To paraphrase what good witch, Glenda from Wizard of Oz says, "You had the answer in you all along, my dear." I thought of that because of a habit I've seen in many, clients. Literally at the end of each day, they assess if enough has been accomplished. Should they have worked harder, done more? While it’s disguised as a question it really isn’t. It’s an indictment. The assumption being – No, they should have done more. And, whatever they’ve done is not enough.
In truth, we each have our own style of doing business and doing life. To asses at the end of the day means you are measuring against someone else. We are taught from the time we are young to look at what others do and then try to match our behavior and outcomes to theirs. We use them as a standard against which we measure ourselves. Think about it. Since each of us is different, has a different destiny, how much sense does it make to use someone else as a measure of what we should do or be?
To be more specific- it’s important to learn what helps you function best. Are you someone who needs downtime to let things percolate? Do you work best in bursts and taking breaks.? Or, do you do your best work in chunks of time and then stop for the day?
There are people we read about who are successes that get up at 4AM every day and begin their day. But, if you are someone that needs time to meditate and to gather your thoughts over a second cup of coffee then 4AM might not do it. You could force yourself but your work would suffer and you would suffer because you are going against what works for you.
Find your own rhythm. The way you work best. You will accomplish more and what you accomplish will be of much better quality than if you try to make yourself follow someone else’s pattern.
Some people like to be busy all the time and it fits their high energy. Some people like to ease on through life without getting too upset or too excited about anything. Some are in between. But when each of them follows their natural pattern they achieve more and are happier.
In addition to working every day, we each need to find a way to get refreshed. That too, is specific to each of us. It’s something we need to know as well because it has a bearing on whether we succeed at work. We are not machines. If we push ourselves beyond what we really can do and don’t take time to get replenished there are consequences. Our work and private life suffer.
So, to reiterate: we need to succeed in our own way and find our own rhythm in life and work. We are the only ones who know that. There is no expert, mentor or advisor who has those answers. Even a coach’s job is to lead their client to find answers for themselves. YOU are the expert in your life. You will not have all the answers at once. It’s a lifelong journey to find them. But, if you pay attention and listen to your own inner prompting you will find your specific path in life and live it on your own terms.
You get the idea. Have fun honoring your rhythm and see how much easier life is and that opportunities just seem to come to you. Everything is better in when you do.
Dianne J. Shaver, M.A.