How often do you get told, “take care of yourself?”, or “start doing things for you.” I’m guessing a decent amount. In the last years, there has been a shift aiming at self care. Everybody has their own views and definitions on what self care is and what it means to them. Usually take a little time to do the things you enjoy or some type of spa type service. Maybe a long run? Those are the types of things we do for ourselves. When it comes to longer term goals or aspirations, we might be doing it for ourselves but i’d guess you’re doing it for someone else too.
If you have an extended trip you want to take, a business to start, job to change. Anything that might take time to save for or perhaps some sacrifices have to be made to make something happen. Chances are there is someone aside from yourself that you make those changes for. Maybe your taking a friend or family on a big trip they have always wanted to go on. Are you starting a new career path or a side business to get more freedom for you and someone else? Some of it you probably do for yourself because you like a challenge or something excites you. Does that sustain you long term?
I mean months or years down the road. Sure you can get up early and go run or do something extra for a week or two. Sooner or later, i’d bet that alarm goes off and if you didn’t sleep good, you hit that snooze button pretty quick. Being able to sustain something longer term is hard. Things get hard. YOu might contemplate quitting a couple times. So here’s a new question: would you be more likely to keep going if you attached that goal to someone else?
If you had a big lofty goal of going on a month trip to Europe and taking a child with you or a good friend, would you quit? That would mean you’d have to not only face the fact that you quit on you, now you have to tell someone else they don’t get to do this. If you’re starting a new career path or business and things get tough, how much more likely are you to keep going if you have to tell everyone you just quit and failed. That longer term lifestyle you’ve been working toward and all the people’s lives you were going to change. Not going to happen.
So if you’re working on something big, and long term, stop attaching it to only yourself. It might be your purpose and your life’s work or even what you are supposed to be doing in this season of life. That might be all you. But when things get tough and you have to find some grit and figure it out. I bet you’ll keep going a whole lot more if you attach those long term goals to someone else. Everytime you look at a picture of this person and you have to think of something they’ll miss out on, I bet you’ll find a way.
Don’t think what’s in it for you, or don’t only think what’s in it for you. Think of what’s in it for them. The people you’re working for. The people you show up and find that motivation when you would rather get some extra sleep or relax. What is in it for them?