“Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.” Colin Powell
Life has moments of work and moments of play. It’s always a blessing when the two can come together, but for most of us work and play are separate. It isn’t right to always play or always work, life needs some semblance of balance. True success can never occur if it’s a one avenue success, like work success. I’ve learned that our work successes and life successes are greatly enhanced by the lessons we learn in other areas of our lives. When we choose to open ourselves to the lessons of life, we’re able to not only increase the likelihood of our success, but also improve our whole-life satisfaction.
The big challenge with this, of course, is the danger of bringing our work home with us and letting things corrupt other areas of our lives. It’s one thing to talk over a situation at work with your partner, it’s another thing to ruin your marriage because you hate your job. You can be passionate about your job without it taking over your life, and you can be passionate about your fun times without letting it ruin your finances.
There are two factors to making sure that your playing and working are fulfilling but not overwhelming. The first is your self-control and ability to stop when you need to. The second is the other people in your life. You need a strong partner and good friends to make this work. It may seem obvious, but the lessons you learn from truly beneficial friends and partners are far better than those you could learn from a relationship you don’t care about and friends who only like to mess around.
If you want to be the kind of leader that Colin Powell has become, you need to surround yourself with the best people who can not only support you but you can support them. Life and work are two way streets: both require you to put in effort.