Success Tips: Are you stealing a GIFT from those you love?
“Congratulations.” I said with apprehension.
My friend Tad was telling me about his new promotion. Tad was a childhood friend. We grew up in similar families that valued education and that gave us a great loving start to life.
The early stages of our lives set the path towards what we believe. There was a widely accepted belief in the environment we grew up in. It was not spoken, but it certainly was expected. This belief was that our identity of success was based on our accomplishments.
I have done a lot of work to reframe my core identity and how I relate to work. It has been a tough process and yet I'm grateful for my newfound awareness around my true identity and understanding what purpose really is in my life. As I listened to Tad, I realized it was the ideal time to ask him some pivotal questions that I answered when I found a greater understanding of my core identity and purpose.
After Tad excitedly shared the news about his promotion, I asked him about his marriage. Tad said it was good and then veered our conversation back to his work status. I listened, and when there was a pause, I asked: “Are you and Marin still going on regular date nights?”
His nonverbals were shouting at me making it clear that he wanted to talk about his career, not his marriage. He slumped as he declared that he had not dated his wife, Marin, for months.
I gently dug a little deeper. As we chatted, Tad started to feel a bit of shame. I discouraged that shame and brought him back into the reality that marriages go through seasons, and he had the ability to woo his wife back with quality time and acts of service (her love languages).
I continued on with a series of other questions about his fuller life. I asked about his kids, and how much quality time he was spending with them. I asked him about his ability to shut off work when he was home to be present with his family. I asked him about his rest and balance. I asked him about his faith life, which was very important to him at one point in our early life together.
As I made my way through asking and listening to Tad, he felt more shame as he moved from excitement about his promotion to the reality that he was single-minded, and that his single-mindedness had blinded him from investing in the most important priorities in his life.
After our time together, Tad had a new conviction. He could still take that promotion, but what was more important than that was the new boundaries he set in life to give his family and loved ones a great gift: His time, presence, and love.
We walked away with some clear accountability to start on that path. He was encouraged. This was the beginning of Tad reshaping his beliefs about success and crafting a greater vision for his life: a life of balanced priorities for impact and purpose at home and at work.
No matter what your upbringing was, there are beliefs of success that were planted in you. Taking the time to analyze those beliefs and mapping out your best life is the greatest gift you can give yourself and those you love. When you have the self-awareness necessary to live purposefully, your relationships will thrive. With self-awareness and intentionality, the time you spend with those you love will be quality time and a great gift to all.
As we make our way into the Holiday season, you will be preparing gifts. We want to encourage you to go about this gift-giving season a little different this year.
First, give yourself the gift of self-awareness that leads to an intentional life. As you do so, please let us know if we can support you in answering the key questions to unlock your intentional life of purpose.
Second, as you map out your intentional life, make this a season of analyzing your work habits. Make changes based on your intentional plan of purpose.
Then and only then, you can give great gifts this Holiday Season. You can give your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, your neighbors, and your extended family the best gift: quality time with intention and purpose.
You don’t need to stand in lines at the mall or hop on Amazon to give them the best gift you can offer. Invest in yourself, habits to change, and lasting impact with those you love. Happy Holidays!