Identify What’s Most Important and Honor It
by Rick Weaver
After 10 years of working in the hotel industry as a sales professional, I woke up one morning and wondered what my life would stand for when it was over. As Director of Sales for a really great hotel in downtown San Francisco, I was relatively happy – but something was missing.
I had the opportunity to sit in a seminar offered by my company for its managers entitled “Value Based Leadership”. In this seminar, we were asked to identify our values and goals; make sure they are in alignment with each other and then act upon them. I had done this type of work on many occasions and am always happy to take a moment out of my busy life to re-assess where I am in my growth process. I was quite surprised however, to find that when I turned the page to the chart where we were to list our goals, I listed the following as Goal #1: Improve my quality of life. Make more money, get a better job, build a nicer home, secure the perfect life partner, etc. had always been the types of goals that I had listed in these exercises previously. It was clear these things were no longer going to be my panacea – they were just a means to an end.
I tossed and turned all night after the seminar and then went to work the next morning in a bad mood. I was lethargic, depressed and in general a grouch. I called my staff into my office about 9am to let them know that I was in a bad mood and to please bear with me. I made it clear though that it had nothing to do with them – they were doing a great job and to keep up the good work. For another hour I sat at my desk, stared at the wall and shuffled papers – have you ever done that?
Exactly one hour later at 10am, I sat straight up in my chair and the words came out of my mouth, “It’s Over!” I got on the phone and called my best friend in Nashville and said, “I want to come home and I want to come home now!” He said, “Then pack your bags”. I hung up from him, walked into my General Managers office and resigned. I haven’t looked back since.
I have always wanted to pursue my dream to build a career for myself in personal development training. So I left San Francisco, moved back to Nashville and started my own training and development firm. Walking through the fear has been a certain challenge, but one filled with great joy and happiness.
Balancing my personal and professional life has been no easy task. Managing the demands of family, work and friends seems to be never ending. It was clear that when I took the time to identify what was most important in my life (improving my quality of life) …I had to honor it, lift it up and validate it! If you are like I am, I had to get back to basics and break it down into three easy steps:
1. Who am I?
2. What do I want my life to stand for?
3. How do I get there?
When I honestly asked these questions and walked through the fear of the potential answers, I began the process of breaking down the barriers that have kept me at unrest in my life. Balance can provide the respite most of us seek. As with any principle though, one of the most powerful witnesses of its reality is the consequence of living with its opposite – imbalance. One of the definitions for balance in the Webster’s New World Dictionary is “equality of debits and credits…” When I find myself focusing on sure and strong credits (honoring) of the important things in my life, I always find the inner peace and balance that I continue to search for.
Several years ago I heard Stephen Covey say in one of his Seven Habits workshops, “I have never met a man who on his deathbed said, “I should have spent more time at the office.” I knew then that my life had to be about more than my checking account balance or the title on my business card. A dear friend once said “Meaningful work brings balance into ones life.” Improving my quality of life begins by sharing with others the things I do that result in peace and joy. With that in mind, do YOU know what is most important in your life and do YOU honor it?
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