For the past few years, I thought I had it figured out.
But I didn’t.
Not even close.
And it wasn’t until today that I had a major wake up call.
Actually, that’s not true.
The wake up call started about two weeks ago.
Two weeks ago I lost it on my kids.
Like massively lost it.
I don’t often lose it. I don’t yell often.
But two weeks ago I yelled and I dropped a record setting number of f-bombs.
I felt terrible afterward.
Terrible because I had completely failed to manage my emotions.
It was red flag number 1.
Red flag number 2 came when I received an email from Number 7’s teacher about 10 days ago and I totally hammered her in a seriously brutal response that I regretted sending immediately after I hit enter.
At the end of the day I sent her and the principal another email apologizing for the way I had voiced my concerns earlier that morning.
Red flag number 3 came the next morning when I had a meeting with Number 7’s teacher and the principal and I burst into tears.
A couple times.
Red flad number 4 came the next day — a week ago — at the middle school swim team banquet.
There were about 110 people there — 40 swimmers and divers, 60 parents, and 10 or so siblings.
I burst into tears in front of them all when I talked about how when women come together we can do some pretty awesome things.
I completely bawled my brains out when I gave the most improved award to one of the kids on the team. Like I-couldn’t-speak-coherently crying.
I cried when I gave Number 4 her award.
I was an emotional mess that night.
The fifth red flag came the next day when I could hardly function. I was physically and emotionally depleted.
That’s when I knew for certain that I had to make massive changes in my life.
Some went into effect immediately.
Some will happen in the next couple months.
And then I started reading The One Thing — The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results (affiliate) by Gary Keller. (Actually I started listening to the audiobook while I was running and walking and driving in the car).
I had a big a-ha moment.
But I didn’t really put all of it together until today when I was doing a Facebook Live with my Thrive members.
My head almost exploded.
And it was so obvious, now, in hindsight.
I listed out loud my life in the last 18 months.
- First, I have 5 kids at home.
- I ran a marathon.
- I trained for and competed in a couple triathlons.
- I coach at a swim team that’s 45 minutes away from my house.
- Number 3, 4, 5, and 7 are on that team and they swim in four different groups at four different times spanning 3:45 – 8:30 pm
- Number 3 also started the high school team this year.
- Number 3 and 5 swam on the middle school team also.
- I coached the middle school team in addition to the club team.
- Number 6 started wrestling.
- Number 6 played baseball.
- Number 7 played lacrosse.
- Number 4 ran cross country.
- Number 4 was in a play.
- Number 6 started saxophone.
- Number 4 applied to boarding school
- Number 3 and 4 ran on the track team.
- I taught swim lessons.
- I volunteered to be on the fundraising committee for Number 6 and 7’s school.
- I run an online business.
- I directed the 4th grade play.
Those are what I can think of off the top of my head.
It’s not sustainable or manageable.
I am doing so many things at once and I’m doing none of them very well..
And I absolutely depleted myself to the point that I was a physical and emotional mess last week.
I started making changes immediately.
But it was while I was listening to The One Thing that the light bulb really went off.
I am not where I want to be in my business or my life for one reason.
I am doing too many things.
There is a name for this. It’s an actual thing.
It’s called Pareto’s Principle, or the 80/20 rule.
It originated from an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto who noted that about 80% of Italy’s land was owned by 20% of the population.
This principle can be applied to anyone and anything, really.
What it boils down to is that 20% of what you focus on determines 80% of your results.
And the other 80% of your time and efforts accounts for the remaining 20% of your results or your success.
I haven’t had a focus.
I haven’t had a one thing.
I’ve had five billion things.
All my energy has been going in to the 20%.
I’m all over the place. I don’t know what my one thing is in the important areas of my life because I’m doing all the fucking things.
And it’s affecting me across the board.
Perhaps this has something to do with me turning 50 in September.
I’m past the halfway point, in all likelihood.
I don’t want to fuck around anymore.
I don’t want to be busting my ass and getting virtually nowhere.
I am working harder, not smarter.
Until last week.
Last week the light slowly came on.
Now it’s blinding.
I get it.
I’ve had my percentages all backwards.
Now I’m enlightened, my eyes are open, and I’m genuinely at the place where I’m ready to make the hard but necessary choices that will enable me to change the course of my life in the direction I really want it to go.
I’m ready to find my one thing.
And I’m ready to crush the shit out of it.