How Do You Succeed at Everything—All the Time?

You know the pressure. It's an unrelenting drive to portray that you “have it all” in life, in business, in health, in wealth, in beauty. That you can manage all areas of your life as if you were a superhero. You must excel at all the “musts” in your life, no matter what’s going on in your life. No excuses. Just do it.  Do you keep a mental checklist with all your “musts” mucking around in your mind? Here’s mine. I’m getting real with you all today. 

Mindi’s Musts List

  • You must pass that annual review and get a raise no matter how boring your job, how cantankerous your boss, or how many unpaid overtime hours you've worked. Otherwise, you’re a lazy worker who really should be fired.
  • You must make more money this year than you did last year, or you're not doing enough to grow your business or become financially independent.
  • Your diet must be 100% perfect, nutrient-dense, and prepared with love, or you're not taking care of yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you're a work-from-home professional, a stay-at-home parent of three, or an executive downtown. No excuses.
  • You must look like an airbrushed fitness model at all times, which requires you hit the gym for an hour a day at least 5-6x/week.
  • You must be centered, have clarity and meditate daily for at least 20 minutes in silence, or you'll never become the ‘next big thing’ in your industry or make a lasting difference.
  • You must want something bigger than yourself and want more out of life, or you’re not one of the successful people.
  • You must please your partner sexually at least daily and appear to be 'in the mood,' ready to drop everything you're doing at any time they want to have sex, or you’re frigid.
  • You must journal religiously every day, or you are not investing enough in your personal development.
  • You must have the urge, proclivity and resources to start your own business, or you lack internal drive and passion.
  • You must spend significant portions of time with each of your immediate family members weekly (if not daily), or you're a self-absorbed workaholic.
  • You must be a financial wizard, up-to-date on all the latest investment advice, saving at least 10-20% of your gross income, or you're just plain money-ignorant.
  • You must be wearing a Fitbit to track activity, check your blood glucose several times daily and keep a log of all other activities, or you're not serious about quantifying and optimizing your life.
  • You must get 7-8 quality hours of sleep each night, or you're cutting your life short and giving people less than your best due to sleep deprivation.
  • You must optimize your health and spend as much money as you can (in supplements, real foods, etc), or you're neglecting to take responsibility for your own health.
  • You must also take unplugged weekends to spend on religion and family, or you are too attached to work and your goals to care about others.
  • You must also write 2,000 words per day if you ever hope to get that book/novel finished, or you're just another procrastinating, wannabe author.
  • You must also breastfeed-on-demand whenever your toddler wants a sip, or you're depriving your child of a higher IQ and a bigger salary.
  • You must stay extremely fit and trim following whatever diet gets you there, even though you have a postpartum body and are still breastfeeding.
  • You must "jump in" to help out with the baby during the day even while working from home full-time, or you’re being a neglectful, self-centered bitch.
  • You must never work on a creative project for yourself if there are other tasks that you could be doing, or you’re putting your art above responsibilities.
  • You must not invest any time in a pursuit/hobby unless there's a monetary ROI, or you're just wasting time on the non-essentials.
  • You must do a weekly GTD review, or your productivity levels will suffer leaving you wondering why you didn't achieve your 5-10-20 year goals. 

I know I’m not the only one in feeling this way. With all the self-help articles, TV shows, websites and seminars, there’s a reason we always feel like we’re falling short and never doing enough. We want to be good at everything, all the time. When we miss a deadline, skip a workout or choose Ben and Jerry’s over a greek yogurt, we feel like a failure.

Fact is that we want to excel in ALL of these areas simultaneously, but there's not enough time/energy/space in the day. Choosing to do one of these things means that we eliminate doing all of the other "musts" on our list. It's like this revolving door of "to dos" that are never fully realized, no matter how productive we are. 

I'm learning that though I have a million and one things that I "must" be doing, I can choose to focus on a few that really matter most to me right now. Others can fall by the wayside, and that's okay. It's living my days and weeks aligned with my values in the now, not those things I valued in the past or ones I may prioritize in the future.

[Tweet "It's okay to let some 'to dos' slide. Focus on the 3-5 that matter most right now. ~@mindizone"]

Your Turn: What are your "musts" on your to do list? How do you cope with the fact that you cannot seem to get them all done, or do you have a secret to managing them all? Email me at mindi@mindizone.com to tell me your story!