Roles and Goals
The late author and philosopher Stephen Covey made a compelling case for clearly identifying the roles that are important in each person’s life. Developing a mission statement to keep close by as a “true North” for our lives is based on illuminating the unique relationships we want to have with ourselves and others and making commitments to invest in them. Dad, student, husband, sibling, professional, musician…were among the many possibilities. How much time in our daily planner devoted to each says a lot about us. How strongly we protect the boundaries around those roles and time commitments indicates the quality of our character. Ever make a plan for a special date with your child only to have work come crashing into it? What now?
Sharpening Ourselves Daily
Covey said we all have one role in common: “sharpening the saw” Each day on average we should devote some time to caring for ourselves whether physically, intellectually, social-emotionally or spiritually. Reading the books that you’ll need five years from now? Working out? Eating right? With friends and loved ones often enough? Spending time contemplating the universe in prayer or meditation? Are the time slots for these activities written down in your planner, or calendar? Do you defend them well enough?
A Full Cup
The late Virginia Satir, genius psychotherapist and author of “Peoplemaking” and other great works spoke metaphorically of the leaking “pot” inside all of us that is always to some degree full or empty and serves as a barometer of our well-being. Placing her hand on her heart, she explained that when we feel “low pot”, or melancholy, it’s likely that we’ve neglected ourselves in some important way. Overworked, underloved…failing to ask for our needs to be met. Saying yes to too many requests, getting overwhelmed. Forgetting to shut down our brains and cell phones often enough. Failing to take time to “sharpen the saw”.
We are much needed by those who seek our counsel. it’s important that we show up at our best and rise to the occasion of helping. It’s heavy lifting work to hear and absorb the complaint and discomfort of others.
Be all you can be.