AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

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Life Balance

Some good things to think about in the following Motivational E-mail that I received. The author makes some good points. I know that I sometimes take on too much in my life, or I don’t prioritize very well and end up being unhappy with the results. But the main point of figuring out what is important to you, prioritizing those things and then balancing them is very important. 

I know at different points in my life, my priorities were different. In college, my first priority was to my schoolwork, then to my friends and family and lastly to my own personal well being. While this seemed the way to go at the time, I quickly learned that it was not too healthy. By not taking care of my personal life and personal health, it took a toll on my focus on my schoolwork. When I became disappointed in my social life (or lack thereof), that disappointment affected my concentration on studying. I finally decided, with the help of some good friends that I met in my dorm, to relax a little more with regards to schoolwork and start enjoying college life a little more. And this helped immensely. Being able to relax and hang out with friends and take time for myself once in a while was so refreshing that it helped me to regain my focus when I went back to studying for my classes. When I first went to college, I was so in the mode of having to work hard to study and make the grade and limit my distractions so as to assure my future. That worked in High School, but now in college there were just so many things I wanted to do and enjoy, that by keeping myself from doing them, I was hurting myself, not helping. So I had to re-prioritize. I put friends, family and personal health above all else; school came after that. And that worked out great, because when I was happy with myself and taking time to enjoy life and enjoy hanging out with friends and enjoying college life, that happiness made it easier to deal with schoolwork and studying.

Of course, college doesn’t last forever … as such, my priorities once again had to change once I graduated and moved on to life on my own and starting a career. Now there are even more responsibilities and more things to prioritize. There is work of course, bills to pay, a new city to discover, new friends to meet, new coworkers with whom to acclimate myself, new activities in which to try to get involved, new neighbors, etc. And then of course there is my personal health and my social life to think about in between all of that. Luckily, I transitioned pretty well into my new position at work as I work with some great people. So that was all set. And paying the bills and such weren’t too much of a problem, since I had kept a pretty good budget for a few years already from being on my own, so all I had to do was adjust it to my new lifestyle. However, discovering my new city, meeting new friends, getting involved with new activities as well as keeping myself in shape proved to be a much more challenging endeavor. Since I wanted to make a good impression at work, I decided once again to put a focus on work above all else. I figured if my work life was good, then the rest of my life would be good. This proved right, until I started to miss my friends and activities from college and was getting bogged down in the daily grind at work. Mind you, I loved what I was doing and the people with whom I worked were great, I just knew something was missing. My life consisted of getting up, doing stretches and crunches, going to work, coming home, eating dinner, watching a little TV, going to the gym to workout, coming back for stretching and crunches and then off to sleep early so I could get up at 4am the next day for work. During the week, it wasn’t that bad since I was so busy and focused, I didn’t have time to feel down about anything. However, once Saturday came, and the focus on work was gone, that longing for something more would surface. After going through this long enough, it eventually affected my work life. That’s when I knew I had a problem and needed to do something. So I made a point to make some time to hang out with friends more and get involved with more activities. Again, this helped immensely. It brought a balance to my life with work life and with social life. Being happy in one area, made the other area that much more satisfying.

Of course, now that I had work life, personal health and social life going well, something else just had to surface to throw a wrench into things … romance (or lack thereof). My problem is I tend to be a person who will give all of myself for my significant other/lover, to the extent that I sacrifice my own well being; I’ll put my lover’s happiness above my own. Which doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, until it gets out of hand and I am left being unhappy with things and then cannot give all of myself to the relationship and to her, as she deserves. It gets even worse when I tend to take out my frustrations on her, thus hurting the relationship. So once again, there is the need to prioritize and hope that my lover is an understanding woman and knows that time I am taking away from her to keep myself happy (working out, playing activities such as walleyball and softball, or just time hanging out with “the guys”) is also time that I am taking to make our relationship stronger. Yeah I know that sounds weird. Time apart makes the relationship stronger? Well, I think so. Not in the sense that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, but rather I think we all need a little time alone to do our own thing once in a while. No matter how much of a great match two people are to spend their lives together, there are still things that each probably likes to do on their own. This isn’t a bad thing. I think it is healthy. So anyway, as I said, time to prioritize and hope that I chose a wonderful, understanding woman as my friend/lover. If so, wonderful. Life is complete. 🙂 If not, well, since I put my focus on making sure my personal life and well-being was taken care of, the breakup will not be as difficult to deal with had I given all of myself to her and define my entire life as being her friend/lover. It will still be painful as a part of my life has gone away, however by making my life healthy, I will have things to get me through that rough time and move on. Granted, the hope is that things work out wonderfully and she is that kind, understanding woman whom I want to love with all my heart. 🙂

One last thing that this topic brings to mind is the phrase “Sorry I have been busy” or “Sorry I haven’t had time”. I have had these phrases used with me by friends when I ask them why we haven’t gotten together lately or why they didn’t return my call, etc. And, admittedly, I have used them myself with family and friends. Looking back, I know why I used them. For me, it wasn’t that I didn’t have time, but rather that I didn’t make the time or didn’t want to make the time. I didn’t want to talk to them or I was in a bad mood and didn’t want to go out, but knew if I called them they would try to convince me to go anyway, etc. So basically I used them as excuses to make myself feel better instead of owning up to the truth. Had I been truthful, I would have said “Sorry, I just didn’t want to go out that night” or “Sorry I just haven’t set aside the time for my friends lately, and that has been my fault as I am putting focus on too many other things in my life right now”. So that is why I really don’t like the line “Sorry I haven’t had the time”. Because what it really means is “Sorry I haven’t set aside the time for you as I had more important things to do”. This is especially hurtful to be told, because then you know where you are in the life of your friend or lover or family member. Knowing this, I have stopped saying that “I haven’t had time” and started telling my friends why I really don’t return calls or haven’t gotten together with them. Most of the time, it is a very humbling experience because I have to admit that I put other things above time with them or that I have been going through some struggles in life that I didn’t want to share with them. In other words, instead of putting the blame on “time” (or lack thereof), I must put the blame solely where it belongs … on myself.

