Why Give a Damn:
8 hours of work + 8 hours of play + 8 hours of sleep. Repeat. Repeat. Is this the portrait of a balanced life painted in your mind? Read this post to learn why seeking a life of convergence, instead of balance, could serve you better.
The author of this post, Daniel Epstein, has founded and run multiple Unreasonable companies, including the Unreasonable Institute and Unreasonable Group. Striving to lead a life of convergence has been crucial as he continues to work 100+ hour weeks for years on end.
You must desperately believe in the value you are creating in the world with your work. Tweet This Quote
The typical formula, when I ask people to paint a portrait for a balanced day, is a day made up of 8 hours of work, 8 hours of play, and 8 hours of sleep. There’s a clear split between life at work, life at home, life with friends. There’s a clear split between weekdays and weekends. This to me though, feels like a bifurcated life. What if, instead of balance, and separation of the different components of our lives, we pursued convergence? What if the work you did made you a better mother or father, what if your work gave meaning to your life? Let me give you a quick example of how I think of convergence in my own daily life.
You would think that spending half a work day on phone calls would be draining, but because I’m converging many things that I love, this actually gives me energy.
On an average day I have 10 – 12 phone call meetings (which is 5-6 hours of straight meetings). Rather than taking these meetings indoors and in an office, I take them while hiking in the foothills of Boulder, with my dog at my side and the Colorado sunshine on my face. You would think that spending half a work day on phone calls would be draining, but because I’m converging many things that I love, these phone calls actually give me energy. I end up walking upwards of 10 miles a day, having conversations with amazing people, talking about how we can collectively put a dent on tough challenges and all the while, I’m in a beautiful place with my dog and she is as happy as a dog can be.
A more general approach to this, is thinking about the type of career you want to step into. Why take a job that just makes you money, or one that you are good at and makes you money, or even one that you love doing, that makes you money, and that you are good at? I’d challenge anyone who is fortunate enough to have the opportunity to choose their profession to not settle for any of the above mentioned career paths. Instead, find yourself a career in which you can make a living, in which you can be amongst the best in the world at what you do, in which you love the people you work with, and in which, most notably, you desperately believe in the value you are creating in the world through your work. This to me isn’t the pursuit of a balanced life, it is, rather, the pursuit of a life at a nexus of what matters most to you. It is the pursuit of convergence over balance. Don’t settle.
Don’t settle…Pursue a life of convergence over balance. Tweet This Quote