Who are you and what’s most important to you? Take a moment and ask yourself, if a colleague, a friend or a family member were to describe you, what qualities, characteristics, or aspects of you and your life would you like them to mention? Put another way, if you could take a magic eraser and get rid of everything you don’t like about yourself what would you be left with?
Okay, so you may be asking yourself why is it so very important to know these things. After all, these qualities are just one part of who you are. The best qualities, the ones that often get lost in the shuffle of life.
Actually, that’s exactly my point. Because life is so very busy, we often find ourselves going through our day on autopilot. Like some cold, heartless automaton, we do what has to be done without thinking about much else.
So, you may describe your family as your highest priority. Yet, you often find yourself so fixated on problems at work that you are moody and insensitive. Of course, doing so only causes you to feel guilty and even more frustrated.
Over time, this creates a chronic feeling of stuckness. A lack of control. A dilemma about who you truly are: are you that person who truly enjoys spending time with family and friends or are you that person that everyone avoids because you are grumpy and can’t be bothered.
Another example. What if your highest priority is success in your work? Well, first of all you’d have to know what “success” means to you. Does success mean reaching a certain position, financial security, work that is meaningful, or work that allows you to balance work and home?
There’s no wrong answer here. There’s just what you value and how you want to live your life. Here’s the thing though, what you decide DOES determine where and how you should be spending the majority of your time and energy.
So, obviously, if your end game is the CEO position, you probably shouldn’t be working part-time in a non-related industry. If however, home and life balance is your desired end, then part-time work that fits into your lifestyle might be the right move. Knowing your values and your priorities not only clarifies what you want out of life but also helps you create an invisible boundary line that keeps you on track.