The Secret to Having a Life You Love that Loves you Back
_000006244050XSmall-300×258.jpg” alt=”" width=”300″ height=”258″ />Hint number one: It has nothing to do with self-sacrifice.
Ever since I became a mom, my instinct has been to put my child first. Slowly, that instinct became my default setting. If I didn’t put my child first, I wasn’t being a good mom.
As my daughter gets older, I realize that she doesn’t ask, and generally doesn’t want, the house and my entire life to revolve around her. She likes to observe; she learns a lot that way.
When you always put your kids first, you don’t fully integrate them into the true context of being a family. They don’t learn that there is give and take in all family relationships. They learn to take you, and their life, for granted.
It is, in fact, counter-productive to sacrifice your self-care and the care of your marriage for the sake of your children. They don’t learn to take care of themselves, and they don’t learn to respect you. It becomes the recipe for exhaustion, resentment and anger.
Take care of yourself.
Hint number two: It isn’t about having a ton of money.
I am all for being wealthy. But let’s be clear: If you are sacrificing your health, family or sanity for the sake of your job, your life sucks. You might even love your job, but if it isn’t adding to your mental and physical health, or the time you want to have to connect with your family and friends, it doesn’t love you back.
Imagine making money, loving your job and having time to enjoy your life.
I mean it.
Really imagine what it would be like. Write it down. Then, contemplate the steps you would take if you could make it become real.
Hint number three: Balance is a myth.
Work-life balance is a myth. What happens when we try to balance work and career is that we keep making tradeoffs. Unfortunately, tradeoffs often involve a sacrifice that must be made to obtain a certain state. We cut a little bit from this side, then shave a bit off the other side in an attempt to find the right mix of each one.
And this is where it gets tricky because we get in the habit of sacrificing and cutting away from the ideal, instead of deciding and doing what we want.
We end up with less life and less work, and we don’t even realize it because we’ve slowly chipped away at life, instead of deciding to live it.
What’s the secret?
I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. -Steve Jobs
The secret of loving your life
and having it love you back is to be clear about what you truly want. What do you really want? What did you write down about the ideal life you imagined?
What resources, talents or skills can support you as you move toward that life? What actions do you need to take to get what is truly important?
I know I make this all sound so easy. Yet, I know it is not easy because it requires that you be truthful with yourself. It requires accountability. It requires that you are brave enough to do what you want, regardless of what you used to think was the right.
It’s clear when you love your life but, how do you know when it loves you back?
· When work isn’t a struggle and you actually like it.
· When your family works as a team and nourishes you on a regular basis.
· When you make
a date to exercise and feel good after you keep it.
· When food, debt, alcohol and other addictions don’t have to supply your pleasure.
· When you make a choice and know it is the right one, regardless of the outcome.
There is no better pleasure in the world than knowing that you love your life. And there is no greater gift than to have it kindly and compassionately love you back.