We all know that life has stressors and pressures in the form of bills, spouses, children, commitments, household chores, and we haven’t even gotten into owning a business yet. More bills, employees, clients, materials, timelines, and whatever else comes your way. It gets old really quick, and it’s an ever-revolving door to meet all of these obligations over and over again. Then, there is the fact that everyone dreams of living stress-free and thinking it will be a much better fit for their life. I don’t know if that is the case. 

In April of 2022, I paid off the house my family has lived in since September 2009. Granted I got it very cheap considering the current market conditions but not as cheap as possible as I watched units go for $28,000 at auction in 2012. It was a great feeling though. We own our house outright. It is pure equity. No more stress from having to make a mortgage payment. On top of that the vehicles are owned outright, credit cards operate like debit cards in our home, and this made us 100% debt-free. What a relief! 

Or was it the relief I wanted? Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender” (NIV). I wholeheartedly agree here. Having my school loans and mortgage were killing me. I didn’t like being in debt. It did give me the motivation to get up and kill it every day and to find a way to overcome that circumstance. However, I think there needs to be a balance. 

Where can you position yourself to have a reasonable amount of pressure to keep you going while effectively being a part of your home as well. Finding that equilibrium where you know you are committed to some extra expenses but can more than meet them with a healthy business is where I would like to be at this point. Granted, I am super money-motivated and running out of reasons to need money is probably playing a big factor, so this may not work for everyone. I do think there is something to keeping just the right amount of outside stress around to stay healthily motivated. 

As I continue to grow and evolve as a husband, father and entrepreneur, I am finding that there is a sweet spot for stress. I don’t want too much, but I don’t want the stress level to be zero. To keep a healthy amount around to stay motivated and focused is what I need. Realizing that stress can actually be a powerful tool when properly applied to your life is quite the powerful concept. When you manage all areas of your life instead of just one you can better accomplish all of your tasks.

I was so focused on one thing, and that was to be debt-free, that I took on anything and everything to get there. It didn’t work. I actually nearly destroyed myself mentally, and it took a huge toll on my marriage. Now, I’ve been able to evaluate my life, figure out where I want to be and am carefully considering what stress I want to add back. Slowly but surely, I am adding things to get me moving in the direction that I want to go toward the things that I want to accomplish with this next chapter in my life. 

Don’t get so caught up in the adventure that you lose focus of your ultimate goals. You will not only lose yourself, but you will also lose so much more. Find your balance and stay motivated while living a comfortable life. Don’t forget to breathe every once in a while, enjoy a sunset, a date night, a conversation with your child about their day. On the other side of the coin, though, keep just enough on the plate that it may start teetering some. An empty plate leaves a lot to be desired but an overflowing plate will overwhelm you and leave you with a pit in your stomach. Portioning out your stress levels is a key to success that I have come to appreciate.