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Why You Can’t Have It All (At Once)

From a general perspective, I think most of us can agree that most men are relatively simple in their life goals. The majority of us want…

Agreed?

Cool.

Now, I’m going to tell you why it’s simply not possible to have all of it at the same time. Sure, you can build up one area and then the others–but all at once?

Forget about it.

THE MISTAKE OFTEN MADE

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Guys often find this part of the internet, and go bat-shit crazy.

I can have it all now!

Naw, man–it doesn’t work that way. But I applaud you for trying. It’s far better that you try to stretch yourself thin and achieve all three at once than do nothing at all. However, your effort, progress, and results are going to be far, far more efficient if you choose to focus on one thing.

Common sense would dictate that if you want to be rich, you’ll probably need to build your own business. Not an easy thing.

So let’s theoretically say that you tackle this new business head on. You’re putting in the 10-15 hour days (at least) five days a week, like you need to in order to get a business off of the ground.

Do you think that when you’re spending ten hours a day working your ass off, that you’re going to have the energy to count calories down to the tiniest details that’s needed to become truly shredded? There will be exceptions here and there, but the answer is probably not.

Yes, you need to be going to the gym consistently and you should be making an effort to be in good shape. But to truly take that next step towards really good shape is going to take a lot more energy than you can dictate when you’re building a business.

Continuing with this example, do you think you’ll have the energy to go out on three or four dates a week? That’s what’s needed if you want to go from a chode to a playboy in today’s dating world. It’s not an easy path, especially if you have to start at the bottom.

Dating means drinking, late nights, hangovers, and texting games that will detract priceless energy from your business.

Don’t believe me?

Take my friend Chris from Troublesome Radio 054. The man did nearly 2,000 approaches in six weeks in Kiev, Ukraine. You think he was going to the gym, or building a business?

Nope, he was (and still is, as far as I know) going to sleep at about 7 in the morning. Sleeping until 5 in the evening. He went to the gym with me once.

And that’s okay in his case. He’s at a point in his life he can afford to give up a bit in the fitness and money areas. He wanted to truly master this part of his life.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE

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You’ll probably notice that the previous section was written with business-focus-so-neglect-girls-and-fitness spin. Which, you’ll probably (also) notice is how my life has gone this year.

So let’s step out of my perspective and into another. Say you want to get truly ripped. Fitness model level.

That means you need to be dedicated to eating everything perfectly. Not more than a cheat meal a week. That means no booze, very rare eating out, and constant attention to detail.

Good luck mastering game, especially if you want to be going out at night. One drink with your friends leads to another, then late-night munchies, and then next thing you know you have to play catch-up on your diet for the next three days to make up for that one regretful plate of carne asada fries.

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Business? Good luck getting up at 6am to start your workday when you’ve been out partying until the brink of dawn.

Sure, you could say that you should forego nightgame and learn to approach girls during the day instead–but please.

Most guys walk around cities for hours to master that. 4 hours a day 5 days a week. It’s also going to take a certain amount of mental fortitude to withstand the learning curve–and you might need that same fortitude to stick to your diet and training regimen.

THE IMPOSSIBLE?

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Some might say I’m just full of excuses. I prefer to think of things from a realist perspective. Sure, maybe there are the occasional guys that can do all three of these at once. However, years of coaching and writing this blog has shown me that it’s far better to push hard in specific areas, then re-focus as needed.

That doesn’t mean that the other areas completely fall out of the picture–it just means setting realistic goals. Writing a best-selling novel, getting shredded, and becoming an international playboy all at the same time is a lot to handle.

Far more realistic is to write the novel, try to drop 10 pounds, and go on 1 date a week.

Or “figure out the girl problem once and for all”, try to drop 10 pounds, and write a thousand words a day on your book.

You see–one way puts it all on the table and sets you up for failure, whereas realistic expectations make things far more obtainable. Then, once the novel is done, you can start going on more dates or focus more on the gym.

POUR CONCLURE

It’s easy to find the world of self improvement and be wide-eyed at the possibility. However, what sets those who end up succeeding apart from those who wallow in mediocrity is burnout.

