My friend and mentor, Jane Pollak, wrote this in her book, Soul Proprietor: “Truly understanding your core values will make some choices easier to refuse.” This has become a guiding principle for me. Whenever I have a choice to make, I try to weigh what’s really important against all the “shoulda-woulda-coulda” thoughts that go through my head. Believe me, I don’t always remember to check in with myself… and I don’t always succeed. But when I do align my choices with my values, I feel it in my “b-ing.” It feels authentic.
This quote came in handy a couple of times this week. One situation involved a business decision. A year ago, I would have jumped on this opportunity. Today, I realized that my dream is here with Wouldn’t It B Nice? While still attractive, I said, “No thanks.” You know what happened? The person is open to other possibilities for working together.
The second situation involved my kids. Both of them had lots of homework tonight, but Thursdays are filled with choir practice for Ben and football for Jack… so they were both exhausted before even cracking a book. Me? Well, I have been carrying around a project I said I’d do for a friend for weeks. I thought tonight would be the night to really get into it. But when I sat in front of my computer, Jane’s quote, which is framed on my desk, was staring at me, reminding me to be present to what’s most important right now.
So, I read two chapters aloud to Ben so he could relax his eyes and just listen; then I turned to Jack who was trying to make sense of his science homework. With my exercise ball and a chair tilted on an angle to make a ramp, I made a simple machine, demonstrating decreased force x increased distance = easier work. A great reminder for me — not just because I finally understand everything I have forgotten from sixth grade science. Because it reinforces my understanding that with a little effort shared by many over great distances, we’ll make the work of positive change easier.