three places, meaning that sometimes she will have to drop her son’s football game and attend an important business meeting while other times she will do the exact opposite. On other occasions she will take time for herself, dealing with the other two boxes later. Obviously, communicating this clearly to all participants in her life has always been of great importance to her.
So far so good, but here’s my biggest takeaway from that keynote:
The size of the boxes matters. They all have to be the same size. This is how the balancing unfolds.
Same size boxes!
Now that is something that I haven’t considered thus far. My three boxes weren’t the same size. My ‘family, relationship, and friends’ box was always bigger in size than my business or self box for example.
Food for thought and a huge paradigm shift for me personally!
So, where am I in the cycle today?
For one, I’m resizing my boxes to be the same size.
Second, I’m back into the fascinating game of business after focusing the past years of my life almost exclusively on family, relationships and friendships.
London, View from the office
Feeling Grateful for My Parents, Two Amazing Divine Sparks
While working on a major project and reconnecting with a friend of mine from university after almost two decades, I came across this wonderful quote by Bruce Lee.
“Instead of buying your children all the things you never had,
you should teach them all the things you were never taught.
Material wears out but knowledge stays.” - Bruce Lee
This is precisely what my parents did. They always encouraged me to learn and more importantly, think for myself. Education is held on a high pedestal in our family. Besides attending all kinds of maths competitions in school, writing business papers at university, and receiving scholarships, I was also exposed to the art of sales, the power of storytelling, and human relationships while selling vegetables and flowers as a very young child together with my grandmother at the local market.
Having all this knowledge is indeed wonderful, however, the magic lies in the application of this knowledge.
The next stage or cycle therefore is to pass this knowledge, wisdom, and experience over to those open to receiving these patterns of information as part of infinite intelligence and awareness.
To knowledge. To life. To love.
Image 01: AI-generated image by Daniela S. via Midjourney
Image 02: London, UK; taken with my iPhone
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