Too many people set too high of initial expectations. Then they fall flat. Then they just gave up. Much like how I had a lot of “up and coming” bloggers with me two years ago–none of whom still write today.

Better to take it a bit slow out of the gate, and actually succeed.

You’ll thank yourself later.

PS: If you’re ready to start down the self-improvement path–travel is a great way to get yourself out of the bubble. I just released my new book about Ukraine, and it’s available for just $0.99 for now. I’m doing a case study so I can release a self-publishing guide to help you make money online.

I appreciate your support. Click here to buy ‘UNDERSTANDING UKRAINE’.

  • Matt says:

    I think you make it very easy to make excuses here. Diet is 80% of weight loss, if you want to lose weight, show some self discipline, just check out victor pride. You CAN go out, confidently talk to girls and not drink, just check out Ed Latimore. You CAN still write books while mastering everything so long as you are truly self disciplined. It’s way too easy to make excuses on diet and gym so you can “master girls” or some BS. You can easily do it all. It just takes an extra gear, a higher level of self, and a part of you that you didn’t think even existed to get there. And I’m not sure most guys have that Kyle, prove me wrong and go get some!

  • Remus The Third says:

    This is exactly what happened to me for 2 YEARS.

    After failing to achieve impossibly high expectations, the brow beating and self loathing start appearing.

    Soon new strategies/plans were being made and thrown away twice a week.

    It only stopped when I chose to stop following the newest self improvement plan I made. Then I implemented small, easy as fuck disciplines to execute daily.

    Seriously, reading self help can become a huge fucking time sink, where people think they’re making progress. But they’re not.

    Great article. I hope everyone takes this message to heart.

    • Yep, you’re not the only one i’ve heard that from. It’s disheartening but glad you have started to figure it out!

    • Darren says:

      the key to achieving “stretch goals” as I like to call them (yes, I stole that from Kickstarter), is to have a whole lot of smaller goals on the way. Nothing wrong with being ambitious, so long as the understanding is there that this is a damn hard thing to achieve, but I can still get 70% of the way there and not be a failure.

  • Darren says:

    I’ll link an article by Dave Tate that helped me realize this truth years ago. And let’s be honest, this is a fundamental truth in life, if you think otherwise you are sadly, sadly misinformed, or else you really have a low bar you are aiming for.

    The truth is this:

    “You can either be great, or lead a balanced life, the 2 are mutually exclusive”

    People that will never achieve or never have achieved greatness will argue this till they are blue in the face. Get fucked. People much more successful than you live by this, which means you don’t know shit.

    The reality is you are going to have to make sacrifices. Want a successful business? How many extra hours a week are you putting in? How many texts do you get from your friends say “where the fuck you been man?”

    You gotta start prioritizing. You need to set goals in each area of your life, and choose which one to tackle first. And then go the fuck after it with the passion of a thousand suns. The BEST you can hope for is to keep 1 or 2 other areas of your life at MAINTENANCE, if you are lucky. The rest are gonna suffer. If you can’t handle this reality, then greatness is not for you my friend, but there’s always an open seat at the mediocrity table.

    The good news is that once you attain a level of greatness in an area, maintaining it is a lot easier than getting there. My personal strategy is a rotation of goals, interspersed with short periods of total life balance when I feel like I need a bit of a break from the hustle. Just don’t get complacent and enjoy the balance phases too much.

    Might add more to this later, in the meantime read this article by Dave Tate which covers this topic as only Dave can. https://www.t-nation.com/powerful-words/harsh-secret-to-success

    • Really good comment. Liked the way you worded that one a lot. “Keep them at maintenance”.

      Do you think some people are simply happier with the “balanced life”?

      • Darren says:

        yes, some people are. Sacrifice is hard. Giving up happy hours with friends is hard. Putting on 10 lbs of softness so you can increase your income by 50% next year is hard.

        Just look at fitness, it’s not that hard for an overweight person to lose 10 lbs, it really fucking isn’t. But that requires effort, and discipline, and sacrifice. Things the average person lacks.

