You don’t have to be married to have family. I have a wife and a three year old son and I’m crazy about both of them. I also have a few friends I call my brothers and I mean it. I love them too. All of them are my family and they come before everything else. I always try to remember that.
Life just happens and sometimes it’s hard to keep our priorities straight. But, those we love must come first, because nothing else you do will be worth the effort if your lose your family.
And relationships require work.
It’s important to come up with one, two, or three things each day you do with your family. Be completely present when you’re with them. The only way to consistently do that is to make a decision to schedule everything else around your family time, which is non negotiable.
We live in a workaholic society and some of us have jobs that would have us break family commitments or put work first. If you have a job like that, say no and ask for a change. If you’re irreplaceable your boss will agree. Otherwise, make life moves that allow you to do something else.
Because no matter how high you climb the ladder, it won’t be worth shit if it always keeps you away from those who matter most. You’ll become alienated from them and your life will suck. There will be no one left in your life worth sharing your professional successes with. Then, you will feel like a failure.
So quit that shit show, don’t look back, and believe. You will find work that allows balance and has meaning, not just because you want to, but as a result of your efforts to consciously and actively become better every day in all facets of your life.
Speaking of consciously…
Write down one thing you want to do every single day even if it’s just spending 15 minutes connecting with your wife after a rough or busy day. Make time to play with your kids or read to them for 5 minutes. If you’re away, Skype or call them and tell them you love, miss, and think of them. Call a brother or a sister and it does not matter if you share parents or not.
If life is kicking your ass right now, do at least one such thing each day. Even if you’re a CEO of a company, you can pick up a phone and text someone you love to tell them just that. I promise you that moment will be special if you consciously choose to feel it.
Plan for these things. F*ck spontaneity. Spontaneity is romantic, I know. Just remember that most of the time it’s not going to happen if you count on spontaneity. You’ll forget.
Don’t forget. Plan for it. Write it down. Then do it.
I hope you enjoyed chapter 6 from my new book The Power Of Three: Simplify. Start. Succeed. which is finally available on Amazon for $3. This allows you to check it out and see if you want to get the paperback in the near future. I plan on collecting feedback on what you'd like to see in the paperback version before it's published. I can't wait to share more about it with you real soon!
You have the power to change the world. Use it often.