How Much Should You Compromise to Reach Success This Year?

Man walking tight rope.jpg

By now you should have a plan in place and have set your goals for the new year.  Whenever you set goals at some level, you are determining where you may need to compromise to reach a certain objective. The quick answer is yes; you will have to compromise in some areas versus others, but how much?

I remember when I was getting my associates degree in nursing, I had to compromise a lot at times because otherwise, I would not have made it. Some of the other students were better test takers than I was and didn’t appear to compromise as much. I later found out they did nothing else but study.  Others were like me as far as taking test and did not compromise, and they are not nursing today as a result.  Most of them had full-time jobs and families and did not allow enough time for studying. 

The point I want to make today is success does not have to bring compromise to your health and your relationships. Sometimes you will need to hunker down and focus for a short period of time to make it through school, or a project you are doing at work.

There is a great saying by Brian Tracey I want to share with you.  He says, “if you are having success with a bunch of compromise then you are doing it wrong.” I wish somebody would have drilled this into me when I was in my 20s. 

Another saying that is often bounced around in the healthcare arena is “people say it is lonely at the top.” According to Brendon Burchard true high performers are intentional about maintaining key relationships not only in business but in their family life. As you know, relationships take work. You can not just marry someone and neglect the relationship for years and expect after five or ten years for there to still be that same fire as when you first got married.  This is the cause of a lot of divorces for some so-called successful people since they will neglect key relationships in their life to focus on their work.

Success has lots of meaning in our culture. It is easy to get wrapped up in doing whatever is necessary to reach the top at any price or what will make the most money. I still struggle with this myself, but I have gotten a better perspective on this as I have gotten older and talked with my patients who are nearing the end of their life and have wisdom they want to share. I have learned to take the time to listen to them. This benefits them and me as well. 

I follow one entrepreneur who is an amazing individual, but the only thing I disagree with is he often will say you need to work 60 to 80 hours a week to get ahead. He says you need to “outwork and outlasts” your “competition” and this is true in some cases.   He gained his success in sales and started a company in the same type of business. He is very successful by many people’s definition. I think working 60 to 80 hours a week for a month is doable, but for a few years is not healthy. Your career will skyrocket most likely, at least at first, but in the end, it will fail because you neglected the other areas of life.

Go back and check out my how to set goals article where I talk about the wheel of life and if you neglect one or two areas you end up with a flat tire. In other words, you will only be able to go so far when your wheel of life is flat.

When it comes to your health, you will not be able to maintain this pace for very long. You will not be sleeping, you will be stressed, your mind will always be racing, you will lack energy for other key relationships in your life, and you will be so busy that you will not be eating properly.

One thing I have noticed about really busy people is it is hard for them to be present sometimes. Think about a lot of your doctors and surgeons. Especially, professionals who work in busy environments in the hospital.  I am just as guilty of this as anyone. As I have learned more about listening and coaching over the past couple of years, I have realized how important it is to not always be in a hurry when someone is trying to talk to you.  Think about it, it makes the other person not feel like you care, and they will not build trust with you as well. I heard a saying the other day that said, “Trust is more important than love.”  That made me stop and think when I heard it.  

You may have also heard the saying that says, “people don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.” So, take the time to listen more than you talk. It is a challenge if you are always rushing and life seems to be about you.

If you teach a patient and you have this hurried posture, fast-talking and don’t take the time to pause and listen to what they have to say. Don’t be surprised when they do not take action on what you asked them to do, because the patient does not feel you care or can relate to them. Advising people rarely translates into them taking action. This is one of the flaws in our health care system and why we need more of a coaching model for educating patients.

Today, I wanted to stress the point that you do not have to neglect the other areas of your life to be successful in your nursing career. Yeah, you might have to do it in short burst like less than a month. Shorter if possible, but make sure you get right back on track with healthy habits. This involves eating right, spending time with yourself and loved ones.   In the new year, make sure you are keeping all sides of your wheel of life inflated, so you do not go flat in one of the other critical areas of life.

How are you approaching the new year? How will you approach compromise when it surfaces in your life? What areas of your life are non-negotiables and you are not willing to neglect? Share your thoughts with me so I can learn from you and others can as well.

Have a healthy week,

Nurse Brian