“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” –Howard Thurman
Alive. What is it that makes you feel that way? What makes your heart beat fast, gets you excited and energized to be present in each moment? I love the way my heart pounds after a really good workout. It feels like a feat each time. A sense of completion. Some days are easier than others, some harder, some are a struggle. The hardest part is getting dressed, lacing up, and going. Once I start moving, I feel alive. Proud. Happy. Sometimes exhausted. On those tough days, at least I laced up and tried. I moved. I pushed myself. I started.
What is it that you do that makes you come alive? Is it solving a problem? Exercising? Listening? What lights your fire, gets you excited, and brings the true you to the surface? Sometimes for me it can be that aha moment with a friend or co-worker, when you have solved that problem together, or when you connect on a level you never expected. Other times it is when I am sitting on the couch reading a book and I have an idea pop into my mind. It is the answer I have been needing, or patiently waiting for, it was the resolution to a problem.
If I were to go and do the same job every day, with no variety, no changes, no ambiguity, then I would be bored. What keeps me feeling alive is the ever-changing landscape of work, family, friends. It is the question of how to do what we do, but better. How to be a better wife, a better sister, a better friend. Evolving as a person, learning, growing, changing, that is what makes me feel alive. Whole. That is what makes me roar, sing, and laugh.
I was driving to work the other day, when it hit me (no not a car), but a thought. We have to make decisions moment by moment throughout the day. We have to decide: do we go through the yellow light, or stop? Do we honk at the car in front of us? Do we get exasperated? Do we respond nastily to a bad situation? Do we say what another wants us to hear?
We are constantly encountering decisions that have to be made. Do we do a good job at handling them? Probably not always. Do we have a good track record? That depends on the person. Do we get burnt out on making decisions? Of course. I have days when I will tell Chris: I cannot make another decision today. I am burnt out. I do not want to weigh in on dinner or decide on what movie we might watch. I just want to have someone decide for me. It does not happen very often, but sometimes I have eaten too much of the decision meal. No room for dessert. No passing Go. I am done.
How can we feel refreshed and clear-headed in order to go back into the game of decisions? It might depend on what we do for a living. Do we have to make decisions at work, or do we mostly execute on other’s decisions? When we come home has a spouse figured out the game plan for the rest of the day or week, or is it up to us? Having to make a long list of decisions can wear anyone thin.
To recharge might mean trying to take away the long list of decisions whenever possible. Can you make decisions over the weekend that will help you not have to make them in the evenings after a long day of work? Can you plan ahead? At times when I feel overwhelmed, I try to break down the decision I have to make into smaller questions. If I can answer each of those, at times it helps with the larger decision. I am also a big proponent of justification. What I mean by that, is often I will think, if I decide this now, it will mean I will be able to do this later. If my choice means maybe sacrificing something later to get something now, then I am justifying why I made my decision. It often works for me.
What do you do to help cut down, ease, or lessen the decisions you have to make?