I just got off a call with a client, I am sitting in front of my computer writing this article and it’s Sunday. I’ve lost the concept of a weekend. What’s weird is that I don’t see it as a bad thing. It’s just the way life is now and it’s awesome. I am busy doing something I love and recognize I have seven days a week in which to do it. But, I am also learning that those same seven days offer time for family, play, lunch dates with my wife, self-care, and more. I am trying hard to allow time for them all.
At the apex of my corporate life, when I should have been the most fulfilled, instead I was bored and empty. However, one benefit of that boredom and emptiness was that it created the space needed for the ritual. I knew what each day would bring, so it was easy to build a structure around my life. This included set times for exercise, meditation, kids, wife, friends, and more. Life was very neat, ritualistic, and consistent.
When I stepped off the solid ground into the choppy waters of entrepreneurship, my rituals were swept away. The consistency that allowed for the structure was gone. I struggled for a long time to fit those same rituals I had been following for years into this new life. It didn’t work. I grew frustrated and discouraged. I gained weight, stopped meditating, and just didn’t carve out the time for the other important parts of life.
A year or so ago, I shared my frustration with a friend. He simply shrugged his shoulders and said, “So, create new rituals.” It was like getting clubbed over the head. I’d spent all this time and mental energy trying to fit in my old rituals when I could have just created new ones. What a dummy.
Now, from the moment I had the realization, to the creation of new rituals took time. I didn’t know how to do it. I had to observe, uncover hidden patterns within the chaos and flow. Once I let go of the old, the frustration diminished, and I started to enjoy the exploration. I learned that the early hours of the morning weren’t best for exercise but rather for deep work. I found that ending my day with some exercise actually helped me to sleep better. I’ve created new rituals that are not as rigid. They flex with the flux of life. I haven’t perfected it yet, but for the first time in a long time, I feel confident that I am on the right path.
I am sharing this because I know I am not alone in facing this challenge. You’re out there. You’re the ones that answer my late-night emails and read these articles on Sunday afternoons. You know who you are. The life of an entrepreneur is hard, stressful, and unpredictable. But underneath, there are patterns, there is an order to the madness. Find those patterns and build rituals around them. Use those rituals to create better balance, making certain to create space for all the parts of life that make it full, rich, and complete.