In my old age, I have decided that everything I do needs to meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Make me happy.
- Make me better.
- Make me money.
Uh huh. I look for a good return on investment from my time and energy. And I don’t feel bad about it.
I know, I know, I know. “Kristen, you selfish cow! What about altruism?!?! I thought you were a good person! Clearly all you think about is yourself.”
But this isn’t about being uncaring, greedy, or self-serving. Being an egotistical miser wouldn’t truly bring me happiness, would it? I’ve already explained here and here why being “selfish” is actually better for the common good, so I won’t go into that again (today). Today I want to talk about YOU. A precious, valuable being who just might be selling yourself short by acting out of obligation rather than passion.
Lately I’ve encountered a surprisingly high number of folks who hang out with people they don’t like, do activities that bore them, stay in one-sided relationships, or don’t charge enough money for their services… ALL BECA– USE THEY FEEL OBLIGATED.
Also, they are miserable. How do I know that? They’re angry. They’re sad. They’re mopey. They’re complain-ey. And it’s really no wonder – their resources are being constantly drained. Their vessel is empty and not getting filled. The bummer of it is, I know that these very people would be absolutely vibrant if they were doing more things that set their soul on fire. How vivacious, loving, and kind would humanity be if we ONLY invested in relationships that serve us, activities that bring us fulfillment, conversations that improve us, and work that pays us what we’re worth???
Really freaking vivacious, loving, and kind, right?
I don’t necessarily want you to do the easy things. Or the most comfortable things. I want you to do the things that feed your soul, your body, your mind, or your bank account. And in order to have time for those things, you’ll probably need to cut out other things.
For example, here are a few circumstances I have deemed not worth my time and energy:
- Mary Kay/handbag/nail art parties
- crap-ass massages
- shallow friendships
- men who jerk me around by lying and being unpredictable
- blind dates
- peanut butter made with hydrogenated oil (How to make peanut butter: Take some peanuts. Crush them into peanut butter.)
- house-sitting (I’m 31. Please stop asking.)
- reading magazines
^^Now bear in mind this is MY list, not yours! I happen to know a Mary Kay consultant who absolutely loves her job. She is always glowing (maybe from the makeup?) and consistently has a wonderful smile on her face. Clearly, Mary Kay parties are totally worth her time and energy. She is amazing and I would venture to guess she truly helps many women. I love that. Because we all have something different to contribute to this Universe, which means we will all have a different list of things that are worth our time. If it fills your bucket to read People and shake your ass to Shakira, you go for it. No judgment here. I just want everyone to be happy. For real.
*A moment of silence in which we thank the Universe that Kristen is NOT in charge of makeup advice.* Amen.
So what are you worth? Knowing your value is one of the most important steps to being in charge of your life. Once you quit doing things out of obligation, you are acknowledging your significance. You will feel free to make time for only the most worth-your-while friendships, music, sex, workouts, coffee dates, books, careers, and yep, peanut butter.
Your time and energy are valuable. YOU are valuable. Please start acting like it.