One of my responsibilities as a motivator is to show people how to acquire the attitude they need to be happy and successful on all levels of life while enjoying the process. When I write “happy and successful on all levels of life,” I mean just that. Your personal and professional lives make up the whole of you. If you put most of your time and energy on one area, you run the risk of leaving the other unfulfilled. This is especially common among high achievers—perhaps you, dear reader.
Someone once said, “Hectic minds create a hectic world.” Every now and then, we just have to stop the hectic world and get off for a while. We must never be too busy to take time out from our job and experience other valued parts of ourselves that are so often buried and yearning to be expressed. When our jobs consume us, eventually, in one form or another, there will be a price to pay. I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t love what we are doing for a living. In fact, it’s important that we do. And it is essential that we devote quality time toward our job. The problem arises when what we do for a living interferes with our other precious core values.
A core value can be tangible or intangible, like health and fitness, honesty, truthfulness, freedom, courage, spirituality, beauty, goodness, playfulness, self-sufficiency, wealth, time to spend as we like and so on. These cherished values need to be experienced and expressed. They give us self-worth. Ignoring them for too long can only lead to unhappiness, regardless of how prestigious your profession is, how much money you make or how successful you think you are.
Related: Do Your Actions Reflect Your Values?
Below are some examples of cherished values that are often neglected or buried because of our jobs:
- Spending more time with my family. I really enjoy spending time at home. I love quality time with my children—playing with them, helping them with their homework and getting to know them. I love my job, but it hurts that I am missing out on valuable time with my loved ones, time that I know I will never get back. I am going to have to cut down on volunteering for assignments and working late. I want to occasionally leave early so I can have more time for them. When I get home too late, I know that I missed out on something very special, and I don’t like going to bed feeling guilty.
- Taking a weekend off from work, without interruption and free from emails, cell phones and text messages. I’m sick of taking my job home with me! I just want to be alone, hang out in my sweats and not care how I look. I want to be able to do what I want, read a book, watch a great movie (even a crappy one!), listen to music, and work in my garden or just sleep. I miss this part of myself, and I’m taking it back.
- Doing the things that connect me to my spirit. Yes, things are going great at work. I’ve been recognized as “salesman of the year” three years in a row. I’m producing more than I ever could have imagined. I am truly blessed for the financial wealth I have accumulated over the years. But my spiritual reservoir is on empty. Taking time to commune with nature is important to me. I can’t remember the last time I went hiking or even walked through a scenic area. I barely have time to meditate or to appreciate a sunrise or sunset the way I used to. I guess I just got caught up. Yes, I’m successful, but I don’t feel fulfilled. I have to bring that valued part of myself back. There’s no reason I can’t do that and still continue my success at work. I deserve to be happy on all levels.
When we finally become aware that our jobs are interfering with valued parts of ourselves, we can then choose to find ways to shift our attention and motivate ourselves to bring our neglected values into existence. The result: We raise our self-worth, increase self-respect, and reduce the gap between aspiring for fulfillment and actually feeling fulfilled, thus reducing the risk of burnout. Now, that’s not only what I call nourishing your soul—it’s the ultimate success!
I understand that it’s far too easy to ignore these valued parts of yourself when you’re caught up in your job and struggling to succeed. Nevertheless, they could very well be the main ingredients that make up the recipe of your life. One of those ingredients could be the missing link that soothes your hectic mind and fulfills your world with the happiness you desire. The amazing thing is that most of the time it’s just a simple matter of becoming aware of what is missing and then making the appropriate choices to fix it.
Are you nurturing your artistic talents or hobbies, such as painting, photography, crafts, gardening or music, or have you lost your way on the road to success?
What about your family? She’ll understand, you may tell yourself. She knows how much I love her. We’ll spend more time together when things settle down at work. Or when your little boy or girl is saying, “Hey, look at me!” are you really paying attention, or is your mind on what needs to be done tomorrow at the office?
You will never have these moments again. Remember, sometimes it’s not what you do that causes you regret. It could very well be what you don’t do that comes back to haunt you.
Your soul is continually yearning to be fulfilled and nourished. It takes more than just driving to succeed in your profession and overcoming obstacles to feed it. We must also take time out from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives and feel the joy and simplicity that life has to offer.
Sometimes I think that if my soul had a voice it would say, “Excuse me, Steve? I understand that part of soul work is honoring your pain and grief. I know you have responsibilities. I know you have goals and dreams. I know you have bills to pay. I also know that life has thrown many challenges your way and that, for the most part, you handle them quite well. In fact, it makes me feel wonderful that you’re learning life’s lessons. But can you please stop for a while and connect with what really gives you joy? Might I suggest that you go to the child within you that used to be so close to me and rediscover what truly makes you happy and gives you peace of mind? And can you please care enough about yourself to find a place for those things in your life? In other words, my friend, what about my needs? After all, my needs and yours are one and the same.”
Forget for a moment the fact that my soul sounds like Morgan Freeman. I’m more than aware that there are many people who find great value and fulfillment in their occupations. My profession—helping people to shift their mindsets in order to find success and happiness—absolutely fulfills a special valued part of me. However, my job does not make up my whole life.
Understand that I’m not asking you to ignore your professional goals, joys and responsibilities. They, too, are crucial valued parts of you that complete you. I know all too well that our professional goals and responsibilities quite often require sacrifice, dedication and countless hours of overtime. I’m simply asking you not to ignore other valued parts of yourself that also complete you. It’s called balancing your life, and achieving it is often just a matter of shifting, adjustment and motivation.
Related: Do the Things That Complete You
Excerpted with permission from Motivate This!: How to Start Each Day With an Unstoppable Attitude Regardless of Your Circumstances by Steve Rizzo.
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