First, as a disclaimer the point of this post is not to dampen motivation or inspiration.
This post is a heart check.
As dramatic as it sounds, what would you do differently today if you knew you were going to die tomorrow?
Full disclosure: Yesterday I didn’t talk to my mom or my best friend, Melissa. If I were gone, two of the most important people in my life would have to “think back” to the last time we spoke.
As entrepreneurs it’s easy to get caught up in producing, doing, monetizing, participating in groups, working on engagement, increasing exposure and the like -- that you neglect the rest of your life.
The bottom line is, sometimes you have to take a moment to look up and live.
The Show Will Go On
Life will continue happen with or without your input. You can choose to let it pass you by, or you can choose to actively partake in living it, beyond your to do list. This is what gives life meaning -- your willingness to live it. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own things, we forget to take into consideration the bigger picture.
Grind now sleep later
Success is not owned, it’s rented -- and rent is due every day
...and [insert other dramatic motivational phrase here].
While these quotes can inspire, they can also promote extremism. Life is not about the extremes. There is little efficiency in living in extremes. When you spend your energy trying to maintain extremes -- it’s hard to focus your energy on moving things forward. It’s not about the discipline to “sleep when you are dead”, it’s about the courage to live while you are alive.
In reality, my family wants to hear from me, no one can be there for my best friend the way I can, and nobody can manage my self care like me. Sure you can have an assistant respond to emails, to texts/tweets/DMs or engage in a groups for you, as you. But where it truly matters in your life, you are the one who has to show up. You are the one who has to be comfortable with the way you live, or don’t live, your life.
You are always making a choice, whether you realize it or not.
The Heart Check
The heart check is taking regular personal inventories of the things you're doing and why. The truth is, if If I had to assess the way I spent some of my past few days, I wouldn't be satisfied if they were my last. Surely every day can't be a 10, but some of those days weren't even a six. All it would have taken was a few shifts in priorities, had I taken the time to asses. Had I started each day with intention. If I had taken a moment to ask myself why? Why was I departing from me, and what was the cause?
Spending too much time focused externally, can cause you to lose sight of what matters most. We find ourselves doing things that can be documented, counted, followed and displayed. There is a tendency to shift our focus towards doing, instead of being. Being isn’t a perfectly posed picture with a Drake lyric caption either. Being is in the moment. The moments on the phone with my mom and the moments trying pinterest recipes with my best friend.
You should be living and enjoying the life that is happening to you. Not the one you wish was happening because you want what you “see” on social media, because an influencer said so, or because what would Beyonce do. Sometimes we can get so caught up in trying to make other things happen, we forget to appreciate the moments that we are given. Take a moment to look at the things you need to look at. That at how much time and energy you put into various activities. What would you change? Do that now.
What are you doing with your life?
...and most importantly, For who?