“If Anything Is Worth Doing, Do It With All Your Heart.” – Buddha
That advice in Buddha’s quote has been both a blessing and a curse in my life. It’s a blessing in that I have followed it religiously – if I do something I give it 100% and then some. I jump in fully and give it every ounce of what I’ve got. It’s a curse in that I am incapable of taking something on and then not giving it everything I’ve got, which can often become all-consuming and cause me to forgo having any “me” time in order to give everything to the causes or people I am trying to help.
The older I get the more I am realizing that the problem isn’t that I give all I’ve got to things – that’s actually a huge positive that has helped me be incredibly successful in many ways – the negative is that in knowing I give it all I’ve got I need to force myself to limit the number of things I agree to take on if I am ever going to have any kind of a life of my own. And that is hard for me to do.
That’s because I get so darn excited to help people and I love helping a good cause. But my downfall is that I forget to consider the fact that when we agree to jump into “X” we are also agreeing to take time away from “Y” because we are one person with so many hours in a day. So whether “Y” ends up being sleep, or time for ourselves, or time with our spouse, or time with our kids or grandkids or friends, ”X” will always come at a cost to “Y” so it’s critical to stop and really think through that trade-off and weigh it out carefully BEFORE we commit to take on more “X”s in our lives.
I will fully admit that I’ve never been good at thinking through what the impact to “Y” will be especially when “X” is a really worthy cause. My first thought always jumps to “I can go without sleep or food to make time” or “I can forgo any me time and get it done” and often that’s exactly what I end up doing…but the older and wiser I get the more I recognize that is not the best mindset for me to keep having. We all need sleep, and food, and a little time for ourselves once in awhile. And maybe if I repeat that last sentence out loud to myself 100 times in a row I can get myself to remember that BEFORE I agree to take on another “X”…sigh…
Whatever you take on, do it with all your heart, but limit what you agree to take on so there’s room to show yourself a little love as well.
~Amy Rees Anderson (you can purchase a copy of my new book here: “What AWESOME Looks Like: How To Excel In Business & Life“)