Inside of an assignment to “pay attention to what I am paying attention to,” I noticed I am often run by an internal conversation about scarcity.
This showed up when my coach broached the subject of virtual assistants, his point being that if I can do work I love that pays well, why would I do work I like less that someone else would do for a fraction of my own rates.
My first reaction was that I like taking care of my kids, but then I noticed that I easily spend an hour attached to the kitchen every day. If I spent those six hours coaching people, I could afford to have someone do all my cooking for me. Heck if I re-tasked the hours I spend waiting on lines, chasing sales, getting a better price, agonizing over whether I can afford the next tool or program, I could afford a live-in, a newer car, and I'd have more time for the family as well.
And as I look wider, this is a pretty big theme in my life. I've lost count of the opportunities I've passed over because there wasn't the time or the money (I've never been that poor). I hoard stuff because you never know when you might need it. I rescue abandoned books, I return deposit bottles. I even used to water my garden with bath water. Now I don't water it at all since the kids don't take baths anymore.
This isn't to say there isn't something to be said for “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” but I seem to take it to absurd lengths. There is always an opportunity cost, but I am thrown to dismiss that (that's the internal dialogue), probably because I don't place the appropriate value on the moments in my life.
The result of all this is that my history is full of moments that could have been but for a yes that never came. I've seen two posts this week on the topic. Ramit Sethi has embraced taking on a Quest. James Altucher has asked if we are getting enough high stakes moments.
These can only come when I say yes, especially when that scares me, when I put myself at risk, and allow myself to be less than perfect, when I admit that I am human and that my “failures” are how I learn, not who I am (and I've spent altogether too much time here).
And when I say yes to myself, I must sometimes say no to someone else. When I don't value my moments, I forget to say no. I give them away in ways that don't carry me where I want to go. And that's a shame, because those are the moments in which I can take my castles in the air and plant them on the ground.
And last, thank you. It's Veterans Day and Thanksgiving is around the corner. For all who stood to protect us and give us the world we live in, Thank You. For the providence that brought us here, Thank You. And for this moment and those still before me, Thank You.
And for those who could use a little help saying yes, or no, or thank you, I invite you to start today. Contact me, and we'll see what we can do about planting your castles.