If you're unsure, split the difference

Too often I'm tempted by the one of the two most extreme options when making a decision. When you have a goal, it's alluring to pursue it to the exclusion of everything else.

Want to become financially independent? Sell everything you own, live in a van, and save 80% of your income. Happiness and lifestyle in the present be damned.

Want to lose weight? Go on a no-carb diet, even though carbohydrates are necessary macronutrients.

Want to run a business? "Hustle" for 16-hour days and don't pay attention to your family or friends.

This kind of all-or-nothing thinking is, for whatever reason, incredibly attractive. But it's not realistic or possible. Instead, what if you split the difference?

Become financially independent in just 17 years without dramatically compromising your lifestyle by saving 50% of your income.

Lose weight by balancing a healthful, low-glycemic diet with regular exercise every day.

Build a business slowly and sustainably in your spare time, doing something you enjoy.

It takes longer, sure. But just what were you planning on doing afterwards, anyway?