I want it all. I have an insatiable ambition to build my business, help more people, and reach a level of success that I have only dreamed of. This includes a life that will allow me to travel to new and exotic locations, give back to society, and create a lasting legacy for my children. However, I strongly believe that life is first and foremost about the deep and meaningful connections we build and nourish along the way. For what is the meaning and purpose of life, if not to give and receive love? This dichotomy leads me to question the values that drive me, and how I ultimately want to live my life and spend my days. This core belief towards living in love is so strong that I often feel as if I must sometimes sacrifice my ambition in order to obtain it. Yet, I know that achieving balance in both a successful career and a passionate love are not mutually exclusive and in fact, will ultimately help drive one another.
I hear from friends who mention that they are purposefully putting off serious relationships, the possibility of marriage, and the thought of a family in order to accomplish their goals right now and reach their definition of success. I understand every person has their individual priorities; however, it leads me to question how my own goals will help shape my future, as I know that I won’t be content unless I have both my work and love simultaneously. My life feels like there are dual train tracks that are at times heading in opposite directions. Choosing one path, my ambition will be filled and my business will reach new levels of success including multiple gyms, speaking in front of hundreds of thousands of people, and having my hand in numerous industries. Choosing the other path, I will have a passionate love, a healthy and prosperous relationship, and a family that will become my utmost priority.
I have no doubt that if I decided to commit all of my time, energy and resources into my business, it would flourish that much faster. But at what cost? I believe the process is just as important as the finish line as it allows us to appreciate and cherish our successes that much more. Often, we create goals so that we can simply check them off our list; however, if we instead, create goals that will send us in the direction we want to go and lead us to be the kind of people we want to be, then the goal itself will become much less important than the path it propels us on. My initial goal of helping people lead healthy lifestyles has lead me to own a gym as well as meet people that share in my passion and vision and who may also provide me with future opportunities to accomplish this goal on a grander scale. If instead, my goal was simply to make more money, my life could be very different and lacking in quality and the rich, positive people and sense of fulfillment I encounter on a daily basis.
Furthermore, by putting all my energy onto one path, I would potentially be losing out on valuable life experiences and people who could ultimately shape my destiny in an even more powerful manner. By being open to receiving love, I not only met a girl who I’m crazy about, but her support and shared drive has pushed me to achieve new heights of success. Recently, as I’ve made a conscious decision to be present and live in the moment on a more consistent basis with her, I have seen my life balance and prosper on multiple levels. When I allow myself to be open to new experiences and people without expectation and judgment, I’m able to better recognize what’s important in that moment and what can be postponed. I’ve created memories that I will never forget despite the future outcome of our relationship.
When I take each day as it comes while looking ahead to only what I can see on the horizon, I’ve been able to make a far more enlightened decision about my priorities. As I think about my longevity and our minute place in the universe, the decision between ambition and love becomes far clearer as I know my time is limited and tomorrow is not promised. Every day is a blessing that provides me with extreme gratitude for being able to live my life on my terms where I not only choose how to spend my time on a daily basis but also with the people I want to spend it with.
While there is no correct answer as to where I should direct my focus, I do know that I can have it all because it is a necessity for me in order to live a full life. For me, I do not have a choice, as I’ve learned that I am a lover just as much as I am ambitious and driven. I sometimes wear my heart on my sleeve and want to take over the world as well; thus, I try to manage the balancing act between vulnerability and aspiration in order to keep myself happy. I know that I will just have to work that much harder in order to keep both trains moving at full speed and in the same direction while taking the necessary time to appreciate the journey along the way. I want money and passion. I want success and family. I want legacy and love. I want it all.
By Brian Jaffe