My personality is one that when I see a forest I see all of the trees as a larger picture. I don't focus as much on each individual tree, but I see how they work together. There are also personalities that are very detail oriented. They look at a forest and see the trees individually. They see how each tree is unique. I love seeing how all of the trees work together to form the forest.
On the flip side of my personality, there are also times when I had the capability to get so focused on what one tree is doing that I miss the beauty of the other trees. I'm not focused on the resources all of the other trees have, because I'm paying attention to the one tree.
Let's bring that analogy into the day to day. In life there are moments when there is going to be one tree doing very well, or one tree really struggling. At work there are going to be times where one coworker or employee needs more attention than the others. There are going to be times when one friend is having an amazing week, and it’s important to be there to celebrate with that friend. How do you make sure that you are not letting all of your other work fall by the wayside while you’re taking time on one aspect of your life. What are some real ways you can balance work and life?
Let’s start by asking some questions.
WHAT DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME ON?
Time is a resources that no matter how hard we try we can’t get back. As humans we treat what we value as important very simply by what we spend our time on. If you take a real look throughout your week, what you're spending the majority of your time on is what you truly value. Since time is a resources that you can't get back, so what are you spending your time on?
WHAT IS YOUR “WHY”?
We have such an amazing way to rationalize our “why” without even realizing it. Let’s take a moment and step out of whatever whirlwind is happening and think about the why. Why are you not farther along in your school project? Why are you not farther along in your career? Why haven't you taken steps to move towards your dream job? There are going to be some answers to that why that are our of your control, and that’s completely valid! I’m not talking here about those reasons. I’m talking about the reasons that we control.
Are you not further along in your career because you’re still learning your current role to the best of your ability, or are you not further along in your career because you’re not stretching yourself with new projects that show your abilities?
REALIZE THERE IS A SEASON FOR EVERYTHING!
Now that you know what you’re spending your time on, and why you’re spending it there, let’s realize something else. I firmly believe there is a time for everything, and there are real reasons why things may not be happening right now. You could be making a sacrifice for your family which is the reason behind why your degree isn't complete yet. That is a very valid reason! But there are also moments when the reason why haven't finished that project is because we're nervous about what that means. What happens if I try for that job and fail? What happens if I step out on a limb and talk to that person, they could reject me. And in the most loving way I say to that "so what?"
One lesson I learned from my Grandfather who I love, but never had the opportunity to meet is this, take your dreams seriously. He wanted to be a lawyer. He took all of the classes and passed, the only test he had left was the bar exam and he would have been a lawyer, but he was afraid of what would happen if he failed that test, so he never took it. That hurts my soul. He was so smart and fully capable of passing that test, but he was afraid of what would happen if he failed, and probably also afraid of what would happen if he passed. He never even fully joined the game, he just kept practicing.
STOP PLAYING THE "WHAT IF" GAME
It’s important to know your “why”, but it’s useless to play the “what if” game. The reason “what if” is more often than not a useless game to play is because there isn’t a way to find the answer other than trying. IF that person doesn't want to talk to you in the coffee shop, that's fine, at least you tried! You could also have a wonderful conversation with that person. You don’t know unless you try. IF you start looking for a home to buy and you realize that your'e not ready for that yet because your'e not sure if you want to put down roots, that's fine! Now you know. You're taking steps to learn about yourself, that's a win!
GIVE YOURSELF RESOURCES
Give yourself resources, don't wait for someone to hand them to you! Why is that? Because in life there are seasons when you have mentors who are there to guide and support, but there are also times in life when you need to figure it out!
Working through things via books, and podcasts, and youtube videos are all as equally valuable depending on the season you’re in. You’re learning about yourself, and still growing in that knowledge. No one is perfect, but when you take a moment and step back and think....
...is there a area of your life that you're waiting to start or finish either because of fear or a lack of resources? Is there something you feel drawn to do, but have been to afraid to pursue?
TAKE A STEP
If you're wanting to make either your or someone else's life better, why not just try! If you move and you hate it, you can always move back! If you try an intro class at school and realize that's not for you, you expanded your knowledge on a new subject and you can now try another subject of interest.
TAKE A MOMENT TO REFLECT
It's ok to fail, it's not ok to do nothing. My pastor growing up used to say "If nothing changes, nothing changes"
Have you taken any steps recently to give yourself resources? Have you started reading into the subject you’re interested in? Have you tried to find a mentor or reached out to anyone already in that field? Have to taken a real look into your life and found your “why”?