A friend of mine – with her own business and two children – pointed me to this article today http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/why-pepsico-ceo-indra-k-nooyi-cant-have-it-all/373750/
It’s great to see a point of view from someone who can give an informed opinion, but maybe we should quantify what “all” is. Can a person – male or female – have a career and a family? I think generally the answer is yes. Can this person give as much attention as they would like to every aspect of this “all”? Can they be the perfect parent, succeed to the highest levels of their career, look after their own parents plus ensure they too are supporting themselves with the best diet, exercise, emotional support etc.? No, I don’t think it’s possible.
You make decisions on a day-by-day basis and you do the best you can. Everyone makes sacrifices and everyone sometimes has things they feel guilty about. Maybe if you decide what your personal “all” is, that will help with both the decisions and the guilt.
it was my birthday this week and I was reminded of another birthday, many years ago, during which I did a workshop about mastering the self and your own self-expression. I’m not always someone who enjoys public soul-searching but it proved to be one of the best workshops I’ve ever done. I left it feeling open and free and happy in my own skin.
The leaders created a very safe space in which to explore but still, one task proved to be the most difficult for everyone. This was to write a love letter – to yourself – and then to read it aloud to the small groups we were working in.
Try it. I guarantee you will find it difficult to seriously address yourself and express positive, loving feelings. Then try reading it aloud. Every single person who did this at the workshop had tears in their eyes as they were speaking.
These days we’re all asked to do a lot – to do the best for our clients and our employer, to support our families and friends, to make money, to achieve, to do what sometimes feels like the impossible, to commit to what we love. How can you do those things, how can you commit, if you can’t love and support who you are?