Pay Attention to Yourself, Please

Some of the most selfless people I know are also the most selfish with their time, and let me tell you what I mean. Hell, let’s use this blog as an example. I desperately want to help people. Fact. I want to let you see and hear a different mindset, thought process, and way of life from what is getting fed to you by the masses. Maybe it will positively affect or enhance your quality of life. But here is the deal. There is absolutely no way that I can write what I write each week if I don’t pay attention to myself and the things that I enjoy. There is no way to offer perspective on life if I don’t go out into the world and get perspective. There is no way to offer a different thought process if I don’t carve out time for myself daily to read and learn. There is no way to offer credible advice to someone if I don’t first experience it myself. And so I do.

As I was doing my weekly reading this week, I came across some great nuggets. “Learning is the single best investment of our time that we can make.” “Intellectual capital will always trump financial capital.” “Why do the world’s smartest people find at least one hour per day for deliberate learning, while others make excuses about how busy they are?” And last, “It’s never a waste of time or money to invest in yourself.”

C26ED611-4A36-4C14-A2DC-7804C108104BI’ve had a few times in my life where I wasn’t really paying attention to myself, and in hindsight, it was an absolute nightmare. So I spent the better part of 2017 getting reacquainted with myself, and check this out. I did more living life in 2017 than I had ever done in my life, and guess what, I helped miles more people than I had ever done in my life. That is not a coincidence. The energy that you get from understanding what makes you tick in addition to actually doing the things you love is out of this world. I felt like I could run a marathon.  I felt like I could climb a mountain. (Oh wait, I did.)

Part 1 of the process is really getting to know yourself. Part 2 is learning how to say “no” to things that you have no interest in or will not better your life. Your time is the most valuable resource you have, and I see a ridiculous (I mean, ridiculous) amount of time wasting going on every single day. I am the master at saying “no”. Honestly, it does not bother me. A pal told me this week “Your life is too much fun.” Only because I am deliberate and intentional with what I want to do with my time. I sometimes come off as aloof or uninterested, but it is because I have had too much real life experience of shooting the breeze at some mediocre party or networking event to know that I am actually not missing a thing. Instead, I choose to pursue what I want.

I had a great conversation with a high school friend a few months ago. I asked her what she was doing these days, and she told me this. “I had a child. My drive to work was 2+ hours round trip each day. I dug deep with myself. And I quit my job.” I wanted to kiss her forehead. Boom. That’s what I am talking about! She realized she wasn’t living the life she wanted anymore, so she changed it. And she had a massive smile on her face as she told me.

I’m not asking y’all to make crazy-ass decisions without digging deep, but I am asking you to get to know yourself. And if your life isn’t matching who you really are or want to be, change it. I call it being brutally honest with yourself. I’ve said it at least 5 times this week to people already. I’ve got to be honest. I’m not totally there yet. But I am well down the path. And the amount of true freedom and positive energy that you get when you understand and make time for yourself is unreal.

And then you can help people. Lots of them.

Have a great week.-Benj

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