Let Fires Burn

On any given day, I have more to do than time permits. Bar none.

On some days, I’m a great dad, a great employee, a great business owner, a great brother, a great son, a great pet owner, a great husband and a great friend. On no day am I more than maybe one to two of these at any given time….on some days, none.  Here’s what I strived for in the past and what I understand now.

We can’t be successful at everything every day, but we can be successful at something every day.

Here’s the problem, being great at one thing often comes with sacrificing something else. Being a great business owner or employee involves sacrificing time with family, and being great at the latter involves sacrificing the former. 

So how on earth do we find ….”balance”? We don’t. We accept that we can’t be successful at everything and that in itself brings peace. You will suck at something on some days, note it and get it. Welcome it, receive it. Today I will suck at “X.” But I understand that I’m human, and I’m not perfect. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll be that guy, but today I have shit to get through.

 Know that it’s okay for some things to fall, “let fires burn,” my past General Manager would say. You can’t get them all, some things will burn to the ground, and that’s okay”.

Here are a few things I’ve adopted to help me be at peace:

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I start my day with the three things that define success; everything else is a fire I can let burn. I will succeed on that day if I get through these three things. Everything else is bonus points. I focus on the three that will drive the most significant outcome. Watch — Me Time

I try to get up before everyone else in the morning and do a bike ride, exercise, have breakfast, and meditate before I start the day. Doing this prevents me from rushing into the day and instead eases me in. It clears my mind to accept new information during the day. This also extends through the day. I have a 30-minute fresh air block and a 12 o clock block on the calendar for lunch. Having these two breaks gives my mind a chance to “breathe.” I take a quick walk for fresh air, and if I have a meeting I can’t miss, I’ll take it on the phone while I walk.  Meditating for me is writing as I am now or photography—more on why I love photography in another blog post. I try to make time for this within my free moments as well.  

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You are what you eat. Try eating healthy for a month and then go junk, and you’ll feel it. I have breakfast,lunch and dinner. Never skip! If I’m not nourished I can’t perform.  I try to eat as healthy as possible and employ a nutritionist’s help, which leads me to the next area…TEAM!


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It sounds first-world, but we can’t win a Formula 1 race alone. My team consists of several people. I have a rule – I calculate my hourly rate (annual salary by 365/8). I outsource anything that amounts to less than the result of this formula. With that :

a) Health:

· Doctor

· Nutritionist

· Therapist/Coach

· Physical/Personal Trainer

They pay for themselves when I’m healthy, both mentally and physically.

b) Around the house:

·I will NEVER cut my lawn based on my math. Instead, I outsource and allocate that time to family

· House cleaning outsourced. Again, while they clean, I’m working on my big three or spending time with the fam

· Handy jobs/furniture assembly etc. – Outsourced at $30 an hour. While they build, I’m out with the fam, hitting the park, etc. Etc. 

c) Family:

My most incredible team is my wife, parents, brother, and close family/friends. They keep me grounded and support me; I could not be anything without them. With that, making time for them is a priority, even though I often screw that up. That could never be outsourced, no matter the hourly value.

Even with all these systems, I get it wrong….but that’s okay. I’m not perfect; no one is. Accepting that gives me the space I need to be at peace. Balance is always a moving target; peace gives us the freedom to thrive, be our best selves, and keep striving to be our best selves.

I hope this perspective was helpful to others on their journey.

Remember, focus on what counts …and let fires burn—cheers to many fires to come.

  This is Steven! 
Business Builder, Husband, Girl Dad, Human past   

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