Are you a back burner specialist?

Mother daughter

We are caught up in doing a zillion things. And we do not attend to  the things that truly matter and bring us satisfaction.

Those are put on the back burner for later.

Here are some examples:

Sarla had been wanting to start a corporate gifting business for 3 years. She has been stuck in a bank job for 12 years, a job she feels is going nowhere.

Pradip has been meaning to get a consolidated picture of his investments and assets but is daunted to get his head around it. Finance has never been easy for him. He knows it’s important yet he has dragged his feet on it for years.

Rani is 42. The corporate ladder occupies her mind.She wants  to lose weight, start exercising to take care of her blood pressure.  As months pass on she finds small aches and pains growing. Each day she feels low that she is not attending to her health. 

What do you care about? 

‘Cares’ are what we care about in our lives- our core concerns. 

Care is: 
What we feel concerned and connected with
What gives us satisfaction and meaning each day
What gives us energy for purposeful action
What allows us to feel aligned with our values
What brings us joy and we feel life is good. 

There are many reasons  I have not not taken care of what matters to me:
-habits of excuses and procrastination
– stuck in fear of the future
– feeling  I am  not good enough .
– living in fantasy that things will somehow get better
– being in drift with no plan

My beautiful daughter
In 2010 it was very clear to us that my daughter has significant cognitive and learning challenges. She was 5  and it worried us every single day. As a woman my life was full-  home, career, dreams and yet no day passed without me thinking how I can change things for her. Can I do something that can improve how she can fit in this very demanding world? 

I learnt about a neurological program I could take her to in the US. Tough decisions lay ahead. I made a choice to  suspend work in two organizations I had co-founded. A big choice given the ambitions I had for myself. We visited the US 5 times in the next 2 years. For 2 years we home-schooled her, converted my home into a lab with mats, ladders, exercise tables and we worked hard for 12 hours a day doing interventions that were physical, cognitive and physiological.  

I had made a choice to take care of what I cared about- my daughter’s  progress over my ambition. I chose to focus on  3 things – her, my home life and my self care. All else was in slow motion- my learning, my work, finances, social life.

At the end of 2 years my kid went back to school and I went back to work. I was changed as a leader and a coach. 

Find your spine, lead with conviction.

Here are some questions for you:

  • What are the core concerns for my life? List them.
  • What do you care about with regards to family? Finances? ‘Career? Relationships? Health? Spiritual growth? Social Impact?
  • Why do these matter now?
  • Are these cares truly what I want or are they a ‘prescribed recipe’ that I have adopted?
  • What am I willing to give up to choose making energy for my cares?
  • If I do not choose to take care of this, where could this lead and is that future acceptable to me?
  • What future do I want to create for myself?

Asking these questions has helped my clients-
Choose where to put their energy and attention.
Choose what to say yes to and what to decline
Choose to live aligned with their values and needs in all domains of  life

It is this deeply aligned way of living which keeps us psychologically happy, satisfied and purposeful as we lead. It also translates to being present to ourselves and others in valuable ways without pushing things into a back burner. 

Are you paying attention to what you care about?Do you have a back burner relationship with what and whom you care about?

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