Image: Kaufman SF. The Martial artist’s Book of Five Rings: The Definitive Interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi’s Classic Book of Strategy
There is so much to unpack here.
First, don’t do as I do because you may have different goals than I.
When I worked at Sams Club, I could have two conversations: gym stuff and Sams stuff. I was so single minded. I would go to school in undergrad and read Ironmind, Flex, Powerlifting USA and books by authors such as the great Mel Siff, Mike Menzter, Fred Hatfield and others.
I wanted to make myself better at the things I enjoyed and school was just something I had to do in order to eventually make money.
I became employee of the year at Sams Club in 2003 and quit the same year to go work at a gym making half that money and to start PT school.
Once in PT school, I still devoted my time to learning about lifting. I went deeper into methodologies and theories of exercise.
Once I graduated from PT school, I devoted all of my free time to becoming a better physical therapist. I want to be the best (warrior) at this craft (physical therapy) that I could attain.
This is not necessarily healthy. I want to start by saying this because it’s been told to me my entire career.
I studied research between sets at the gym. I read textbooks multiple times over. I sacrificed personal relationships to become better…I won’t even say good, but better than the day before.
I’m glad I put all of that time in during those first ten years.
This does not conform to the thought of work-life balance. Again, I’ve heard this my entire career.
When looking at balance, it has to be what makes you happy. Not everyone has the same definition of happiness. When I go to work, I’m sure my patients are grateful that I sacrificed a decade of my life to get better at my craft. When I believe in something I give it my attention. In giving it my attention, I give my time. In giving my time, I am giving my life.
I understand that not everyone is devoted to their craft, but I would hope those depending on that craft can see the difference between those who do and those who don’t.