For the last 12 weeks, we have focused on managing and reacting to change. We continue to experience unprecedented change and will be practicing trying new things and making adjustments. For the last several days, I took time off work. I really stepped away and have not even checked email! I read some books, spent time with family, played games and rested. During this time off, I realized something really important. I need to take more time off! I don’t know about you, but my “cup” has been empty and every time I do more work or more household chores, that doesn’t fill my cup. My cup is filled when I am spiritually and relationally connected and when I am resting and taking time away from work. Although I really enjoy my work, that is not what “fills my cup.” Recognizing that we are all different, I want you to join me this week in three steps to implementing what “fills your cup.”
- Figure out what fills your cup. You may already know this or your need to reflect on this further. This may be a “trial and error” process. Consider the following questions: What brings you energy and provides you peace? Was it when you were spending time by yourself or connecting with others? Was it when you accomplished a big goal? Was it facilitating a meeting or seeing a group of people start to work together for the first time? Was it after relaxing for the weekend or taking a vacation? What was happening when you were faced with a frustrating situation and you didn’t react with anger or agitation? What kinds of things help you be proactive instead of reactive? What helps you remain calm when someone disappoints, frustrates or annoys you? What helps you think more clearly and creatively? When you are able to answer these questions, you will be closer to figuring out what “fills your cup.”
- Ruthlessly prioritize what fills your cup. Last week, I began reading a really good book, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. Although this book is about parenting, the application can extend to other important relationships as well. She mentioned the concept of “ruthlessly prioritize” and I think that applies well to scheduling time to do what “fills your cup.” I realized that I have been prioritizing my task list; however, I wasn’t really prioritizing what “fills my cup.” I was able to be productive but I was quickly stressed, overwhelmed and struggled when things didn’t go according to my plans. If we are going to be the best version of ourselves and contribute well to our coalition, partnerships and the relationships that are most important to us, we have to prioritize what “fills our cup” first.
- Keep practicing. Earlier this year, I wrote about not being so hard on ourselves. This is particularly true when we are figuring out what “fills our cup.” We won’t get it right every day or every week but we can keep trying. When we see the benefit of focusing on what “fills our cup” first then it will become easier to prioritize and practice implementing those things that “fill our cup” and say “no, thank you” to those that leave us empty, stressed and overwhelmed.
So, what about you? What kinds of things “fill your cup?”
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