I was on my way to yoga class the other day, listening to the Goal Digger podcast and host, Jenna Kutcher, was talking about ways to create more time for living and spend less time working. The biggest point that hit me not only for my business, but for my personal life as well is when Jenna asked “are you spending more time working ON your business or IN your business?” What this means is in the daily minutes of getting things done, is my time being spent in doing the day-to-day tasks to just keep my business running, or am I working on consciously and strategically building my business so it can grow. Well…it took me about half a second to admit I’ve been working IN my business keeping it afloat and not ON my business and building it into something bigger.
Then, I reflected on how well this question applies to my personal life outside of work as well: “are you spending your time checking off a to-do list or consciously building your life into what you want it to be?” So often, we will have an epiphany moment where we will take a step back, sit here, and wonder what the heck we’ve been doing the past week, the past month, the past 6 months, the past year! How has so much time passed, but we still feel like things are the same? Well, I think that looking at and answering the above question can bring up a lot of the answers for us: “are you spending your time checking off a to-do list or consciously building your life into what you want it to be?”
The area of my life that I have to admit I am checking off the to-do list is in my relationships with my friends and family. I feel as though I have justified that it is enough to see these important people in my life, have happy hour with them every couple of weeks, see them on the weekend after church, or go to an event with a bunch of people I care about. And if I do these things, then my “friend duty”, or my “daughter duty” or my “____ duty” (fill in the blank with your own relationship) is complete. But, what I have realized is that by just getting dinner or seeing them and going over simple updates in our life I am simply working IN my relationships and not ON my relationships.
Am I doing my best to make time for these relationships? I think so. But, I am now realizing that even in the times that I do make for these relationships, I am not consciously building our relationship, I am not asking the right questions to learn more about the true status of their heart or their dreams or their life – I am simply being IN the relationship and maintaining it at its current status.
So, twice last week I went to happy hour with some ladies that are very dear to my heart and I began to ask the harder questions, the ones that may cause us to get nervous or scared – like, “how is your relationship with your hubby really going?” or “how are your goals going/what do you really want to do next?” or “what are you afraid of?”. Even though these questions were hard for my dear friends and I to bring up, and it took a few minutes to truly talk about things we had stuffed deep down in our heart, we were finally able to open up, help each other and encourage each other through what was actually going on in our lives. I know that each of us walked away from the conversation that night feeling a sense of relief that we didn’t have to keep these thoughts to ourselves anymore. And we certainly felt a little more understood and like our relationship had begun growing into something deeper.
So, can I encourage you to take three minutes of your day to answer the following question: “are you spending your time checking off a to-do list or consciously building your life into what you want it to be?” If we are honest, I would say that the majority of us are checking off a to-do list. You are not a bad person for doing this – in fact you are just like me – but you probably don’t feel whole in some area of your life. Maybe it’s in your relationships like me. Maybe it’s pursuing something you loved to do when you were young (singing, writing, painting) and you just don’t feel like you have time for it anymore. Maybe it’s in your work and you’ve been drowning in doing the same thing over and over but know you were created to do something else. Whatever it may be, just recognize it and know that you are so worthy of filling up this area of your life – and it will give you so much more happiness than checking off your to-do list in the end.
You’ve got this friend – and I am right here beside you.
My name is Larissa and I am an adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer who absolutely loves capturing crazy in love couples!
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