Monday, June 13th, 2016

How do you manage the balance between responsibilities to family with pursuing your own desires?


I received this lovely feedback from a lady who took The Art of Success questionnaire—she was asked in this brief survey, “If you could ask me one question related to success what would it be?”

Her reply was, “How do you manage the balance between responsibilities to family with pursuing your own desires?”

hannah and I my graduation

This is such a great question! When I was a single working parent trying to finish my degree this was a real balancing action. And now that I’m in a relationship it’s still a juggling act! 

I shared the above recently on my Facebook page and my daughter responded (without prompting from me). 

Here’s her reply—spontaneously evidencing what one of my bits of  advice would be:

Mum balanced extremely wel

Share your desires with those important to you—chances are they’ll be thrilled for you. That doesn’t always happen straight away. Sometimes people need to see the results or get used to the new you first. But if they love you and you speak your truth and commit to action it will happen.

Focus on the benefits—how will your family benefit when you’re following your passions and desires. What will they notice? What will be different? Importantly, what benefits will flow to you? How will you feel? How will you be different?

Examine your assumptions—another respondent to The Art of Success questionnaire said her biggest obstacle to success was, “guilt as my son is in his final year of school and I feel I need to be here for him”. 

What is she assuming? Where is her evidence? What might be another way she could succeed and still be there for him? How might she prepare for the day when he no longer needs her there? 

Without knowing her situation these are just a few questions (what, where, how etc.) we can all pose to stimulate solutions.

Hannah and I disneylandNegotiate and schedule “me” time—when Hannah was little and wouldn’t stay in bed at night I ‘negotiated’ an agreement with her. If she went to bed at seven and remained in bed, when I had finished my project (at the time these were assignments related to my degree)  I would reward her.

Hannah, as many small children aren’t, wasn’t the easiest to get to stick to her agreement.  I would set the alarm at seven pm.  And she would go to bed. She would get up and I would put her back to bed. I maintained the habit, no compromises, and eventually she complied!

One of the rewards was a trip Disneyland when I actually finished my degree. A promise I delivered on many years later!

Find your sacred space, and/or sacred hour—designate a room or go off site— do whatever it takes to find some space where you won’t be interrupted. Hang a sign on the bedroom door if you need to. Work out the times you’re less likely to be interrupted and schedule this as “your desire time,” or give your dreams a movie title, or some other fun and motivational  name to claim your sacred creative space.

Response-ability—look at the word responsibility. Break it down. Respons-ibility. You have more power than you think.  If your dreams and desires aren’t being prioritised by those around you make it your mission to swarm over this obstacle until you find a solution. You are able to respond differently. You have that power! Ask other successful people who have similar responsibilities. Look for your role models. 

Delegate—everyone in your family has a responsibility to each other.  Delegate chores and tasks and responsibilities so the load is shared. Don’t be too proud, stoic or soft, to ask for help.

Prioritise you—airlines have it right when they tell you to put your mask on first in case of emergency. If putting yourself first is an area you struggle with it’s time to boost your self-love…and perhaps your assertiveness skills.

#Find YourTime-Hack—you may be time challenged but even 15 minutes a day dedicated to your desires can build momentum. Eliminate leakage.  I haven’t had a TV for five years— it’s incredible how much time this has freed up.

Hannah her graduationDon’t settle. Your success will inspire others. Enough said!

I hope that’s been helpful. I’d love to hear what works for you. How do you manage the balance between responsibilities to family with pursuing your own desires?


Take the short success survey here

HBK5 RenderThe Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed Personally and Professionally will be available in July 2016. To be the first to know and receive a free gift, click here

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