Can you ‘have it all’?

Can you ‘have it all’?
May 18, 2021 Linda Murray

Over the last few posts, we’ve thought about work-life balance and how the power of choice strongly influences your outcomes.

I think this train of thought leads to the inevitable question, which I get asked a lot … “Can you have it all?”

We’ve been told for years now that yes, we CAN have it all. We can have a career, have a life, have success, and have a family. We’ve struggled and fought, and developed ourselves personally and professionally, but what has changed?

There is no possible way we can “have it all”. Well, actually, let me clarify that. Yes, we can have it all … just not all at one time.

In my previous post about work-life choice, we discussed the concept of opportunity cost. Mark Manson, the author of ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’, says,

“Opportunity cost means that essentially everything you do, no matter what it is, costs something, even if indirectly.” He puts it well when he says, “So the most important question you can ask yourself isn’t about what you want, it’s about what you’re willing suffer for.”

When you’re offered a fabulous opportunity, it comes with a downside. You need to ask yourself if that a price you’re willing to pay.

What happens if you stop striving to have it all?

How do you manage FOMO?

What will people say?

I’d like you to look at it from a different perspective and ask yourself this. What is “it all?” Why would you put yourself under immense stress to ‘have it all’ when the price you pay is likely to be the very thing you’re chasing?

For example, working incredibly long hours… to gain promotion… to gain money… to gain security… so you can enjoy your happy family. What do you really want? A happy family! What is the cost? Time with the very thing you value most.

Good, better, best.

We’ve discussed “choice” a lot in the recent posts here, but everything we do comes down to choices and this is no different.

When you are making a choice, which affects your ability to “have it all”, weigh up the opportunity costs.

  • What does a good result look like? What do you gain and what will it cost you?
  • What does a better result look like? What do you gain and what will it cost you?
  • What do the best results look like? What do you gain and what will it cost you?

I need to point out that the results won’t always be clear to you. Sometimes it’s difficult to quantify the benefits, but the costs are much easier to see. If you’re in that situation and struggling to make a choice, assess the cost. If it’s something you’re prepared to accept, you’ll have your answer.

Good is good!

There’s nothing wrong with settling for “good” instead of “best.” Good may give you the balance you’re seeking. Best may be unattainable and cost you more than you want to pay.

Good can be a starting point or an endpoint. The choice is yours alone. Remember, that your priorities will change as will the demands on your time. What is right for you now may not be right in the future. Don’t aim to have it all. Aim to have the best you can for now.

Would you like to talk this through with me? Feel free to get in touch and we can chat.

In the meantime, take time out to reflect on your life and your choices to date. Are your choices giving you what you want? If not, now is the time to do something about it.

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