…of my life, of my work, of my time? You may ask yourself these questions periodically and rightly so. As a career coach, I encourage this type of reflection on one’s life throughout the year, not just at the beginning of a new year or the close of an old one, but throughout. We should seriously think about how we are spending our time, both at work and at home.
@ Work: You know, I remember my first job. I remember being so eager to do a good job for my boss because he was the first person to give me a chance to “make my own money”. At the age of 14 or 15 with a worker’s permit, my first job was with a janitorial service in my hometown. I cleaned office buildings and courtrooms. (Side note: It was one day in that courtroom that I decided to go to law school.) I worked with such pride in every task given because there was a purpose to my work. To me, my work with my hands reflected me. It reflected my value to my boss and to his clients. Fast forward say 20 years, I constantly ask the question – does my work reflect me? my value? Do I have a purpose in my work? I must say that over the years, while my work has always been important to me, I can honestly say that it is not about the ability to “make my own money” that gives me purpose. Now, I seek lasting impact.
@ Home: I have two elementary aged children and a spouse. I must say that they all keep me very busy. If you have immediately family members, your time with them is invaluable, priceless and absolutely necessary. In this day and age, where every thing is vying for our time, I would encourage each of us to spend more time with our loved ones. My parents passed away at 51 and 67 respectively, both very young. My mom passed away from breast cancer when I was 25 years old and my dad passed away when I was 37! At what I think is still a young age, I’m without parents. I was not prepared for how much this would affect my outlook on life. Lessons learned here are (1) tomorrow is not promised, (2) life is fragile and (3) love hard, love often, and love regardless! At the end of the day, life is full of marvelous opportunities to make lasting memories that can and will live on beyond one’s lifetime.
So what is the point? The point boils down to two words. Value and Meaning. Pay attention to what you value and how you’re valued. Find those things that give you meaning and allow you to bring meaning to others. The point: To be purposefully mindful of what you put your hands to do and be intentionally present with those who deserve your attention and will miss you the most when you’re gone.