Are you a hypocrite?

Someone asked me this in an interview the other day. It's a perfectly fair question. I didn't know what to reply other than,"Yeah...I guess so."

Don't think I haven't already asked myself this exact question a hundred times while writing, editing and promoting my book. Facing this question on a regular basis is the price of being a personal development writer (slash junkie).

I know I need to take care of myself to be the best author/speaker/coach/friend/etc I can be. And yet, I'm still finding it challenging. I have never launched a book before. Every day is part of the learning process.

I hate that despite having a "Health Manifesto" on page 223, I haven't been able to get on a consistent workout routine in weeks (if not months), that I've stopped my daily yoga routine (gut-wrenching when I admit it), and that newspaper reviewers say that I look "well fed."

When I worked at the start-up company, I remember referring to my cubicle and post-grad work life as "ass expanding." Try rolling out of your bed straight to your laptop and working for 14 hours day-after-day because you're so committed to launching your big project. That is ass-expanding too.

Which brings me to two very important points about life (and my book):

  1. The book is meant to be aspirational -- even for me. Satisfaction and balance in our lives goes in waves. Of all areas -- health, work, money, dating, fun, friends, family, relaxation -- some will be up while others go down. It would be unreasonable to expect your life to be a perfect 10 in every area at all times. All we can do is put our love and attention on areas that are anemic or unsatisfying and start making some changes. See Nicole's amazing related post: 5 alcohol-free weeks, the garden metaphor, and the process of getting unstuck.
  2. I -- we -- you -- are doing the very best that we can. Almost every single tip in the book (of which there are hundreds) made in there because it was something *I* struggled with. I am not sitting on a throne trying to tell you how to be perfect. F*** perfect. I struggle, I learn, and I teach. Then I do it all over again. So yes -- I am a hypocrite. But we are all probably hypocrites from time to time -- because the very things we preach against are the reminders we want to give ourselves. And solving something once doesn't mean you've solved it forever.

Give yourself room to struggle a little bit.

Struggle is where the learning is.