January 31st, 2011

Every Day Challenge: Balancing Demands

With the millions of demands that are placed on us by others and ourselves, it’s important not to become too selfish or too self-sacrificing.

When your activities seem to be defined by what you think others might think, what they want from you, what is expected, what you have to do – life can become very wearying. When your activities all about what you want every moment of every day – life can become very isolating.

Having an answer for these two questions will help our cup stay full so that we have something to give to others – which will allow us to stay socially lubricated.

What did you do for yourself today?

Something pampering, goal-advancing, life-affirming, attentive, focused. This task will either give yourself a sense of accomplishment or a sense that you are relaxing while not accomplishing anything. Do you know which one is needed today?

What did you do for others today?

Something that required a sacrifice of time or resources, you were completely present (mind was in the moment and not on other tasks or priorities), were committed to enjoying (whether you thought you might or not).

Pick something that is either a) demanding your attention or b) wouldn’t demand anything from you, so it’s up to you to provide the needed attention.

Ask yourself: who is making this demand and where do they lie on your life’s priority list? Lots of different personalities will scream for attention varying forms – make sure you’re putting your efforts into people and situations that merit it – not simply the ones that make the most noise.

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Challenge . Give . Grow