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Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be if you want to create a business and a life that you love, and today it’s Q&A Tuesday. Favorite day of the week. Today’s Q comes from Stephanie and she writes:
“Hello, lovely Marie. Here’s a Q that’s sorely in need of an A. I’m super passionate about my work but I have these moments where I catch myself in the go, go, go of hustling and I think, ‘Someday I’m gonna look back and wish I hadn’t ripped through my life with such force. I’m gonna wish I had not poured so much energy into work and had taken more time off.’ I see it so clearly in my mind, me sitting in a chair looking back over my life wondering where it all went. And then I go back to the ‘Go, go, go,’ of the hustle. How do I build a business and carry out the general craziness of life without every minute roaring past at the speed of light? I feel like it’s binary on or off. Where’s the happy medium? Thanks, Stephanie.”
Stephanie, great question. So many of us can relate to this struggle and what can sometimes feel like we’re all ripping through life to use your words. Now, there’s a few things that have really helped me in recent years that I want to share with you today.
Number one is meditate on the regular. Whether you’ve got your own practice or you’d like to try mine, there has been nothing more powerful in my life to combat that constant sense of rushing. On the rare occasions that I don’t meditate, I feel like my life is speeding past me. I always feel like I’m, like, chasing my day and I typically feel more stressed out and more irritable. Now, I promise you, if you build a daily meditation or stillness practice, and you can start with as little as 5 minutes, you will virtually eliminate that ripping through life kind of feeling. Or if you catch yourself starting to slip into it, you’re gonna be able to ease on out. Even if you change nothing else and just make daily meditation a habit, this one thing will help you get out of that binary on/off loop you seem to be caught in right now.
Number two, rocks first, sand last. Now, you might’ve heard a version of this story that I just learned from Steven Covey. It’s about a teacher who pulled out this big glass mason jar and he filled it full of big rocks all the way to the top. Then he asked his students if the jar was full and they said yes. Then he pulled out these smaller pebbles and he dumped them in as well and the little pebbles filled in around the rocks. And he asked his students if the jar was full now, and they said yes. Then he took a bag of sand and he dumped that into the jar and sand filled in around every little nook and cranny and he asked if the jar was full now. And they said yes. Then he dumped everything out and he started again, but this time he started with the sand and it took up so much of the jar that the big rocks and the pebbles couldn’t even fit in.
And the teacher said to his students, “This is your life. The big rocks are the huge, important things that make life worth living. And you’ve gotta know your big rocks and put them in first. Pebbles is the next group of things that matter to you and things that you have to do, the things that you must fit in. Then the sand is all the minutiae of life, the stuff that’ll take up all the space if you let it. So you have to wait and put that in last and add it after you add in everything else. Pretty deep, right?
Here are some of my big rocks.
Josh, my health and well being, my family and Kuma, my team, my friends, the business, downtime and adventure.
So Stephanie, what are your big rocks? What are the relationships and the experiences that are super, duper important to you that you want to make sure to prioritize and make sure you create the time for? Which brings me to my next point.
Number three is make time off predictable and required. So in your question you wrote, “I’m gonna wish I hadn’t poured so much energy into work and had taken more time off.” Now, the way to make sure that you take more time off is to make sure you take time off. I know. I’m full of super deep wisdom in this episode.
But seriously, in the words of a fantastic article from Harvard Business Review, you need to make time off predictable and required.
So predictable meaning it is set in advance and required meaning it is non-negotiable. I know that sounds kind of strict for something that’s supposed to be relaxing, but that’s how you’ve got to be when you’re addicted to work.
See that? Salad bar, here I come. Now, once you know your big rocks you need to whip out your calendar and start scheduling time off to make those experiences come to life.
I’ve talked about this before but it is worth mentioning again since we’re about to close our entire company for 2 whole weeks. Time off is predictable and required for our entire team, including me. And honestly, this is a joy. It’s something that all of us look forward to and no whips required.
Number four, change your choices. So rather than thinking that you have to make this humungo life change, I want you to realize that you can totally transform your life one tiny change at a time.
Annie Dillard wisely said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
And the supportive flip side of that is that over time changing your day changes your life.
So take a look at all the little moments in your day that you might be on autopilot trying to fit in just one more thing and realize that there are endless opportunities to change your choices.
For example: ask yourself, “What can I change in my day to cherish life just a little bit more right now?” You might want to talk to your kids in the car instead of putting on a DVD, grab a book or put on some music instead of wasting time on Facebook or social media, go out to dinner or cook with your significant other instead of ordering in and watching TV, take a walk and connect with nature just for a few minutes.
And to that I’ll add, make sure you leave your phone at home or at least put it on airplane mode so it’s not dinging in your pocket. Because FYI, this is not a nature walk.
Now, of course, these are just a few ideas just to spark your imagination. What I want you to do is mentally go through your day and examine your habits and then make a list of just a few little choices that you can change.
And that’s what we’ve got for you today, Stephanie. Four ways to help you continue to reach for those big dreams without missing out on the sweetness of your life.
Now I would love to hear from you. Take an inventory of your daily habits. What are 3 changes that you could make in your daily choices that would immediately help you feel like you’re actually truly living your life and not just ripping through it? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Now, as always, the best discussions happen after the episode over at MarieForleo.com, so go there and leave a comment now.
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Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll catch you next time on MarieTV.