Are you a fractal?
A fractal is a design in which every tiny piece has the design of the whole – the same swirls or angles or zigzags repeated again and again at every level. Zoom in on a tiny chunk of the design, and you see the exact same pattern as if you zoom out. Everything is everything.
When you are living in integrity, you approach your life as a fractal. The “you” in your personal life is the “you” in your professional life. The ideas that apply over here also work over there. You are who you are wherever you are; you are true to yourself.
In our culture, we don’t do that very well. We separate our work and our life into boxes. We compartmentalize. And while compartmentalizing may work pretty well in a storage room where you can have matching plastic bins with labels and lids, it’s no way to live a life.
You are not a storage shed, some kind of staging area where your work goals can go on one shelf and your personal goals can go on another. Your head does not go in this bin and your heart in that bin over there. You are whole. How you feel affects how you act; how you act affects how you work; how you work affects your results; your results affect the way you live. It’s all connected. You are connected; you are one.
The good news about that is that, when you live a life of integrity, you really can have it all. You can be a groundbreaking businessperson, an encouraging leader, and a balanced person, partner, family member, friend or community member all at the same time. You can get your work done, be there for everyone else, and still make time for yourself. You can accomplish your short term tasks and move toward your long term vision at the same time. You can make a good living while you also do something meaningful with your life. You can simultaneously serve the business, the organization, the client, your colleagues, your boss, your team, your family, your own needs, and your corner of the world.
Maybe not everyday. Maybe on a moment to moment basis, you will have to sometimes compartmentalize some emotion to get a job done, or maybe you will have to shut off your work mind to enjoy your personal life. But on the whole, across your life, more is possible. You can be a successful, achieving, contributing, peaceful, joyful person all at once.
I call it “All…All at Once,” and it’s one of the concepts I share with leaders in the book, The Inner Edge: The 10 Practices of Personal Leadership. To learn more, go to www.TheInnerEdge.com. You’ll find an overview of the book, endorsements by such thought leaders asMarshall Goldsmith and Stephen Covey, and more.