Do you ever feel as though your calendar is an outside force that “happens” to you?
Whenever I start down that path, I have to shake my head and remember such a thought is simply not true. I am in charge of how I spend my days. Life’s pace, for the most part, is a function of how often I say “yes” or “no”; I set my own speed, but sometimes I don’t take responsibility for those decisions.
I don’t think I’m alone.
For instance, I had a “life balance” conversation with a friend of mine who is a new mom and who’s struggling with when to leave the office. I asked her a few questions (and she tried to answer them!).
Are you doing a good job? (“Yes, I think so.”)
Do you feel like you’re adding value to your company? (“Yes!”)
Does anyone really care if you’re sitting at your desk at 6PM? (“No. Maybe? Yes. I don’t know!”)
Are you more productive when you work late? (“No. I’m too distracted feeling guilty about not being with my kid.”)
Who are you trying to impress by working late? (“Um. I don’t know.”)
By the time I was at the last question she knew where I was heading: get up from the desk, walk out the door, and get to your family. Work will wait for you.
If you want your life to be extraordinary, you have to make EXTRA decisions that defy ORDINARY. Nowhere is this more apparent than when you’re deciding how to spend your days.
If you want to live on the edge, don’t shave minutes from your family time. Instead, risk the perception that your co-workers might think you’re not completely “sold out” for the company and leave on time.
Do you want to “live dangerously”? Hurry home at the risk that others might not be impressed by your work ethic.
Thinking of being different? Take all of your vacation time even if “no one else EVER takes two weeks IN A ROW” off.
Want to be bold and wild? Hurry home.
See what people will think of you THEN!