Time Macho isn’t cool anymore. “Time Macho,” the term I first heard used by Arianna Huffington in her book Thrive. I fell in love with it, because so many people are Time Macho. I used to be. I was just so damn proud that I worked 16-hour days. I would run this story in my head that I didn’t have time for anyone, and before long it became true. Whenever a friend would invite me to do something during the day, I’d respond with, “I can’t, I’m working,” accompanied by a little smart-ass tone and a face that read, What on Earth would make you think I wasn’t busy? I was almost offended that someone could think I had any free time.
Can you relate? Why would I have free time when I have work to do? My mind starts spinning: I am a hard worker and I take pride in being a hard worker. You should work more like me. That was my attitude. I started to notice that it became my script, my story. I never had time for anything but work. I’d go to family dinners, but I still had that nagging feeling, so I’d say, “I have to check and see if I have calls.” I would completely shun my friends and others building the same business as me when they’d suggest we could do lunch. “What do you mean? Why aren’t you working?” I was really, really proud of my work ethic and I couldn’t let it go. Time macho had become my identity.
I was the perfect example of what Success looked like out there— speaking on big stages, traveling the world, doing all the successful kinda things—going for more, more, and more. Until the never-ending pursuit for more started to wear thin. It started to become irrelevant. I was helping others have a freedom that I wasn’t allowing myself. People stopped inviting me places. I was missing the point, because there wasn’t an income I could reach, a number I could hit, a stage I could speak on that would ever make me feel more successful than my alignment with my soul could.
I had to drop the never ending, misaligned pursuit for more. I no longer wanted to feel like I could never stop and smell the roses or feel like I couldn’t take a day off to freaking breathe or bake or turn my phone off. I wanted to save my generation from this endless pursuit for the top, from being so time macho. I had to go deeper. I decided to take a success holiday. During the first few week of not giving a fuck about success (as it was so defined), I felt like I actually was on holiday, like I had just pulled myself out of a marathon I’d been running in without even realizing it.
I looked at my schedule and got ruthlessly honest with myself. I asked myself some questions:
❍ What during my week feels like crap to me?
❍ What have I committed to in pursuit of success ‘out there’ and not success ‘in here’?
❍ What needs to change for me to feel fulfilled and at peace tonight?
And yeah, I even got deep….
❍ If I was to only have a year left to live, which of this would feel worthless to me?
❍ If I was to only have a year to live, what would I want to start doing right now?
It all changed. I was still putting in a lot of hours during the day to create epic shit, but they were MY hours that I’d chosen and they were being spent on new and exciting things and not ‘ugh, that commitment’. They weren’t ‘cos I had to’ hours. They weren’t ‘cos that’s what successful people do’ hours. They were ‘cos it feels good’ hours. When my head hit the pillow each night, I felt different. Each night felt like I was celebrating another beautiful choice filled day on Earth, rather than going to sleep just so I could fast forward to the next one and get more shit done. I felt incomparable. I felt incomparable because my greatest measure of success wasn’t comparable to my peers or to my mentors. As long as I did what my soul most wanted to do, I was nailing each day. And I didn’t have to prove, defend or justify this to anyone. There was no ranking system, no ‘top 25 entrepreneurs’ list I could make that would have me feeling more successful than me fist bumping my soul as my head hit the pillow as if to say “we chose for us today.”
(Excerpt from “Earth is Hiring” by Peta Kelly, available now at earthishiring.com)