Being the man and husband you want to be takes continuous efforts in a variety of areas. With so many things going on in our lives, with kids, work, marriage, hobbies and other outside goals and projects, it is hard to maintain focus on everything at the same time. The idea that you can attract what you desire by focusing on what you want mentally, and using that mental energy to consciously or unconsciously guide your actions to that end is something we’ve been more cognisant of recently. This was something we picked up from the Netflix version of The Secret book. Without realizing it, I’ve used this method in the past to achieve goals that were in the forefront of my mind.
The problem is, that it is very difficult to achieve tangible goals if you have too much ancillary things you are trying to achieve at the same time. You can set up patterns of behavior to at least maintain baseline levels, but you can’t really make improvements on all areas at the same time. I believe that we all only have so much mental energy to go around, and you need a set amount to push that rock up the hill and make progress on a goal. If you spread your mental energy around too much, you simply won’t make the improvements in any area with any urgency. Instead, you need to pick and choose a few things that are constantly at the forefront of your mind, and set everything else to autopilot for awhile.
For example, we have our family nutrition and meal preparation in a pretty solid pattern and we focus very little mental energy there. Working out is also on autopilot, and both my wife and I are making small progress but aren’t exactly crushing it with as much consistency as we have in the past. Both Holly and I are focusing very intently on accomplishing several individual goals that take up most of our mental energy outside of work (even if the goals are pseudo-work related).
For me, to focus this intently on something reduces the focus I have on my wife and kids. It shows up in areas, and I realize I have to be aware to not let certain things slide too much. Instead of initiating sex as frequently as used to, I’m letting it slide since I have another focus that takes my attention sometimes into the wee hours. Instead of playing with my kids and encouraging fun wintertime activities, I’m focused on something else. And the scary part is, with my mental energy directed into just one or two areas, I have a harder time caring about the decline in sex or that my kids veg in front of the television instead of doing something productive. But go too long without shoring up other areas and that’s where problems arise. The old adage of “it’s not a problem until it’s a problem” holds true.
So while most are happy to balance health, fitness, marriage and family priorities, which is possible, when you add major things to the mix something has to give. You can’t workout an hour a day, work 8-10 hours, fix meals, take care of the kids, have a sexy marriage, and actually sleep while spending an additional 4 hours a day rebuilding a car (or remodeling a home, or taking evening classes or some other major project). Eventually, you have to let your focus slip a little on the Major thing, so that you can keep the other parts of your life happy in balance. Focus too much for too long on any one thing is a recipe for disaster. We’ve all heard the detriments of workaholics on kids and marriage, but this could be any thing that takes large stretches of time. I knew a man who’s marriage blew up partially because all his free time was taken up by bike racing and his obsession with it.
While you will never accomplish major goals without a lot of time, mental energy and focus, don’t forget to put those goals on pause or reduce them from time to time to make sure all the other areas in your life are still at the appropriate pH levels and not becoming caustic. Prevent the problem before it’s a problem. Finding the proper ratio of focused dedication and pulling back for more balance across many areas can be difficult, but patience toward accomplishing the big goal is a better approach than having the other areas of your life deteriorate around you.