Can You Really Have It All?


Of course, everyone wants to “have it all,” but is that even possible? There are a lot of opinions on the topic. Some people believe it’s entirely possible. Others insist that you can’t even come close.

Like many things in life, the most reasonable answer is, “It depends.” You can certainly have a lot if you’re willing to make enough of a sacrifice. 

Consider these aspects: 

1. Decide what having it all means to you. Everyone says they want to “have it all,” but what does that mean to you? Make a list of everything that you would have to have and experience in your life on a regular basis to be 100% satisfied with your life. Take all the time you need. Keep these categories in mind: 

  • Relationships
  • Health and physical goals
  • Possessions
  • Hobbies
  • Career
  • Community 

2. Notice the items that are under your control and those that are not.Review your list. Divide your list into two columns: Those things you can control and those you cannot. 

  • You can’t control your spouse’s level of patience, tolerance, or their waistline. 
  • You can’t control every aspect of your children. 
  • You don’t have complete control over your career. 
  • You’ll quickly find there’s not a lot that you can control in your life beyond your focus, effort, and attitude. Worrying about other things is an exercise in futility. 

3. You can’t have everything. Time, money, and energy are limitations. Consider the items below: 

  • Committed spouse 
  • Active community members 
  • Committed parent 
  • Excellent friend 
  • Great employee 
  • Great boss 
  • Mentor 
  • Perfect neighbor 
  • Big house 
  • Luxury car 
  • And the list goes on 
  • Just reading this list can be enough to start an ulcer. How well could you accomplish all of those things and still enjoy your life? 

4. With your idea of having it all, will you still be relaxed and happy? A simple life leads to higher levels of satisfaction and happiness. The more complicated your life, the less satisfied you’re likely to feel over the long term. 

5. Life is about priorities. You can’t have everything, but you can have a lot. The more you want, the more it’s going to cost you. The more you want, the more complicated your life will become. The more complicated it is, the more scattered your energy and focus become. 

  • What are your priorities in life?
  • Based on those priorities, re-answer the first item on this list.
  • The more things you ultimately want in your life, the lower your performance level will have to be in one or more areas. 

“Can I have it all?” is an ambiguous question. Can you have it all if having it all means having a spouse, children, a home, a pleasant career, and a circle of friends? Sure. Can you have it all if you want to perform at the highest possible level in multiple categories in your life? Doubtful. 

Having it all is limited by your definition of having it all. 

There’s only so much time in a day. There’s a limit to how much anyone can do. Look at the most successful people in the world. Some other aspect of their life is usually a complete mess. It’s almost a universal truth. Excelling at one area requires making a sacrifice in others. It’s up to you to determine how much you’re willing to sacrifice. 

So, you can have it all, provided that what you want is reasonable, and you’re committed. 

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