What am I Investing In?
What are you investing your time and energy in? How much of our life is taken up by triggers - things that set us off into reaction-mode and potentially lose sight of our real focus? How often are you stressed about your lack of time to get things accomplished, and feel overwhelmed by all on your plate?
Sometimes we can get so lost in reacting to what comes our way, we lose sight of what is really important and we get mired up in the clutter of life, simply putting out fires everywhere.
Are you familiar with "automobile university?" A study by the University of Southern California revealed that if you live in a metropolitan area and drive 12,000 miles a year, you can acquire the equivalent of two years of college education in three years’ time by listening to educational information in your car.
Since the average American adult spends from two hundred to seven hundred hours each year in an automobile, this is good news!
What Are Your Triggers?
With all of our fulltime travel, we have plenty of road time to take in audiobooks and podcasts. A while back, I listened to a powerful book called "Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts and Becoming the Person You Want To Be" by Marshall Goldsmith. This one investigated the environmental and sociological triggers that can derail us in work and in life.
Interestingly enough, in my work with personality styles, this is a key element - by understanding an individual's unique personality style, you can better identify those triggers that bring out the best (and the worst) in each other.
Every personality has a different fear that can be triggered - and with that comes our most gut responses...and often those negative reactions where we don't always think things through. Where feeling out of control, rejected, insecure or criticized may shift your intentions and you start to just throw punches or retaliate out of your fears. Great leadership can turn into micromanaging, being the life of the party can explode to being an obnoxious space invader, or you retreat into apathy or criticizing as a defense mechanism to keep yourself "safe."
Am I Willing, At This Time...
Chapter thirteen was a pretty pivotal chapter for me, especially in looking at relationships in your home. He uses the acronym AIWATT and discusses this mindset:
Am I Willing, At This Time, to make the investment required to make a positive difference on this topic?
Every endeavor comes with this first principle that dramatically improves our chances of success. How willing are you to invest in...anything?
In sitting down with your children - are you really present in the moment?
What about that friend who wants to jump into the latest gossip or complain once again about situations completely out of your control?
Are you willing to invest to make a positive difference on this topic? What exactly does that investment look like?
Let go. Soak in.
Here is the biggie - sometimes, the best investment you can make is by simply letting it go. Sometimes, it's not about what you are dishing out as much as what you are soaking in.
There are times in our lives where the best investment we can make in someone else's life is simply being present. Sometimes, people simply need to vent. They might need a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or just to process in a safe place.
And sometimes, your silence speaks volumes on what you are willing to invest in. Don't get stuck in the rut of venting. How much of your conversation is laced with negativity, a victim mentality, or a fixed mindset? Don't be a doormat, and also don't invest your energy in negativity. Remember that your time is an investment regardless - so ensure the good outweighs the bad.
Invest in your health
Recognize your own health and wellness - and when your energy bucket is drained, and your investments have all been external, your body will check you. Where your focus goes, your energy flows - so keep in mind your own self care as well.
Make space for what is important - the relationships you most cherish, your health, and your overall wellbeing. Pay attention to how much the little incidentals are pulling you away and whether they are truly important.
Balance the good and the bad, and keep your focus on that which brings a positive outcome.
What DO I invest in?
Invest in relationships that lift you up. Invest in your own mind, body, and soul. Take a walk. Meditate. Work out. Run around with your children. Remember how valuable your time is, and give it the respect it deserves.
I'm here for you. From free resources to full on 1-1 coaching for your unique situation, you aren't alone.
You invest in toys, date nights or Disney. When was the last time you invested in something to get intentional with your family connection?