If 2016, were a 365-mile race, we are quickly approaching the three-quarter mark with 90 miles yet to go. If we like the way we’re doing so far, keep up the good work! If not, there’s still time to make a mid-course correction by being more intentional as you sprint to the finish line. Too often good intentions alone fall short. John Maxwell, in his book Intentional Living, challenges us to live lives that bring us daily satisfaction and continual rewards by working to add value—small or large—to the lives of others.
Frequently I meet people who are busy, exhausted and overwhelmed. They’re too busy to think, too busy to reflect and too busy to do anything but put out fires. If they’re seeking relief I may suggest that they clear their calendar by eliminating all the things that aren’t worth doing. Oh, the protests I hear, all prefaced with “I can’t… I have to… But I’m the only one… “ You get the idea and of course none of them are true. Let me propose a few questions that will help you create a life that makes a difference—a life that satisfies.
1. What is it you really have to do? If you want to keep your job there are certain things you have to do. If a relationship with your spouse or significant other is something you want to preserve, then you have to nurture and tend to the relationship. If you’ve brought children into the world, you have to do your part to nurture, parent and provide for them as long as they’re minors and perhaps on through four years of college. Even then it’s not over. If you cannot do all you have to do alone then you have a responsibility to delegate what you can and manage the work you’ve delegated. It’s what you signed up for. It’s what you have to do.
2. What is it that gives you the greatest return? What I’m referring to here is financial return. Maybe the job you now hold already offers a handsome financial return. For most folks, their current job is more like a stepping stone. What would it take to realistically equip you for the added compensation and benefits you need to cover yourself in good times and bad. What investments will allow you to expand your options?
3. What is it that gives you your greatest reward? By “greatest reward,” I’m asking what gives you the greatest feelings of satisfaction in your relationships, your work and in your life? What about the rest of your family? Where are the gaps? What would it take to move decisively and intentionally to close those gaps–now?
Once you’ve thoughtfully answered these questions, why not put together a 3-point action plan listing what you’re going to do very intentionally for the next 90 days so that when December 31 arrives, you can celebrate and truthfully say, “I have finished the race. I have added value to my own life and the lives of those I love by living a life that makes a difference.”
©Judy DeLapa/High-Impact Coaching 2016