A friend recently asked me what I think the toughest thing is about “having it all,” and without hesitation, my answer was “trying to have it all.” Rather than trying to have it all, for a long time, I’ve been thinking about success as having “my all” — defining what matters most, shuffling and prioritizing time and activities to support that, and being clear and okay with whatever trade-offs need to happen because of it. Once these priorities are set and tied up with a fancy bow (for about four seconds until they change again), they’re clarifying and guiding and empowering. But the getting there…negotiating the trade-offs either internally or with loved ones…letting go of an idea or situation or even an identity…is messy and hard and wrought with emotion.
There are lots of ways to identify what matters most and what we need to let go, but I learned a very simple one from a lively little yellow book that sits on my nightstand: The Book of Doing: Everyday Activities to Unlock Your Creativity and Joy. The exercise is about three little words: GET OVER IT. It’s as basic as it gets — list three things that are getting in the way of the things you want to do. Name them. Write them down. Once they’re on the page, it’s easier to begin the process of moving past them…of defining a life that leaves them behind. At least for now. This tool won’t help you figure out exactly what “your all” is and how to get there, but it might help you get one step closer and a little bit clearer. At least until the next wave of change arrives.