This past weekend, I celebrated my birthday. In addition to receiving hundreds of incredible emails (I relished EVERY one and they made me feel so special), my wife hosted a small get-together with family and close friends.
And for a few days, I let life FLOW. No direction – no worrying – no decisions – no running around. Just letting it FLOW. And let me tell you — it was GREAT.
It made me realize two things:
1. You need to detach from time-to-time and take it easy. No one is going to die on an operating table — your boss isn’t going to fire you — and your clients aren’t going to flee. Step back and enjoy the little things (life, health, family, friends) — which are usually more important than the big things (work).
Did you catch what I did? I actually called the most important things in life the little things and your career the big things. Why? Because that’s how we usually treat them — we tend to worry, focus and act more on work items and let the more important things take a back seat.
I’ve always said you juggle a number of balls in the air — family, health, friends, relationship, kids and work. All the balls are made of glass, except for work, which is made of rubber. If you drop one, the glass balls shatter and are incredibly hard to replace. Your work ball bounces right back — because you can always find another job.
2. You need to focus on the little things and try to incorporate that attention every day. How? If you caught one of my previous posts last week (click here), at the end, Shawn Achor mentions five things you should do to make your life a little more special, more powerful, and have more meaning. They are:
a. Three gratitudes - think about 3 things you are grateful for.
b. Journal - write down one positive experience in a small book or file.
c. Exercise - get out each day – even for a simple walk and move your body.
d. Meditation - take 5-10 minutes and meditate – focus inward.
e. Random Act of Kindness - send one positive email to one person every day.
If you set aside just a little time every day (I do it and it takes me no more than 15-20 minutes throughout the day), I not only appreciate, but I embrace the ‘little things’ in life.
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P.S. Having a hard time fitting in these small things? Let’s talk. I’ve worked with thousands of executives and have helped them manage their time — call or email me to schedule a complimentary session.