Did you know: * 48% of people say they are tired every single day of the week? * 52% of people feel unappreciated and would quit their job if they could? * that WORK -and the stress leading to it- are now the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.?
Why are we doing this to ourselves?
I believe it's because "our strength taken to an extreme becomes our Achilles Hell." (Not a typo).
And for many of us, our "strength" is that we want to be a good person. We want to be responsible.
So we go to work and take care of customers and coworkers. We come home and take care of our family. In our community, we take care of friends, neighbors, the people on our church committee, community association board, local sports team or service club.
The question is, are we so busy taking care of everyone else - we have neglected our own priorities, dreams and goals? At what cost?
I believe it's not selfish to do more of what puts the light on in our eyes, it's smart. Here's why I've come to believe it's important to set our SerenDestiny in motion now - not someday.
Several years ago, I had breakfast with Ivan Misner, founder of BNI, (one of the world's largest networking organizations.) After hearing about my full calendar and nonstop travel, he asked, "What do you do for fun?"
Long pause. I finally dug deep and came up with "I walk my dog around the lake."
Please don't get me wrong. I'm grateful to do work I love that matters; it's just that I was going 24/7. (Sound familiar?)
My conversation with Ivan, a health-scare and several other wake-up calls motivated me to do a pattern interrupt.
I gave away 95% of what I owned and took my business on the road for a Year by the Water. I visited oceans, lakes, rivers and waterfalls and wrote about my adventures and insights.
(And yes, I realize how fortunate I am to be at a certain age and stage in my career where I had the freedom, autonomy and wherewithal to do that.)
Do you know what I didn't predict? That my Year by the Water ended up NOT being about the water.
Yes, I swam with dolphins, sailed the Chesapeake Bay and had many memorable times in, on and around the water.
But what turned that trip into a life-changer were the unplanned experiences and disruptive epiphanies that caused me to realize my S.O.P - Standard Operating Procedure - was sadly outdated.
To my surprise, I discovered many of my default beliefs/behaviors - what I thought were right, true, and good - were wrong.
For example, I discovered:
• Hard work is not the secret to success, it's not even close • We need to quit watering dead plants • Fun is not a four-letter word • It's never too late to have a fresh start * Self-sacrifice serves no one • You’ve got to have a dream for a dream to come true
Many of the people I met during my travels told me they felt conflicted, torn, locked into a lifestyle that's nothing like they imagined or expected.
On one hand, they're grateful for their kids, spouse, job, etc.
On the other hand they feel they don't have the freedom to do what makes them happy. The well-meaning model of being responsible to everyone but yourself is producing a generation of unhappy, unhealthy people who are leading a life that is nothing like the one they want and deserve to lead.
It’s time to disrupt what being a “good person," what leading a "good life" looks like.
Rest assured, I am not suggesting we ignore others' needs and think only of our own. I'm suggesting we get clear about our values and priorities - and start creatimg a life that's more in alignment with that NOW, not someday.
What really matters to you – now and in the long run - is deeply personal. Only you can figure out what that is for you.
The good news is, this SERENDESTINY site (and my upcoming book Someday is Not a Day in the Week) can help you start putting yourself back in your own story.
I hope you'll come back and visit frequently. You may find just the right quote, eye-opening insight or inspiring success story to motivate you to do something TODAY that puts the light on in your eyes.
Trust me, you will never regret clarifying what puts the light on in your eyes and bringing more of that into your life; you will only regret not doing it ... sooner.