Working Hard Vs. Living A Full Life

I discuss the struggle of balancing hard work with living a full life, reflecting on my journey from embracing extreme hustle culture to indulging in leisure, and ultimately finding a middle path that values both hard work and self-care.
Working Hard Vs. Living A Full Life

Last week I dove into limiting beliefs, how they evolve as you grow and even jumped into a few of my own.

Today, I want to take a deeper dive into another issue I have struggled with — finding the balance between working hard and living a full life.

I’ll be the first to admit - I have gone to extremes on both ends.

On Working Hard

Early on in my entrepreneurial journey I was guilty of jumping full on into “hustle culture”. 

I prided myself on working harder and longer than anyone else around me.

Working 12 to 16 hour days was perfectly normal and weekends were when I could get “real work” done because no one else was around to bother me.

My only break in a 4 year span was a week in Costa Rica with my brother and any Pura Vida I may have experienced quickly dissipated when I landed in Newark Airport and turned on my phone.

While I learned a lot and grew even more, I also destroyed countless friendships, my health and mindset stagnated and I’m fairly certain if you interviewed any of my ex-girlfriends, I was a completely insufferable human being.

I chose to build my entire identity around work. 

On Hardly Working

Equally, I have had the pendulum swing the other way — I spent the better part of a decade running businesses while spending upwards of 3 months/year out of the country.

My adventures have brought me to 5 continents and I’ve been able to both live and work abroad.

I’ve been fortunate enough to see a lot of the world at a much slower place than most but I’ve also been guilty of abdicating responsibility, often to a fault.

I chose to built my entire identity around living a life of leisure.

Finding A Middle Path

Maybe you can chalk it up to the maturity that comes with being a parent of 3 kids but these days I find myself cherry picking the best parts of my former identities.

I value hard work as equally as I value working smarter and surrounding myself with great people.

There are days when I feel like I’m on the phone or in meetings non-stop but I set hard boundaries around when I work and when I’m with my family.

I continually refine systems and processes to optimize for efficiency and minimize fires.

I try and maintain a healthy relationship with Instagram but I go weeks (and sometimes months) where it’s deleted from my phone.

Yoga, acupuncture, routine chiropractic work, meditation, bike rides, fancy haircuts, sitting on the beach, and “all the self care” are placed at equal value to Zoom meeting, sales calls, deep work, networking, and responding to emails (OK, maybe not responding to emails).

Copious amounts of travel is a non-negotiable and I’m counting the days until my kids passport renewals arrive and we can start getting back on planes.

I am going to set foot on all 7 continents before I die.

Above all, maintaining my ability to compromise in any of my “identities” is how I choose to live a full life.

Now ask yourself, how do you choose to live yours?

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