You show what you care about by how you spend your resources.
During my presentations, I often do an exercise where I invite participants to rate themselves in terms of how satisfied they are in various aspects of their lives. The categories range from career and finances to health and social life, and everything in between. Then I ask them to look at the items they rated as "low" and to ask themselves, "Am I spending enough time and resources on that aspect of my life?". Are you?
What parts of your life would you rate "low" on the satisfaction scale? Those areas just might require more of your attention. Conversely, where are you spending the most resources, right now?
If aspects of your life and how you're spending your resources are out of sync with what's really important to you, that might be OK for short spurts and periods of time. In the long run, however, you will absolutely pay the price.
You probably know some people who kick their butts for investing so many resources on things that, in retrospect, didn't mean that much to them. Perhaps you see this in your own life. Here's some examples of what clients have told me they've spent resources on that really didn't matter:
SIGNS THAT YOU MIGHT BE SPENDING YOUR RESOURCES ON THE WRONG THINGS FOR YOU:
- Your work relationships are minimal because you haven't nurtured them (When you really need to confide in or lean on a colleague, you're at a loss)
- Your health has been put on the back burner for so long, you know suffer from overweightedness, high blood pressure, or something even worse.
- It's been so long since you volunteered or gave back to your community, you feel disconnected and isolated, like you don't make a difference in this world.
- You are so busy meeting the needs of everyone else in the workplace or in your private life, that you are bitter and resentful toward those who are only asking for things you've taught them that you give (we teach people how to treat us).
- You have a closet full of clothes you never wear, or worse yet, still have the price tags on them from ages ago when you bought them
- Your tool shed is full of the latest, greatest gizmos you used once and then never again (could you have rented instead of bought)
The list goes on and on. What areas of your life have you been neglecting, been denying resources?
If you identify one or several aspects requiring your attention, don't whip yourself. Welcome to the human race! Life is fluid and your priorities are constantly shifting. They can shift now too, in the direction that will make the biggest long-term difference to you. You have that ability, that power, to choose to change.
I recently received an email from a colleague who had attended one of my sessions and he told me that, because of this exercise, he was changing how he spent his resources to better reflect the importance of his health. He now engages in some physical activity everyday; he's put himself on the agenda and is spending his most valuable resource (time) investing in his health. And he's reaping the benefits -- better sleep, more concentration at work, and an improved overall sense of wellbeing.
You can reap the rewards as well, once you decide to spend your resources on the things you hold near and dear that will really make a difference to you and your happiness and fulfillment. In doing so, you'll be communicating to your colleagues, clients, bosses and employees what's important in your life. The side benefit is that you'll also be setting a fine example for others, communicating what's meaningful to you, and ensuring that your limited resources are in sync with what you value. And that's a valuable message.
Until next time, here's to ...
Better communication, Better business, Better life,
Marion Grobb Finkelstein
Keynote Speaker / Corporate Trainer / Author
© 2012 Marion Grobb Finkelstein
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