bENCOURAGEd to: Invest in Yourself

Updated: Jul 22, 2019

Tuesday's Tip to bENCOURAGEd...

I have found myself, on more than one occasion, becoming wrapped up in getting everything checked off only to find myself checking out. Having goals and plans and even accomplishing them can be rewarding, but "taking care of business" no matter what, could lead us down a path where we are not taking care of ourselves.

I always find it profound when watching flight attendants instruct passengers, "In case of an emergency...if riding with a child...please secure oxygen to yourself first...and then help the child in your care.".These wise safety workers explain a critical piece of leadership, in one simple example - Invest in ourselves! If we do not take care of ourselves we will not bENCOURAGEd.

I type these words and even reflect on them often, because I am "a work in progress". I believe that all of us can develop in this area. Whether our personalities are type A, type B, or a combination platter, we can all heed the advice from our friendly frequent flyers. As a driven type A, my tendency is to plow forward through to completion, sometimes forsaking my health. For example - most of the time I am a disciplined healthy focused individual, but sometimes, when completion is on the line, I throw exercise and the ability to control late night sweet snacks out the window all in the name of rewarding myself.

I remember a time, not too long ago, when I spent several days staying up late intending to wrap up some final details on a few projects, but found myself surfing the net for information to help me with a very low priority project. Because I had made this choice I had gotten behind on some work and when exercise and rest came up in my schedule I flew passed them, telling myself that I had to rush in order to keep my word on my commitments. Within a matter of two days I was run down, less productive, fighting off sickness, and looking at less than par finished work.

Then I had the audacity to try and tell myself that the reason why I was not getting my work completed, with excellence, was due to the fact that I was not feeling well. I knew better and could not even swallow my own excuse, so I looked back at that week to learn from my mistakes. I discovered pockets of time where I could have sown directly back into my health, which would have given me the energy and focus to have produced work that I would have been proud of delivering.

Staying focused is a critical component to being a productive person, which is a topic in and of itself, but in order to stay on task we first need to invest in our own lives. There are many ways that we can invest in ourselves, from vacations to spa days, but the simple day to day investments are the ones that will keep us lifted and strong in our journey.

What does investing in yourself look like? For me it all begins with spending each morning with the Lord, which puts me in the right frame of mind to make the best choices throughout my day. Then I begin to apply wisdom to my daily routine in order to be productive. Of course, I can pray all day, but if I stay up late and eat a handful of homemade chocolate chip cookies while vegging out in front of Internet T.V. (even if it is Joyce Meyer), it will affect what I produce.

I am not saying that we can never enjoy ourselves, because for years I did not (again, driver personality in abundance), but I am saying that whatever we sow we reap. If I sow late nights of unproductive sleepless cavity producing leisure time I will produce days of broken focus and frustration. So bENCOURAGEd to invest in yourself, which includes encouraging yourself even when you forget to invest in yourself. Because sometimes taking action to learn from our own mistakes is the biggest investment of all.

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