The Secret: Happiness and empowerment are not always achieved by doing more; happiness is sometimes more about what you remove from life than what you add to it.
How can this be? Wouldn’t it stand to reason that a full life (doing, accomplishing, and getting stuff done) would also be a fulfilling one? Well, not always.
Doing what you feel truly passionate about and eliminating what you do out of perceived obligation or guilt, is the key to living your best life. It’s by recognizing where you can get the most reward from your efforts, and how you and those most important to you benefit, do you allow yourself permission to give your time and attention to those areas.
So how can you make sure you’re giving your time to the right stuff? Try this simple exercise:
Pull out your to-do list (if it’s currently in your head, get your to-dos down on paper for the purposes of this exercise). For each item on the list ask yourself the following questions:
Why is this task important?
Why is this task MY responsibility (in other words, why are YOU doing this task)?
Where does this task fit within MY priorities?
What is the worst thing that would happen if the task does not get done?
For example, if one of the items on your task list is to clean the cat’s litter box, the importance of the task would depend on how important your cat is to your life. If the cat is your daughter’s, you may be coming to the realization that your daughter might be the better candidate for the job, and that the cleanliness of the cat box isn’t a high priority task for you at all. You’re realizing you assumed the position of litter box cleaner several years ago, when the cat was given to your daughter as a kitten. She was too young to care for the cat at the time, but now is quite capable. Passing on the honor to your daughter is sounding pretty good right now, however the little voice inside argues that it’s easier for you to clean the litter box and takes less time and effort than the nagging that would be required to get your daughter to do it.
Well, that may be the case initially, however it’s now clear that you’re doing the task out of obligation, denying your daughter this important lesson in responsibility, and feeling very underappreciated in the process; clearly not a recipe for happiness or empowerment for either of you.
While the above example may seem trivial, believe me, we’ve heard sillier reasons why there’s no time to work toward an important dream or goal. And since when is cleaning the litter box more important than your life purpose?
It’s time to challenge your obligations and priorities. While we’re not advocating that you dump all the dirty and menial chores on the spouse and kids, we are challenging you to question where and what gets your time and attention. What you may discover is that you’ve been giving top status to things that are unimportant and not your priority at all. Delegate, dump, divide or work out some deal, so you can have time for what’s really important to you.
The Soul Sisters