Are You Experiencing Life or Just Doing Business?
Life is meant to be experienced. Too often, we get too busy with doing that we forget how to be. We forget to be free and to be present. Our business becomes our primary focus, and it begins to suck the life out of us. We become fixated on the promise we make to become successful and live out our wildest fantasies. However, the fantasy begins to look like work, work, and more work. As a result, we find ourselves filled with anxiety and stress. Then our days and nights include limited rest, bags under our eyes, and unimaginable mood swings. If we’re not careful, then we’ll resent the thing we once loved, not due to a lack of interest but a lack of rest and a failure to make ourselves a priority. Entrepreneurship is a journey that requires rest stops, pauses, and breaks. However, the busier life becomes, the harder it is to take the moment we desperately need.
It was another restless night. I was tossing, turning, and struggling to return to a much-needed sleep. Then it happened, I turned into a sacrificial doll. Well, that’s at least what I thought happened. It felt so real at the time. Pins and needles began covering the entire right-hand side of my body, and I was in unbearable pain. I gathered myself, put on some sweats, threw my hair in a messy bun, and preceded to go to the ER. However, not before I grabbed my notebook, my laptop, and my phone. Once I was all checked into the little bed in the cold room, I rested my eyes for a moment and then began to set up shop. The overworked doctors and nurses watched me in silence as they took my vitals and provided me with updates. Once they cleared me to go with a diagnosis of nothing, then the questioning started. The doctor began to ask me about my work-life balance or a lack thereof, and then he moved on to my eating habits. At that moment, I realized I was surviving off one cup of coffee and snacks I struggled to recall. It turns out that I was a sacrificial doll, but this doll sacrificed herself.
At that moment, I realized things needed to change. After much deliberation, I told my family about the nothing-something diagnosis, and shortly after I was a cast member on Intervention: Work Edition. It became clear that my eating habits weren’t the only problem. Somewhere along the way, I began to do more work and have less fun. I began to neglect myself and my personal needs. I began to live life versus experiencing life. This incident forced me to treat my priorities as a priority and max out on the use of my calendar so that I could start living out loud again.
Here is how I began to prioritize my priorities, honor myself, and experience life again:
Anything that needed to happen went on my calendar, which included family time, personal time, chores, time with friends, etc…
I dusted off my bucket list and I began to cross off each one at a time.
My birthday month became an international holiday that included shopping sprees, poetry slams, romantic escapes, and living life on the wild side.
I spent more time with my kids and around other kids doing exactly what kids do which was being free and being present.
I allowed my family and friends to hold me accountable when I began to backslide and return to old habits.
Now, I would love to say going from working tirelessly to experiencing life again was easy, but I would be lying. It required a heavy amount of discipline, awareness, and accountability. I had to practice staying in the moment and not breaking the commitments I made to myself. Making your priorities look like your priorities is consistent practice and it should serve as a daily reminder that if you aren’t well, then nothing you touch will be well. Take the rest stops, pauses, and breaks that you need to experience life and maintain the love you have for yourself, your business, and your career.
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