Your Most Valuable Asset

How do you spend your time? Are you intentional about what you choose to do with your time? How are you going to spend the next hour?

Prior to committing to this journey of intentional self growth I would go through the motions of filling the void of time each day; yard work, cleaning the house, watching Netflix, engaging online.

Not that there is anything wrong with these things, it’s just, I wasn’t being mindful, or intentional, about the things that I actually wanted to be doing.

I was so numb to who I was, I didn’t even know what those things were either.

Bringing my attention back to the present moment, being intentional, I want to do things that support my self growth journey, the things that nudge me in the direction of becoming a better version of myself each day.

It’s a daily grind of being mindful. The grind itself is what the journey encompasses, it’s where growth occurs.

Here is a simple process to filling your time with meaning and purpose:

Know what you value

Make a list of all the things you want to do, think and feel; your aspirational values.

Write down the relationships you cherish most, the core desired feelings you want to feel, the dreams that keep you up at night, the things that make you tick.

Now make a list of what is actually occupying your time; your practiced values.

What did you do yesterday, the past week? Reflect on the things you did, the people you saw, the projects you worked on, the hobbies or interests you pursued, the feelings or thoughts that transpired.

The space between your aspirational values and practiced values is what Brene Brown refers to as the value gap, or the disengagement divide.

The further the two drift apart the further we are from our true selves, or a future self we aspire to become.

Eliminate

Put forth the effort and perseverance of minding the gap. It’s the daily grind of traveling this journey. Ensure that what you aspire to be and feel is being supported by what you are actually doing with your time.

Pay attention to this space and the distance between the two. Mind the gap by saying no to the things that don’t align with your aspirtaional values.

Saying no is difficult, it’s a constant struggle for me and something that I work on daily.

The moment you begin to work up the courage and say no is the moment you feel a sense of relief.

It creates a space to pursue the things you want to pursue. Which then creates a domino effect providing deeper connections with your surroundings you have aspired to be surrounded by.

Prioritize

The things we value, the people we cherish and the feelings we aspire to feel is time consuming.

Prioritize how you will carry out these actions and fulfill your core desires you’ve kept locked up for so long. It’s a trial and error process. You can’t do everything everyday.

Reflect on the things that need to become daily habits that will support your journey of self growth. Find pockets of time to implement those throughout your day.

Try waking up an hour early, utilize your lunch hour or stay up later at night.

As we have chosen and committed to a journey of intentional self growth we need these pockets of time to take care of ourselves first in order to pursue our aspirational values wholeheartedly.

When you choose to take care of yourself first, your surroundings, your values, your relationships, your meaning, your purpose all become enhanced.

Your value gap tightens. Your practiced values become your aspirational values.

Your time is your most valuable asset. It’s your choice in how you spend it. Choose to take care of yourself first so you can give your best self to others.

Have you ever paused to reflect on how you are actually spending your time? Did you like what you saw?

Share in the comments below or send me an email here and let’s discuss privately.

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About Eric Ungs

Eric Ungs writes about a journey of intentional self growth, nudging you to let go; to give yourself permission to be vulnerable and honest with yourself so you can give your best self to others. Author of 10 Incredible Ways to Live a Fulfilling and Joyful Life ebook.

4 Comments

  1. cjdeboer

    Great post Eric and some really useful tips. I agree that saying no is a huge one. That Brene Brown really know what she’s talking about huh?! Another person I love listening to via podcasts is Michael Hyatt – he has some awesome time management tips.

    1. Hey Claire… I love Brene Brown! I reference Daring Greatly ALL the time. I will have to give Michael’s podcast a shot. I read his blog posts, which are really good. Thanks for the comment Claire! 🙂

  2. longandluxe

    Eric, hello, hello,
    What a spot on post! I too adore and respect Brene Brown fiercly. Her work has impacted my life in such profound ways, and continues to do so. It was only when I allowed myself to become vulnerable with myself – stop the covering up, stop the stuffing of feelings, stop the games in my mind, stop wrestling my ego – that I finally was able to begin to learn what I truly value.
    There is such a huge difference between digging into yourself and defining your own values versus internalizing what others put upon you and trying to live up to their judgements and fears.
    I am thrilled that more of us are on the journey to knowing who we truly are in a way that respects ourselves and each other.
    Peace, my friend, and thanks for your inspiring words.
    Allison

    1. Hey Allison… I was just thinking about this this morning, how the connectivity of the web can actually bring out our true selves. It allows us to connect with the people who think like us, who are authentic and pursue their own values without the pressures of others. What’s important, however, is that connectivity, the way we feel when we connect online through our true selves carries over to the real world offline. But I agree with you wholeheartedly, the more we connect the more of us come together and travel this journey together. We are connected species by nature.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, as always. The best is yet to come.

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