Last week, I wrote about taking the time to look at our personal values. Digging in to the core beliefs that drive our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors on a daily basis. (You can refer back to that blog here.) This week, let’s continue to inspect what we value by looking at how we invest our time, energy and money.
Marketing and advertising professionals are incredible at their jobs. They spend all of their time working out ways to get us literally bought in to what they are selling. And it works! We spend our money on things that we are convinced will make us feel better about ourselves. We buy into the promise of the thin, happy person on the commercial who can balance work and kids and fitness and stress perfectly simply because they wear that brand of clothing. We buy into the idea that we can be as happy as the couple in the fairy tale picture that is painted if we just drink that brand of alcohol. We pour money out for stimulants, numbing agents, shiny objects, memberships, subscriptions, prescriptions and loads of other items that promise instant gratification or the illusion of easy change. And then we give up on that one when it doen’t work without our having to work and we repeat the cycle with the next flashy promise.
We have be duped into believing that we won’t have to invest our time, effort, and energy into changing. Only our hard earned money. What a bargain! If this one quick fix will work, then I can feel better, so I will pay top dollar for the short cut.
When we feel overwhelmed and exhausted, unable to think clearly or remember simple things; when we are snapping at our kids, our spouse, our coworkers, people we don’t know; when we are experiencing digestive issues, sleep issues, and autoimmune issues, why is it that we act as if the best we can do to make it through is to drink more of the expensive coffee during the day, to try fad diets that leave us feeling like a failure, and to take the edge off in the evenings with the help of a glass or two of our favorite numbing bevy? Is this really how we want to spend our lives?
We have actually been consistently and repetitively trained into believing that we cannot actually change things ourselves, but that the products, pills, and promises are the way to the promised land. We are successfully pouring all of our attention, energy and money into other people’s pockets one expensive impulse buy at a time. And then we feel let down, disappointed and often like a failure when it doesn’t magically work. Isn’t it time that we value ourselves enough to truly invest in ourselves?
I believe we value our health, happiness, and sanity more than all of the things we are investing in, but we aren’t sure exactly what to do. To make real and lasting changes will take a serious investment of our energy, time, and sometimes money, but the changes can last forever. It won’t be easy and we will have to stick with it because actual changes are not instant.
We must be brave enough to take a long and discerning look at our lifestyle and learn how to make the changes to support better sleep, weight loss if needed, reduced inflammation, a healthier immune system, improved coping, clearer thinking, and better relationships with everyone around us. And once we do, we will be living our lives according to what we value once again.
Commitment, consistency, and continuation of the changes are key to success. And sometimes this does require also investing in education, coaching, and the accountability of a group of others who are also doing the work. However, the return on investment here is well worth it.
We must also step away from the excuse that others in our lives come first because those others are negatively affected by our not being our best. Investment in others begins with investment in bettering ourselves.
When we feel we are at the end of our rope and we are desperate for our thoughts, bodies, and lives to change, who are we going to invest in? We can continue to make the quick fix and numbing companies richer and richer or we can choose to invest in ourselves and reap the benefits for years.
This week, take some time to assess how you can better invest in yourself. Ask others who are doing what you want to do how they are doing it. Reach out to coaches, therapists, trainers, etc. and ask about the time and money they know it takes to make real and lasting change.
I will be doing the work right along with you. (And I would be happy to do the work with you as your coach- simply reach out to me and we will set up a time to talk.)
Chat again soon,