“You sleep like you’re rich. I’m up like I’m broke.”
If you’ve been exposed to any part of Grant Cardone’s empire, you know just how true that quote is for him. Surely, many of those at Mr. Cardone’s level will quickly admit that they have sacrificed sleep and many more necessities to attain the level of success that they have.
What you don’t hear from Cardone University, or really from any of those who achieve material success, is the epilogue. What happens after all their time, energy, and endless grind has fulfilled their goal?
You don’t hear about it because there is no finish line for these individuals.
There’s only more.
Having your goals become a moving target can definitely help you build an empire, similar to the Cardone’s of this world. But can it bring you happiness? You only need to peruse The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris to learn just how unsatisfying living that way can become.
Being successful and working hard to achieve that success is not a problem. It’s when we lose perspective and balance that we start to let true fulfillment slip from our grasp.
The Dangers of Not Living a Balanced Life
When we minimize or forget about the importance of living a balanced life, we can suffer. Not only can we suffer, but those who rely on us the most may suffer as well.
We may be spending so much time at work that we do not leave enough time for family and friends. We may be spending too much time with our family and friends that we are slacking at work or even are not showing up to work. Whatever way the imbalance shows up in your life, it will eventually harm your health, happiness, and sense of fulfillment.
There are many dangers of not striking the right work-life balance. Let’s take a closer look at just a few of the things that happen if your life is out of balance.
Your Health Suffers
When you overwork or party too hard, your health will start deteriorating. The microcosm is reflected in the macrocosm. Everywhere in nature, we can see that if things are imbalanced, upheavals and disturbances occur.
Today, the environment is so imbalanced that weather patterns have become more unpredictable and extreme. Likewise, our physical and mental well being becomes disrupted when we expose our personal environment, our body and mind, to different extremes.
Part of self-care is recognizing when something is harming you or no longer serving you and letting it go. If you continue having an imbalanced life for too long, the consequences can become dire. The extreme end of imbalance can even result in death. In Japan, a place filled with imbalance when it comes to work ethic, a unique word had to be created, karoshi, to describe the situation where someone suddenly dies from overworking.
Your Family Suffers
Those closest to us tend to suffer the most when our lives are imbalanced. The most common way imbalance creeps into our lives is when we overwork. Our spouse, children, and parents may feel neglected.
Divorce is not uncommon when someone is not providing the right level of attention and care to their partners. Children may end up feeling like they are not important or loved, causing them to have behavioral issues. Parents may become sad and depressed that their child either is avoiding them or does not love them.
When you reclaim the balance in your life, you will notice the positive impact it has on your family and personal relationships. It may not be easy, especially if you feel that you are being asked to take on a lot at work. However, if you keep rationalizing your imbalances, something will eventually fall apart under the pressure. Sadly, for most entrepreneurs and executives, this results in a tremendous loss in their personal lives.
Your Friends Suffer
Friends can sometimes be closer to us than our own family. The bond of friendship can last well into our sunset years if we nurture those relationships. If we start spending less time with friends we have been hanging out with for years, they may become confused, sad, and angry. Your friends may think you are coming up with excuses to avoid spending time with them.
To avoid this from happening, clearly and honestly let them know what is going on in your life. If they are a good friend, they will acknowledge and accept that you are going through a difficult time. They may even offer to help if they can. For some imbalances, you may have the possibility of being helped by others. If this is the case, you should take them up on their offers. You do not have to do everything alone or by yourself.
This would still not remove your life imbalances, which is why you should evaluate your life. What is taking up the majority of your time? When did this begin to happen? Is there anything you can do to shift time away from the thing that has been eating it up? There is always something you can do, remember that.
Even if your friends are understanding, evaluating your imbalance is a must. Without identifying and rectifying the imbalance, you will not be able to restore the time you need to nurture these friendships. Without proper nurturing, the best of friendships will become weakened.
Your Effectiveness Suffers
As humans on this planet, we have a limited amount of time and energy to use every day. After a certain point in the day, our productivity takes a nosedive. We are only able to stay productive for a limited amount of time without introducing an artificial component, such as a stimulant.
Once we go beyond the point where we are still able to be productive, our work begins to suffer. In the end, you will put in a lot of empty hours that will not deliver your desired results. This serves only to create a cycle of frustration and fruitless work.
To be more effective with the energy you exert on a daily basis, you need to maintain a balance of how you use your energy. When you put too much of your time and effort towards one aspect of your life, it may come back to hurt you. Even too much of a good thing can be harmful. You may love your spouse, but if you spend every waking moment with them and put nearly all of your attention on them, your work life can suffer. Give enough of your energy to the areas of your life that need it. However, do so with the awareness to know when enough is enough. Give time to yourself, your work, and your family in as balanced of a way as you can.
Your Clout Suffers
The influence you have in any sphere of your life that is currently being neglected will become reduced by imbalance.
At work, this may end up in you being overlooked raise or a promotion. At home, this may result in losing strong bonds with your spouse and children. Without investing your time in these spheres of influence, you cannot be looked at as someone that can be a role model or someone to come to for counsel.
This type of clout is not about prominence, but rather your overall reputation. Balanced individuals are seen as stable, dependable, and valuable. When you become unbalanced, your attention to these spheres of influence cannot be maintained and, if left neglected, your reputation for reliability diminishes. If you want to maintain your positive influence in the key areas of your life, you need to make sure you give those areas the time and attention they deserved. This cannot be accomplished without first gaining a balanced view of your life.
Replacing harmful actions with nurturing actions is the only way to restore your mental health and wellness. We need to have the self-awareness to identify imbalances within our lives. Mindfulness meditation is one of the powerful and effective tools that can help us cultivate that self-awareness. This is especially true if we have trouble reflecting on our actions. Once we identify imbalances, we can work on realigning our lives. With proper coaching and guidance, you can maintain a healthy, happy, and balanced life.