Today's hurried nature of life can take a toll on the most hardy of people. It seems like there's always one more meeting to go to, project to manage, or function to attend. Our lives have turned into the repeated mantra of the White Rabbit, "I'm late! I'm late! I'm late for a very important date! I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!"
Research shows that we are a world full of people who are adopting "what we do" as a replacement for "who we are". It's not a difficult leap to make when we spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our immediate families. The average person spends 2/3 of their waking adult lives with people that are directly related to their job/career.
If you had to answer the question today, "Who are you?" without including any part of your job description, could you do it?
Think about that for a while. When was the last time you were able to truly relax? When was the last time you went on vacation and didn't think about work? When was the last time you had dinner with your spouse or significant other, or friends and didn't talk about work?
Many people identify with feeling burnt out or wanting something more in their lives, but never quite seem to be able to put their finger on what that something more exactly is. The White Rabbit lifestyle is stealing joy from your life. That was the whole point to the character in the book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Slow down. Take some time to enjoy the moment that is, and all the people who populate it, because one day you're going to be too late.
Take time, as much time as you need, to figure it out. Our time here on Earth is finite. If today were your last day of life, would you be able to say that you are satisfied with the meaning of the dash on your headstone?
Simplify your lifestyle: Being over-scheduled is a soul-crushing existence. Ask yourself what is truly important, and learn to say no to all the things that aren't adding value to your life. There is nothing that is more valuable to us in this world than our time. Once it's gone, it's gone. You can't go make more of it or replace it. Guard your time with the tenacity of a rabid wolf. If the request, invitation or event is something that doesn't add value to your life, say no, say no, say no!
Minimize your tribe: WHAT??? We all have people in our lives that are fringers or coattailers. If you find people in your tribe that aren't adding value cut them loose. These people are holding you back from becoming the best version of yourself. T. D. Jakes said, "Finding your destiny will always disappoint people who have appointed you to theirs." If you care more about other people's success than your own, you will never discover your purpose or calling in life. Yes, you should support other people's hopes, dreams, and aspirations, but not to the detriment of your own happiness.
Take Risks of Opportunity: We all seem to be just fine in our lives until we are exposed to opportunity as it passes on it's way to find a taker. Opportunity doesn't knock, it flows continuously. If you don't take the opportunity, someone else will. How often has that happened to you? How many more times are you going to allow it to happen out of fear? If there's an opportunity in front of you that allows you to kick the White Rabbit to the curb, then shouldn't you do that? Just make sure you're doing it with eyes wide open.
As each of your birthdays roll around, think about this: From the day we are born, we have an opportunity to go from ordinary to extraordinary - each day that choice is up to us. Extraordinary is not equitable to fame and fortune, it's about quality of life and how we choose to fill it. Extraordinary is a subjective term that can only be defined by the individual. How will you define your extraordinary life today?
~ Donna R. Wood