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Parents and the Gift of Time

By: Rossman Parent Melanie Boon

January 22, 2014

With so much focus and information available about the rearing of children in our society, we tend to overlook taking care of ourselves as parents. In our hustling world we are often pulled in so many different directions that it can become detrimental to our own physical and mental health.

For those with very driven personalities, saying “no” to new endeavors can develop into a challenge. Sometimes the gift of ambition can become a curse if we do not curb our tendencies to constantly take on new things.

In his article titled “Opportunity Costs,” Bahram Akradi suggests that the temptation to forge ahead with new demands be met with a few simple questions like:

  • What impact will these new efforts most likely have on my most limited and valued commodity, my time?
  • When undertaking this new pursuit, what else or who else in my life might suffer the consequences of my divided attention and resources?
  • In what ways does this new quest diminish or support my top three life priorities?

If you are unclear about your top three priorities, simply and honestly ask yourself what you would like to be remembered for, and by whom, at the end of your life. Although this may sound daunting, defining your priorities in this manner can help clarify what really matters most. This can give a new direction to life.

By not focusing on shaping your legacy now, you are most likely not living out your highest priorities on a daily basis. It is most beneficial to reflect on these priorities on a regular basis and any time one is embarking upon a new pursuit. In life we all have a definable amount of time and a limited amount of energy. No matter how energetic and passionate we are, we simply cannot accomplish everything. If our efforts come at the expense of things that matter more to us in life, then our long-term aspirations for enjoying life will not be cultivated.

When we make decisions based upon these sound principles it becomes much easier to choose our time wisely. Remember, if the decisions you make contradict one or more of your key priorities, it is time to pull back.

Spend some time thinking about your goals in life. Think about who and what really matter most. Reflect upon your life and evaluate what choices have brought you the most long-term happiness!

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