Raising Your Standards: Spending Energy Where it Matters

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Have you made the important thing… the important thing? This is a huge issue with me, in fact I can get down-right crazy when I see people talking out of both sides of their mouth. 
What does that mean, anyway?
It’s really quite often when I listen to people talk about what they want when it doesn’t have anything at all to do with their values and what is important to them down to the core of their soul.
It’s about treating your priorities like they’re priorities. What you value most deserves all of the energy that you can muster as if your life depended on it. 
Not only just more energy, but better quality, well directed energy. The kind of energy you invest into something that REALLY matters. Is your attention divided by distractions, or trying to multi-task?
Have you often spent countless hours in other activities that don’t have any bearing on your overall level of success, only to stay exactly where you were the day before?
Immersing yourself in distractions for the occasional breather is one thing. But when you spend most of your life in escapism, it’s time to pull back and take a long, hard look at your priorities. Are you trading tomorrow’s fulfillment for today’s temporary moment of joy?
Okay, so maybe you’re not spending your time in meaningless distraction. Instead, maybe you wrestle with yourself over your habit to multitask. You know deep down that you can’t do two things perfectly at the same time, yet you just keep hoping it will save you a little time.
Do you have your e-mail inbox constantly open in another tab while you’re working? Do you see people who supposedly value their friends, whipping out their phones just as soon as the conversation gets quiet or boring?
I’m just as guilty as many other people who say they value something, yet I didn’t devote the FULL attention to it that it deserved. This is where living our life on purpose or intentionally becomes the greater goal. To live in complete awareness seems like an impossible undertaking when there are so many responsibilities on our shoulders.
What do you value in your life the most? I value my family above all else. One day recently I had a moment of total clarity. It was as if my mind became clear and I could see this lesson as if a blanket had been taken off of my eyes. I suddenly arrived at a disturbing but important epiphany! Sure, I valued family… but I wasn’t acting like it. In that moment, I felt my heart break in two.
I suddenly felt my daughter’s feelings as if they were mine. Going back into my own childhood, I and remembered how alone I was. No one gave me attention. I remember being sad and lonely, and deciding then that I was unlovable.
Now I feel hot all over as if the room was set on fire and it was right then that I knew what I had to do. I knew I had to change my life. I must change my standards and make the important thing, the important thing.
What was I holding to a higher standard than my baby girl? W-O-R-K. Wow.
So sorry to curse like that! Saying the four-letter word is so wrong…
Wait! How is work so bad? I have to work, in fact, I need to work a fairly good amount of hours here and there when I have a project that I am working on. Work on it’s own isn’t bad and the fact that I need to work long hours isn’t a bad thing either. I was simply making work more important than spending time with her.
I insisted on being self-employed so that I could make my own hours, and be at home with my family.
Yet, when my youngest daughter came into the room wanting to show me something, my knee-jerk reaction was out of character for me. I brushed her off to tell her, “Leave Mommy alone right now, I need to concentrate.”
Time and time again, all because I didn’t feel that I’d gotten enough done that day… I pushed her away as nicely as possible. When she finally brought her drawings TO me, I was unusually curt and short with my compliments.
Eventually, she quietly left the room, and turned to electronics for her entertainment instead. Yikes!!! REALLY? Did I just go against the one thing that I valued most? What is the point in working from home now??
This was a huge “OMG” moment for me. When I realized what I’d done, I immediately put my laptop down, then climbed the steps to her room – bringing my full attention and all my love along with me.
Again, I ask you… Have you made the important thing, the IMPORTANT THING?
If you haven’t, it isn’t too late.
A “values exercise” is absolutely one of the best things you can do for your life! After that, it is writing your mission so you can have more clarity about your purpose and where everything fits. This is where people get confused and lost on their own personal discovery journey.
If you can’t spend the time finding this quality of clarity by doing that exercise, at the very least take a look at your standards. Ask yourself if anyone you love will get hurt by the energy and time that you give a task.
The quality of your energy you invest will give you results that reflect it – whether it’s your work, your health, or your relationships.
When you give it anything, give it your all!