“The greatest gift you can give yourself is joy, not only because of the feeling that goes with it at the moment, but because of the magnificent experience it will draw to you. It will produce wonders in your life.”
I had lunch the other day with the head of an organization that is dedicated to identifying and developing individuals who are, or will be leaders in business and in our community. We talked about why people join and what they expected out of their membership. I suggested that too often they are there primarily to add to their credentials and to enhance their business careers.
It later dawned on me that a good friend who was unhappy because of the work environment was so focused on her job that it was taking over her life. While the similarities are not that great between my friend and those who seek prestigious credentials they do have a strong focus on job in common and in many cases to the exclusion of much else other than family duties.
If I asked you who you are would you describe yourself by your job function? In other words would you say I am a teacher or an accountant or an artist, in my experience most everyone identify themselves by their vocation. Is that because we have become so job centered that we have lost sight of the fact that life provides us so much more opportunities than just a career? I suggested to my leadership organization friend that her group is more than a place to enhance job successes since it is a place that can open a door to a holistically successful life, one that includes both vocational and personal success measured not only by income but also by worthwhile community involvement, personal enrichment, happiness and satisfaction.
I waited a long time before I realized that my job dominated my life to the point where I was missing much of what was available to me. I discovered that when I brought balance into my activities I did even better on the job because I was taking care of myself, doing what I could for others and seeing the world I lived in in ways I never had before.
I honestly prefer the satisfaction that comes from my own recognition that I have done well as measured by my actions than trying to jump through hoops designed by others. I do not feel bad at all that I chose a happier and less lucrative path than I might of if I concentrated only on my employment.
I love that my executive friend gets it. Prestige and glory is not the business she is in, she offers personal satisfaction and new experiences to the members through a door that holds a better life for those who chose to walk through and who end up being the kind of leaders we will need tomorrow.
What about you? Does your life’s job description include time for yourself? Do you give yourself high non-work points? If not you might benefit by rewriting your life’s job description and then doing an honest performance appraisal that can lay the foundation for a life improvement plan.
“It may be when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.”
A Texan was taking a taxi tour of London and was in a hurry. As they went by the Tower of London the cabbie explained what it was and that construction of it started in 1346 and was completed in 1412.
The Texan replied, “Shoot, a little ol’ tower like that? In Houston we’d have that thing up in two weeks!”
Next they passed the House of Parliament – started in 1544 and completed in 1618.
“Well, boy, we put up a bigger one than that in Dallas and it only took a year!”
As they passed Westminster Abbey the cabbie was silent.
“Whoa! What’s that over there?” asked the Texan.
Replies the cabbie, scratching his head. . . .
“Now that, I don’t know; it sure wasn’t there yesterday!”
“It’s not me who can’t keep a secret; it’s the people I tell that can’t.”
A kind-hearted Air Force Sgt. saw a man struggling to change a tire and pulled over to see whether he could help. The man had a very red face, and a dark smear across it where he’d wiped off sweat with dirty hands. His tie was undone and his shirt collar askew, and it was clear he had also wiped his hands on his once-white shirt. Close to him stood an immaculately neat woman who was speaking in highly agitated tones.
“Hello, there,” said the motorist. “Say, I’ve changed a lot of tires maybe I can help you.”
“You sure can,” the man with the flat tire replied wearily.
“My wife, Marilyn, is an expert, too. If you will just take care of arguing with her about how this tire ought to be changed, I will concentrate on the dirty work and get the job done.”
Ours is a world where people don’t know what they want and are willing to go through hell to get it.
Teacher: According to science, what happens when a body is immersed in water?
Student: Usually the phone rings.
It’s never crowded along the extra mile.
Mr. Smith was a traveling salesman and frequent flyer, so he was always very, VERY careful to mark his luggage so that no one would mistakenly take his bags. He always did this with bright ribbons and tape, so he was quite surprised to see his bags grabbed by a well dressed man when he got to the luggage carousel. Mr. Smith walked over to the fellow and pointed out the colored ribbons tied to the handle, and the fluorescent tape on the sides.
“I believe that luggage is mine. Were your bags marked like this?” he asked.
“Actually,” the man replied, “I was wondering who did this to my luggage.”
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.
When Brandon’s mother found out she was pregnant, she told the good news to anyone who would listen. But Little Brandon overheard some of his parents’ private conversations. One day, when Brandon and his mother were shopping, a woman asked the little boy if he was excited about the new baby.
“Yes!” Brandon answered, “and I know what we’re gonna name it, too. If it’s a girl, we’re going to call her Christina, and if it’s another boy we’re going to call it quits!”
“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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