All of life consists of a series of trade-offs, of choices between different alternatives:
If you do one thing, you usually can't do another at the same time. If you go to the mountains on vacation, you can't go to the sea at the same time (this was a typical family trade-off in my childhood, which is why we went to the mountains one year and to the sea the next).
Of course, there is also often the possibility of combining multiple activities or increasing efforts to pursue just more than one thing after all.
Elon Musk did manage to ramp up SpaceX and Tesla simultaneously (three days a week each for one, and three days for the other), but even he couldn't have scaled five other companies at the same time.
The threshold may be different, but ultimately we have to keep choosing between alternatives.
That's a central mantra of modern essentialism: most people have so many things going on at once that they're not only burned out and frustrated, they're barely moving anything forward properly.
The counter-program: decide which ONE thing is most important right now, and then pursue only that. Stop or postpone the others.
In other words, you always have to pay a price if you want to accomplish something important - the price of giving up the alternatives. Therefore, what are you willing to give up to make or achieve great things in your life?
In your job / in your career.
In your professional environment, you are constantly confronted with prices that you have to "pay" in order to be successful.
An example are various things that many leaders do not enjoy, such as dealing with difficult team members, having unpleasant conversations and spending time on interpersonal problems.
These things are simply part of being a successful leader.
Another price you will have to pay is advocating management decisions (even if you are a member yourself), even if you disagree with them yourself. This is not easy for many, but it is needed for effective leadership.
It is important to always be aware of what you really want to achieve and then to be clear about the "costs" of unpleasant things that are simply part of the job.
In personal relationships.
This is, of course, a classic (and applies in principle to both personal and business relationships, although it is more prominent in private situations): any serious relationship is riddled with trade-offs and prices you must be willing to pay.
The easiest thing to understand is that you can't have an intimate relationship with anyone else if that's exactly what you want with a single person.
However, it runs through many other situations. The crucial idea here is that it is precisely this kind of thinking in "negotiating" situations, where you have to decide between different alternatives, that helps a good relationship become even better.
In other words, giving up alternatives is perfectly normal and a good thing. However: most people are not sufficiently aware of this and try to achieve everything at the same time. This almost always goes wrong.
Ideal Future / Mission.
What price are you willing to pay for your ideal future in which you want to arrive in a few years? And this applies not only to activities that you should or should not do more of from now on, but above all to your mindset and attitude.
In other words: How will your future self think and behave? And which of these ways of thinking and behaving do you therefore need to start working on?
Achieving a great vision is only to a small extent about taking certain initiatives. Much more important is deciding what you will not do from now on. And how you will change your identity.
By the way, this applies to individuals as well as to teams and companies.
So now you know three important areas where you have to "pay a price" to be successful and fulfilled. Most of the time, an outsider can see much better than you can what you need to work on first and foremost. If you want to take a closer look at this for yourself or your team, 👉 just get in touch with me.
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