And I think that is the point to all my rambling leading up to the following motivational quotes and such. Stop letting time (or seemingly a lack thereof) rule your life and start taking control of it yourself. We all know that in emergencies, we will drop everything else in our lives and make the time available to take care of that emergency. It shouldn’t be any different during the “non-emergency” parts of our lives. We may all die tomorrow. Let’s prioritize and make the time for things that are important: family, friends, lovers, ourselves, our happiness.

WOW4U! WORDS OF WISDOM 4 U!
http://www.wow4u.com

QUOTE of the WEEK:

“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.” 
—Brian Tracy

THOUGHT for YOUR WEEK:

Life Balance Coaching: Balance Work and Life Like a Pro
Copyright 2005 Christina Winsey-Rudd

“Circumstances are the rulers of the weak; 
they are but the instruments of the wise.”

—Samuel Lover

One of the most common complaints of clients who want life balance coaching is that their plate is fuller than full. From professional to business owner to home maker, having a quality life has become increasingly challenging. The demands of modern life often leave some people feeling dragged out and inadequate instead of personally empowered. Many people know intellectually that they can’t give 100o everything, yet still they have unreasonable expectations for themselves. As a result something’s gotta give, and usually, it is their self-care & personal fulfillment.

Is your development in career, relationships, or other life categories suffering because you take on too much? See if this sounds like something you might be saying to yourself. “Life just seems to be whizzing by me, and I don’t really feel as though I’m spending enough quality time on the things that matter most to me. I worry a lot that I’m going to somehow miss my life and then it will be over.”

Life’s demands may not slow up any time soon, and learning life balance is an ongoing art. If you think one day you will get it all done, and then you can relax, you are bound to be disappointed.

So then how can we create an alternative to the demands of this fast-paced, over-busy society? Women and men alike want to insure that those things of greatest importance to them get the amount of attention they deserve. 

While there aren’t always simple answers to a quality lifestyle in which balance reigns, here are some basic life management skills that our life balance coaching clients have found extremely helpful:

Number one: Identify the top four priority categories in your life that you want to balance (i.e., spirituality/personal development, family/relationship, career, personal care/health) and honestly assess how much time you give to each category.

Often, people have expectations of themselves that are unreasonable given the amount of time they actually have to devote to something. If, for example, you are giving only 50f your time to a career, it is truly unreasonable to expect yourself to be a superstar in that category. But if kids and family are a top priority to you, giving only 50o career is probably the most you could give and still have enough time and energy left over.

Number two: Write things down! Don’t use your brain as your day planner. Doing so increases stress. Consider making five separate life balance “to do” lists. The first four lists correlate with your four top priority life categories (from our example above, one for spirituality/personal development, one for family/relationships, one for career/work and one for personal care/health). Then the fifth list would be for general “to do’s” that don’t fit into those top four categories.

From these lists make sure you schedule the important items in your priority categories first, before anything else makes it onto your calendar. As a result you won’t have to worry whether you’re making time for priorities. Then you can pick and choose from your general to do list which additional activities you may need to, have to or (actually want to), fit in. By the way, don’t be afraid to use that good word “no” to any time-robbers you identify!

Number three: Practice being in the present moment only. Let’s say you’re always thinking about your endless pile of work at the office when you’re home with the family. Fact is there is absolutely nothing you can do about those things on your desk. Worrying about it takes precious time and attention away from your priorities and increases your feelings of dissatisfaction about life.

It takes practice and some mental self-control to keep your attention on what’s happening in the present moment, but this tip alone will bring huge rewards. When you savor the series of life moments one by one, you will find you don’t feel as though you’re missing out.

Be patient and loving with yourself, whether you apply the above tips yourself or integrate them into your life through Life Balance Coaching. Always remember, life balance is an ongoing process and it will throw you curve balls from time to time. The key to growth and personal fulfillment is to remember it is a process rather than an event. But with practice, you will find coming back to equilibrium gets quicker & easier. As a result, you will enjoy life more and have a more consistent experience of happiness.

About The Author:
Through testing and intuition, Dr. Christina Winsey-Rudd (The “I Can” Doctor)helps clients make leaps in achievement, health, satisfaction and productivity when they make positive shifts in 3 life areas. Learn more: http://www.FeroceCoaching.com/

QUOTES for YOUR WEEK:

“Quite frankly, I don’t think ‘time’ is the problem. The real problem is the number of activities or tasks that we take on. A sign of our time is that we forget how to say “no”, and take on far too many things.”
—Catherine Pulsifer

“Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”
—Robert Fulghum

“In fact, everyone should take time out once in a while to recharge and revitalize their energy. The key is to have a balanced life.”
—Michael Lee, CPA

“I’ve learned that you can’t have everything and do everything at the same time.”
Oprah Winfrey

“Work hard and play hard. 
But don’t confuse the two.”

—Author Unknown

more quotes ….
http://www.wow4u.com/balancequotes/index.html

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October 23, 2005 , 10:36AM - Posted by | Life

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