WE Bring the Value

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we perceive ourselves and how that affects the way we make decisions, the way we think and even the way we interact with other people. It’s important that we have the understanding of who we are and what value we carry within.

As a young person, starting life out and trying to “get out there” can carry a lot of weight. We want to perform well at work and have solid relationships. We want to handle our money right and make it work for us instead of us just working for it. We want to not just take advantage of opportunities but actually create those opportunities. And if we’re not careful the tendency would be to find our value in how well we’re doing in those areas.

But here’s the thing: Our work does not give us value. We give value to our work.

We are running our lives. God granted us intrinsic value that sticks with us regardless of what kind of decisions we make or how well we perform on the job or managing our finances. We get to take that value within ourselves and willingly offer it to a task. Or not offer it . It’s our choice. The job, relationships, spiritual life, money and health we have are, mainly, not forced upon us. They are things we willingly engage in.

They do not own us. We own them.
They do not give us value. Instead, we give value to them. (With the exception perhaps of a spiritual life…but even then, it is nothing without our interaction!)

Until we realize this, until we realize that inside of us is a greater potential for good works and connection, we will be run over by the things in our daily lives. We’ll feel bound by what is.

But the truth is that your finances are ultimately going to end up however you’d like them to be because you’re going to work (or not) work at it. Positive thinking won’t do. The job or career you have is going to be the one you pick, not the one that picked you. Your relationships will be great or terrible based upon the value you willingly add to them.

So today, as you go through the day, think about all the things you are involved in and what you are doing. Look at the details and the big picture. And decide whether or not you want to be a part of it. Do you want to add your value to it? If so, do it! Add all the value you can to whatever is at hand. But if you don’t want to add value to it, stop faking it and move on to something you DO want to add value to.

Art of Planning

So I think I have an obsessive compulsive thing going on with planning. I like to plan. A lot. Probably too much sometimes.

I plan my time. Hours. Evenings. Days. Weekends. Weeks. Months. Years.
I plan my finances. Bi-weekly budgets. Monthly budgets. Short-, mid-, and long-term savings goals. Investment strategies.
I plan my health. (And fail frequently.) Work out routines. Eating habits (that aren’t habits yet.) Sleep cycles. Relaxation.
I plan my career. Positions. Money. Experience. Satisfaction. Passion. Purpose.
I plan my education. Credit hours. Classes. Research. Homework. Tests. Bachelor’s degree. Master’s degree. Doctorate degree.

Of course all of that is hypothetical in a sense because it’s all PLANNING. And if I spent all my time planning I’ll never spend any time LIVING. And from the deepest part of my heart I want to live. Who knows if I’ll ever do everything I’ve planned to do; but what I know for sure is I can live this moment to the full.

So do we plan or not? My short answer is YES. Plan. And plan big. Because if you don’t plan big, you won’t “go big.” Set a goal to reach a goal. So spend a few days a year, a few hours a month, and maybe a few minutes a day planning. But then put down your pen and paper, take a deep breath, and start living.