The Secret To Life? Make Sure All Of Your Buckets Are Full

A journey of persistence and battling mental health for professional boxer, Danny O'Connor

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

“There is no decision that we can make that doesn’t come with some sort of balance or sacrifice.” — Simon Sinek

He walked in the room and said, “I’m feeling a little anxious right now, but that okay. I dominate my anxiety.”

This wasn’t a normal room — it was our company’s sales kick-off, with 100+ salespeople and leaders from around the world. And he wasn’t a normal “motivational speaker”, who jumps around the stage to hype everyone up, only to be forgotten five minutes later.

Danny O’Connor, professional boxer, stepped to the front of the room and simply told his incredible story. He spoke of the passion that drove him to dedicate his life to the sport, reaching the peaks of making the US Olympic Team and competing on the world stage.

“I go from failure to failure and never stop trying to reach my dreams.”

He also spoke about the downside. The crippling anxiety and stress he felt getting to the top. The night where, on the verge of accomplishing his dream of winning a championship fight, had a panic attack that cost him the belt.

“ I didn’t know how stressed he was until it’s too late”

I was fortunate enough to talk with Danny about all of this on this week’s Millennial Momentum podcast.

We spoke about the buckets of life — the most important areas that we prioritize. For me, (in no order) there’s a financial, career, health/wellness, relationship and spiritual bucket. These are my priorities and I want to get 1% better at each of them every day.

Of course, I don’t always do that. Sometimes I fuck off and don’t eat well. Or I’ll spend too much at dinner. Or I forget to call my dad. One bucket fills up and another simultaneously drains out.

What I’ve found helpful is to write down 1 thing to do every day for each bucket. It’s usually something small — go to the gym, make 10 sales calls, meditate — something I can get done. This builds momentum, which is forward motion with energy. Every day that something gets done, compounds and can result in big changes.

Do I still stumble and miss certain buckets because “life” gets in the way? Of course. The plan isn’t to be perfect, it’s to give ourselves the chance to be the best versions of ourselves.

How do you keep balanced? Let me know in the below comments.

Originall posted on

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Robin Williams, Connectedness and the Need to End the Stigma Around Mental Illness

by Arianna Huffington

The Day I Told My Father About My Anxiety

by Arbela Capas

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.