Can you really have it all?

Someone recently told me that she had been working toward “having it all” for her entire adult life and come to the conclusion that it was simply not possible. I asked her, “What does it mean to have it all?” Her response was clearly thought out. “I want a successful career, a happy family, enough money to live comfortably, an active social life, and a husband that adores me”, she said. We quickly got to work breaking it all down. We talked about what a successful career meant, how she would know that her family was happy, and how much money would make her feel comfortable. Over a couple of weeks of discussion, we discovered that the more clearly and completely we defined what “having it all” meant, the closer she became to actually having it all. We were also able to establish what might be holding her back.

Many people get caught up in what “having it all” means to their friend, neighbour, colleague, or family member and lose perspective on what it means to them. They also forget that their definition can, and will likely, change over time as their perspective on life and priorities change. What I have discovered is that people who truly feel that they have “made it” or “have it all” in life are those who have clearly defined what those two things mean. They are also flexible, creative, and optimistic. When my client stopped thinking about all the things that she didn’t have or hadn’t accomplished and started focussing on all the things she had a achieved and clearly defined what she wanted in life she realized that she had “had it all” all along.

Can you really have it all? With a little perspective, I really think you can.