Care For Who?

Ask yourself what is important, and then have the wisdom and courage to build your life around your answer.
-Lee Jampolsky

The following is a great activity to measure our priorities. So, before I go on in this post, I want you to do the following activity. Grab a piece of paper and make a list of the ten things you care about most in this world. Make that list now before reading further… don’t cheat… 


Now, examine the list you just created and answer this very important question: Is your name anywhere on the list? Did you write down that you care about yourself? I am not making this point from a spot of vanity, but out of a place of caring. I believe in humility; I pride myself on being a servant leader. But, I have also come to understand that if I do not take care of myself, my thoughts, my attitudes, I cannot and will not be able to serve at the highest level. This, in turn, will not allow me to take care of the other 9 or 10 other things listed above.

You cannot care about others if you do not care about yourself.

This is one of those posts that I am directing at myself while realizing others are fighting the same battles. I often come to the conclusion, after we have breaks from school, how tired I am and how much I have gotten my body, and mental state, out of whack. I am pretty sure you have felt the same.

What you bring to work each day depends on your health and well-being. This works in reverse as well, the energy you bring to your personal life can be greatly determined by the attitudes you feel at work. Too many times, work and life seem to work in contrast to each other. The problems you may be experiencing at work or home compound with each other. One drives the other, each one making the other feel out of balance.

Here is what I know…there is no balance. We need to stop acting like (in education) there is a magical line that can be drawn between work and life so the two can exist separately from each other. If you think about a recent difficult time at work, I am sure you could feel the struggle spill over into your home life and vise versa. The more stressed you get at work, the worse you feel about your interactions at home. When you are not at your best, these struggles will only lead to additional struggles. And, the ripple pushes out to further and further aspects of your life.

The key to solving this issue is in trying not to get overcome by the problems we face and the time they consume. There will be weeks when work will win the time tug-of-war and your home life will, unfortunately, lose. But, there will also be weeks when home will win over work. Stop trying to keep the game of tug-of-war stuck in the middle. That is a losing battle from the start. Give time where time is needed. Be present at each moment where you are, when you are. To build relationships in any aspect of our lives, you must care personally about the people. Whether that is at home or work, you must care…and to care about others you must care about yourself.  To be able to do this, and be the best version of yourself no matter where you are, you need to care about yourself. You need to put your name on the list. …

Look at the things you need to do to produce your best self. If you need a certain amount of sleep each night, then make it a priority to get that amount of sleep. If you feel better when you exercise, take time to exercise. If you need a few minutes to yourself each evening…or a few minutes to center yourself spiritually… or a few minutes to ____, then DO IT. Taking time for the things you need to do to keep yourself healthy will make you more productive in all aspects of your life. If you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself, relationships with others will not be healthy either.

Take a few minutes after reading this and write down one or two things that you will commit to doing in the upcoming week to keep yourself healthy. Then, at the end of the upcoming week, evaluate how those items impacted other aspects of your life. I promise, the healthier you become: physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually, the more dividends you will see ripple through all aspects of your life.

You cannot care about others if you do not care about yourself.

Keep learning; keep growing; keep sharing!

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