        The reality is you have to have a screw or 2 loose to achieve greatness. It takes a certain mindset to relentlessly pursue a goal in a manner that truly puts you a step above the rest.

        A balanced life is safe. It’s easy, it requires putting the minimal effort in. It requires settling. Honestly, it requires giving up on your high ambitions.

        I am talking about living your entire life that way. A little bit of balance for brief periods of time is good for everyone, kind of like a deload week in weight training. Gives you a chance to step back, re-evaluate the progress you have made, reflect on where you want to be next, and then go back at either the same thing or your new goal.

        So the choice is yours, greatness requires sacrifice, a balanced life doesn’t.

      • Yeah, definitely agree with you there. For example, when I go home for a few weeks in December it’ll be a good re-charge from the whole travel/living abroad/learning languages life.

        At the same time I”ll have nothing else to do but gym + work, so I’ll be relentless on that for the whole time. 15 hour days.

        Then when I get back to Europe I’ll inevitably fuck around a bit too much for two weeks and then settle back in.

  • Jen says:

    Hey Kyle, I totally agree with this. I have struggled with this for an embarassingly long time. I was ineffective and felt like shit. I turned things around when I got to a point of disgust where I decided that at least I would accomplish one goal which was better than zero.

    I think its dangerous to lie to yourself. You lose confidence in yourself. By keeping the commitments you set with yourself, you regain confidence.

    Now, I still only have one major goal. I do now have confidence in myself that I can reach my major goal. Once, I finish my daily work as it relates to my major goal I have the option of working towards additional goals, doing even more work towards my major goal or sitting on the couch and guiltfreely playing video game. I don’t even worry about planning this or thinking about this until I get my important stuff done.

  • Chef says:

    Very true! I’d even go deeper to say that in a business setting you can’t even do more than one product/project at once. Better to hyper focus on one large project than trying to move a variety of projects up a little bit at a time.

    • Absolutely the case. Multi-tasking in life is so overrated.

      • Chef says:

        Definitely. I tried to run a service based business and make an information product. It doesn’t work that way, not much moved forward and I went back to focusing on just one thing and to grow that a lot.

        An expansion for piece for this post might be how generally you can start another project once the first project is in more of a “maintenance mode.”

        My friend who has a 6-pack and stays fit year round said it’s not hard to maintain once you get there.

        The same is true creating a product or service after all the upfront work is completed. You still have to maintain but it takes 20-30% of the mental and physical resources you used to reach your primary goal.

      • Really good idea, and I’ve found it to be true as well (in almost all aspects of life).

  • BAT 21 says:

    Good article! I am 59 years old, been through marriage, Air Force 5 years active duty, LA County Sheriff, kids, lived in Italy for 3 years and traveled extensively. Started writing recently and stay in shape all the time, couldn’t be more spot on that multi-tasking is a killer! You end up with half ass completed projects and frustration. Picking projects and businesses to delve into is a crap shoot. I would suggest spending a good amount of time assessing future needs of the consumers, i.e., geriatic pills for old people, green junk for the economy, the crystal ball is not perfect, check out some books by futurists you may find your shark tank moment!

    • Haha, I’ve learned that lesson the very hard way this year. It really all is a bit of a crapshoot. You can do some research and make a reasonable assumption, but you still need a bit of luck on your side.

      And of course, incredible amounts of hard work.

  • Ace FAce says:

    I Disagree i little bit with the article, although it´s true it´s imposible to party like a porn star, lift like Arnold and trade like Buffet, In my case i´ve made good money while building a very above average physique, so i think you can score 2 of 3 in the list with lots of effort and discipline. What i really agree it that if you want to bang hot chicks you have to full focus almost the whole day, day aproach, night aproach, cyber aproach…

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  • Lloyd says:

    Cruise and blast. Cruise on all other goals while you blast one. Then when it’s in a good place, cruise on it and blast a different one.

    Overall, the aggregate improves over time. Life isn’t over when your goal is, so there’s no rush.

    Great post, Kyle.

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