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Balance, Happiness, & Owning Your Trade

One of the most reoccurring themes I’ve noticed across various industries is that some of the most successful people lack balance in their lives. The media can often glamorize actors/actresses’, athletes, badass tech developers, poker players, artist etc, but none of them are immune to the downfalls of lacking balance in their lives.

I’m a big believer that one of the best ways of becoming the best at what you do is to get obsessed with your trade. When I first started getting into poker I was eating, breathing, and sleeping poker. I would even watch rounder’s to get hyped up before trips to Vegas from college. I surrounded myself by other people who played poker and talked about poker non-stop.

I look back at that period and certainly give that obsessive behavior credit towards helping me get to the point where I felt like I was a master at my trade. The fact that I was so excited about poker, day in and day out, was enough to motivate me to do whatever it took to get really good at the game.

Unfortunately there is an opportunity cost to dedicating yourself to one thing and one thing only. That opportunity cost is LIFE. You eventually start to miss out on experiences that are important in becoming a well-rounded person. On top of the experiences you miss out on; the period where you are dedicating yourself puts you in a bubble where you can easily forget or miss out on understanding and experiencing what the rest of society experiences.

I think of balance in the following way; I would say it’s generally accepted that the most important things in most people’s lives, in no particular order of priority, are the following: health (physical and mental), career, family, love life, friends, and experiences. My personal strategy to happiness and balance is to constantly reflect on each of those categories and ask myself if they are being fulfilled. Realistically you’ll find that you constantly feel like you are lacking in some of those categories but that’s okay because you have the ones you ARE satisfied with to keep you happy.

For example lets say there is an extremely talented athlete who doesn’t have much they give attention to other than their career. What happens when they get injured, has a bad year, or don’t get their contract resigned?  Now their entire world is upside down and this can be very difficult to recover from emotionally. Now let us look at an athlete who is a little more balanced and is going through a rough period in their career.  This athlete happens to have a healthy social life, family bonds, and love life. As a result, even though their career isn’t where they want it to be, they still experience success in other important aspects of life, which helps to keep them emotionally stable. These examples aren’t just limited to celebrities; they affect people from all walks of life.

Happiness isn’t some static state you can reach by accomplishing certain criteria then being done with it. The way I see it, happiness is a state of the perpetual flow of your lifestyle.

So work hard, get obsessed, and let your passions lead you towards a successful career, but don’t let that successful career be your only passion!

Good luck and Happy Lifestyle =)

FJ

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