Having It All or Being Happy - You Can't Do Both

I don’t like the phrase “having it all.” Frankly, it’s just silly. I realize that the media, C.E.O.s, working and stay-at-home moms/dads, etc., love to debate the topic. Can you have it all? How can you? What should you do if you  don’t have it all?

Let’s reframe the conversation. I’m not going to debate those who say, “I’ve tried and it cannot be done. Something always falls through the cracks.” Instead, I ‘d like to help us remember we can choose a BALANCED life according to our PRIORITIES, which leads to happiness, and ultimately our own unique sense of having it all.

For me the Bible simplifies the matter of having it all:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

God will always help us with our life choices and life balance. <<Click to Tweet

Think about this scenario. When you were a child and went to the toy or candy store, you probably wanted to have it all. Did the adult accompanying you let you? Chances are they made you choose. If you literally “had it all” you would end up with a tummy ache or you wouldn’t appreciate what you were given.

So let’s ask ourselves instead, “Do I really WANT it all?” or “Do I just want to be happy with my life?” I choose happiness. Choosing happiness means I live by my priorities and the balance that brings.

I put my faith first, then my family and friends, and then my career.

What about you? What are your priorities? You can choose to live by them.

Are there days when I feel like I have it all? Yes, absolutely! Those are the days when I balance well my faith, my family and friends, and my job!  There are also days when something in life is out of balance. That’s the thing with life, it’s ever-changing as surprises pop up and we fall off the balance beam.

Balance is hard and nobody wins at it, it’s not a game to win or lose. <<Click to Tweet

When you lay down at night to say your prayers and say, “Thank you, I did it,” perhaps you mean you had a happy day and everyone around you was happy too. You had your priorities in order and you felt it.  The flip side is, you lie down and say, “No, today was not my day. It was stressful and I had to make hard choices, but tomorrow is another day.” That doesn’t mean you don’t have balance in your life, it just means today was not the day.

Why do we complicate things, saying, “No, I can’t have it all” when one day, week, month, or even a year is out of balance? For me and hopefully for you (after reading this) having it all means simply…happiness. So you don’t achieve it every day, who cares? Don’t beat yourself up or let the gurus, C.E.O.s, newscasters, etc., tell you it can’t be done. The choice is yours…find your balance any way you want, day by day, and you’ll find happiness too!

Today as I write, my children are home and they want me to go swimming with them. So what am I going to do? My choice is to make memories with them now and then play catch up with my work later.  Sound like balance to you? Maybe not. That’s the point… it’s my life balance not someone else’s. A good friend of mine works outside the home. She loves her job and at times works long hours, but Saturday is dedicated to the family; all day with the kids and date night with the hubby. Sunday she worships and takes a little time for herself so she can start the week strong. Is it stressful to juggle? You betcha. Is she happy? Yes, because she lives according to her prioritizes. Balance is not a one-size-fits-all. 

Here are a few tips to help you achieve your happy life daily:

  • Be present in the present. Pay attention to the details: a child’s laugh, the sun on your face, a beautiful breeze, a smile from a stranger. In essence, smell the roses.
  • Make a to-do list of what you can reasonably accomplish today. If you cannot actually accomplish  “it” all in one day, break it down.  Make sure you add in time with God, family, and “you” time too.
  • Concentrate on the task at hand, whether that is taking care of a child, a work project, or just being with a friend, simply concentrate on that and remember nothing has to be perfect.
  • Say no when needed; saying yes all the time makes you tired!
  • Finally remember these wise words from Winnie the Pooh on living in the moment:

 ”What day is it?”

“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.

 “My favorite day,’” said Pooh

The next time you hear the phrase “having it all,” I pray you will remember YOU have control to set your priorities.

Here’s to all your possibilities!

Famous for her contagious smile and down to earth style Dixie McDaniel de Andrade is an international speaker and certified life/success coach. Her purpose is to help busy women “Find Your Beautiful Life” with her signature life balance program. Growing up she wanted to be the Queen of England, now she is happy to serve God and others in her business Envision Possibilities.

Find her at www.dixieandrade.com on Facebook: Envision Possibilities and Twitter.

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