Living a Well-Rounded Life
I lead a roundtable of young entrepreneurs, called XCL group, who are all CEOs and/or future CEOs of businesses. They’re destined for success, it’s just a matter of time and experience. But because they’re young, they carry an insatiable hunger to push themselves further in their career and do more than anyone else. It’s never enough. How do I outpace my peers and get as far ahead as quickly as possible?
I attest to being one of the guiltiest.
Each meeting we get together, I ask each person fill out a Member Snapshot. This is a full, 360-perspective in how each XCL Member is doing in their life. I ask that they rank themselves on a scale from 1-10 in each of the following categories:
Fitness/Health — Are you staying active by working out and eating healthy?
Personal Relationships — How are your relationships with your spouse, parents, and/or friends?
Spiritual Walk — How is your personal faith?
Ministry — How well are you caring for others?
Rest/Leisure — Are you taking time to do things that are a “fill” for you? **this may not always be sleep**
Business — How is business going?
Professional Learning — Are you continuing to learn (books, podcasts, mentors, etc.)? **this may not always be work-related**
***Most of us aren’t married and/or have kids. But I would include a category for Family if so.***
Each individual’s score is completely relative, but doing this on a bi-weekly basis allows individuals to track progress and see how they’re doing as a whole. I've attached my past few weeks as a visual overview:
In The ONE Thing, authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan make the argument that work-life balance is a joke. One will never be both 50% committed to work and 50% committed to personal life. Individuals operate on the extremes. Some seasons may call for an intense period focused on family and other seasons may call for the same level of intensity but focused on work.
Since we’ve started tracking the Member Snapshot, it’s very rare that anyone will be firing on all cylinders or score 8+ across the board. A common trend is when the “Business & Professional Learning” categories go up, Fitness/Health and Rest/Leisure go down — and vice versa.
Having a visual of this is a good reminder.
What I find interesting is that at this age, it’s easy for individuals to concentrate heavily on Business and Professional Learning because they’re looking to get ahead. Some categories, like Personal Relationships, come easily.
At the same time, in my line of work with ForbesBooks, many CEO’s, typically further along in life, find the opposite to be true. Business and Professional Learning becomes easy, Personal Relationships (family) does not. It’s why having perspective is so important.
A Well Rounded Life
The key is not to do all things well. It’s impossible. Saying "Yes" to something inevitably means saying "No" to something else.
If you choose to launch a new venture, it may mean missing your child’s soccer game. If you choose your child’s soccer game, you’re missing out on quiet time to meditate and read. If you choose quiet time, you’re giving up time to go to the gym. There will ALWAYS be something happening and areas where you’re having to concede.
If I were to create an image for you, I think about each of these Member Snapshot categories as a bucket of water with a hole at the bottom. The hole represents the involvement required of you. Each bucket will drain at a different pace depending on the size of the hole. If you just got married or had a newborn baby, chances are the “hole” for your Personal Relationships bucket will be pretty big.
Some buckets lose water quicker than others, so I have to spend more time filling the bucket so it stays full. At no point will each bucket stay full to the brim, they are all steadily declining with time. But each bucket has an ideal water level and the key to living a well-rounded life is to never let the water level in one bucket drop for too long.
How I’ve Applied It
I organize my weeks around this concept and try to make sure I’ve got “fills” for each of these buckets. I will sprinkle in time to workout, to read, or to grab dinner with my parents periodically throughout the week. It’s hard, especially when some seasons are more demanding than others. It’s not easy to eat healthy when traveling for work. But when I’m at home, I’m making sure I’m cooking and working out to compensate.
The other thing the Member Snapshot has taught me is that it allows me to show grace towards myself. In slow work seasons, I know I can focus hard on ministry and personal relationships. If I find myself knocking it out with Spiritual Walk or Professional Learning I don’t feel as guilty about not concentrating as heavily on Business.
It’s easy to get tunnel vision and only concentrate on one aspect of the snapshot, but I think each and every single one of us is called to something bigger and more meaningful than what’s in front of us on a daily basis. The Member Snapshot continues to remind me, and others, of that truth.
If you'd like my Member Snapshot template, you can access a 2018 copy here.