Thoughts on giving up who you love for what you love.
The idea of giving up who you love for what you love is a touchy subject. I hate to suggest that a particular situation can’t be win/win. I’m sometimes hopelessly optimistic that you can have your beautiful, prized cake and still somehow eat it.
But life doesn’t always work like that.
I also wish I had enough time and energy to do, and learn everything. But we also know that’s not possible.
Have you ever watched a documentary or read a book – biography, autobiography or whatever – of a really successful person? They don’t tend to have a lot of friends.
Really, really successful people tend to immerse themselves so deep into their work, passion, or craft that it ends up alienating them from others.
Don’t get me wrong. Accomplished people are generally very well connected. They know lots of people. But they don’t generally have a larger group of true friends. Their innermost circles remain small.
There’s exceptions to the rule. Some do, and blessed they are to have figured the work/life balance out. It’s an art in itself.
The fact is, when you’re really committed to creating something for yourself or for the world, it’s not a normal thing. It’s kind of weird, honestly. Most people are normal and go about typical lives. There’s nothing wrong with that. That white-picket fence dream is a standard for a reason.
When you’re irregularly driven to something, you end up spending way more time on that and a lot less of the more normal-life stuff. Friday and Saturday nights are spent at home or in your lab. You start passing on happy hour.
While you starting growing deeper in your direction, your friends and family are drifting in other directions. You become less and less alike.
Luckily, the science says if you’ve maintained a friendship for around 7 years, it will last forever. Or it can. I consider myself extremely lucky to have some of those friendships. Over the last few years I’ve developed many other important relationships. I hope those survive, as well.
Family should always be there, but when you’re after your life’s desires. You end up missing a lot and things change.
But that can take you away from everything – and everyone – we know.
We like to think home will always be there, waiting for us.
But that’s not always the case. Sometimes though, that’s okay.
Coming back to what I said at the beginning of this. A real cold, and hard truth about life is that sometimes you have to ask yourself if you are willing to give up who you love for what you love.
I have a friend whose father runs a large and successful business, but he missed much of his childhood.
Steve jobs is known worldwide for creating one of the most spectacular company and products we’ve ever seen. But he lost many friends and alienated himself from them. He seemed like a real asshole, to be honest.
After you’ve built what you set out to build. When you reach the top of your mountain. You won’t be the same person – you should hope not to be. But you have to be prepared for that.
I was just speaking to a friend about this. That conversation inspired me to write this. We were discussing travel more so than building an empire or something business related. Because it’s not always training for the Olympics or building that new business or getting into that new career that can take you away from the ordinary. It can be anything that encompasses your life path.
As horrifying as it is to risk the relationships you’ve built thus far, how terrifying is it to imagine never going after your dreams.