Last week as I was going through my morning ritual of clearing out my e-mail inbox, I came across Marie Forleo's video interview of Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and author of the recently released book Thrive.
The video initially piqued my curiosity because of the emphasis on getting enough sleep, which I find to be a big issue for many people who find effective time investment a challenge.
But to my surprise, I discovered through the interview that Arianna and I had been going through parallel experiences:
- 2005-Arianna founded The Huffington Post; I founded my first business
- 2007-Arianna woke up in a pool of blood from overwork; there was no blood, but I hit a breaking point when I decided that I was sick and tired of feeling guilty whenever I was not working.
- 2007- Present-We both decided to redefine "success," live balanced lives, and inspire others do the same.
Also, this occurrence prompted me to share something very, very important with you that becomes more clear to me every day. The secret no one ever told you is this: when you think you've lost... you've just discovered your place of greatest victory. Here are the three secrets to win:
1. Believe Life Can Be Different: As Arianna said in her interview with Marie: "Brian Andreas had a great quote.... 'Everything changed in her life the day she realized that she had enough time for all the important things.' ... Some things will just not get done, and that's just fine." For me, I had to realize that I couldn't buy in to the traditional entrepreneurial mindset that it was impossible to run a business and have a balanced life. I had to have faith that even though I didn't know how everything would be OK initially that I could start to take the steps to move toward that direction.
2. Redefine Success: So many people make themselves miserable because they get so fixated on achieving a goal that other people told them would make them happy that they lose sight of what actually makes them happy. I believe this is why many people in the wealthiest classes of society mirror the hopelessness and self destructive behavior of many people in the lowest socioeconomic strata. Those who have everything most people dream of from a material point of view -- and yet still fill empty -- despair that they can ever feel the fullness and wholeness of life that all humans long for. That's why Arianna is promoting a "Third Metric" as redefining success beyond money and power on The Huffington Post and in her book. That's also why in Chapter 4 of my book, The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment, I go through a step-by-step guide to clarifying your Personal Definition of Success.
3. Great Victory Comes From Struggle: Nothing feels more exhilarating than when you face an enormous challenge, go through the struggle, and overcome it. That's why Brené Brown shares in Daring Greatly that struggle produces hope. The place of greatest struggle in your life can and will be your place of greatest victory, if you let it. That's only the beginning... once you overcome your struggle, you then have the ability and authority to give hope to others. Does that mean that all of the sudden life is easy for Arianna, for me, for you, or for anyone looking to embody authentic success? Absolutely, not. At least in my own experience, I know that it's a moment-by-moment choice to keep my time investment aligned with my priorities. However, it does mean that we're consistently enjoying life to the fullest and choosing for a sustainable, meaningful lifestyle.
I hope our stories are an encouragement to you to appreciate the revelation in the struggle that can create beautiful notes in your life that make up our symphony.
About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished through an exclusive Schedule Makeover™ process. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through custom training programs.
McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Lifehacker, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and the 99U blog on productivity for creative professionals. She was selected as one of the Top 25 Amazing Women of the Year by Stiletto Woman.