Success without sacrifice: Change your thinking
What if there was another possibility? What if she could continue to work and excel and also improve her quality of life?
When Whitney opened up to this idea, suddenly a new world of possibilities became apparent. Maybe she could lengthen her business trips – even by a day – so she could both complete her reporting and also have time to catch her breath and take some time for herself. Maybe she could get some administrative help so she could both meet deadlines and also get out from under the rest of the paperwork. Maybe she could brainstorm creative options for redesigning her schedule (redistribute the work, work from home, get an intern, etc.) so she could both keep up with the fast-paced culture of the business and also lead the way to a higher quality of work and life.
This is the kind of creative thinking that can free us from the sacrifice. This is Both/And Thinking, because it helps you see new possibilities – possibilities in which you can finally have it all.
Both/and thinking means combining ideas for a more streamlined, synergistic approach. Just look at how a simple change in wording can shift your perspective.
Either/or: Either you can work a less crazy schedule or you can keep your job.
Both/and: You could both work a less crazy schedule and also keep your job.
Either/or: Either you can retire, or you can stay busy and active.
Both/and: You can both retire and also stay busy and active.
Either/or: Either you can exercise and rest, or you can fulfill your responsibilities.
Both/and: You could both exercise and rest and also fulfill your responsibilities.
Just reading these sentences, can you see how both/and thinking opens up the possibilities? By practicing both/and thinking, you’ll start to see different aspects of your life overlapping to get the real synergy going. Then the momentum will take on a life of its own.
Having it All
You can learn to practice more expansive thinking – learning to be more, do more, and achieve more by thinking in powerful ways. Ask yourself, “How can I pull together the different parts of my life so I can both be a better leader and also lead a better life?
There’s a simple exercise you can use any time you find yourself stuck in Either/Or thinking that will help you think in more expansive Both/And ways.
- Notice where you are forcing yourself to make a decision. (“Either I can have this or I can have that.”)
- Identify the two things between which you are forcing yourself to choose. (Work or rest? Make money or have fun? Get ahead or enjoy my life?)
- Bring together those two things in a single sentence. How can I both and also ?