designing the life that works for you

designing the life that works for you
Photo by DocuSign / Unsplash

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to how we should spend our time. The conventional notion that we must grind endlessly to achieve career success and wealth can be an unhealthy trap. We don't have to shackle ourselves to paths that cause us constant stress and keep us away from what truly matters.

The truth is, we get to design our own lives based on our priorities and values. If making millions and running a big company is your driving dream, then embracing that level of work and sacrifice may be worthwhile to you. But if not, there's no universal rule that you must take that road.

For many people, having ample time with family, pursuing hobbies, and living with less frantic scheduling leads to a more fulfilling life than chasing maximum career status. This lifestyle choice is just as valid. There's no cosmic scoreboard measuring our worth by our job titles or net worth.

“A little girl said to her mommy, ‘Daddy never plays with me. He comes home and he’s got this briefcase and he disappears and works on his papers and he tells me to go to bed.’ Mom tried to explain, ‘Look, your father loves you very much, but he’s so busy at work that he can’t get everything done and he has to bring it home.’ The girl said, ‘Why don’t they put him in a slower group?’ Not a bad idea. If you haven’t got time for your kids, you should consider a slower group. It’s not the money. It’s not the success. You’ve got to make sure everything works. Not something at the expense of everything. At the expense of everything turns out to be too costly.”
— Jim Rohn

The healthiest approach is striving for balance across all the areas of life that enrich us — relationships, personal growth, health, sense of purpose, and more. If you find yourself perpetually sacrificing family time, leisure, or your well-being in service of your work, consider consciously downshifting to a career track that allows you to invest in all aspects of life, not just professional gains.

True life satisfaction emerges when we align our daily investment of time and energy with our true priorities, not societal or corporate pressures. Designing this balance is an ongoing process of honest self-evaluation. But it's the path to living more fully engaged in the richness of life, rather than looking back with regret over what we missed in pursuit of lopsided definitions of "success."