Align. Getting work done when she can get it done best.

Time and Energy — Aligning What You Do with How You Feel

How much of your daily schedule is out of your control?

Many of us may feel that our time is not really our own, that we have responsibilities that drive what we do on a day-to-day basis. But if we take a closer look, we’ll likely find that we have considerably more control over our schedules than we realize. At first glance, our schedules may be a densely populated mish-mash of work-related appointments (meetings, calls, travels), family commitments (doctor appointments, sports and school events), and, if we can fit them in, personal activities (hobbies, exercise, time with friends). If we prioritize them at all, it may be based on who is yelling the loudest or what the crisis is at the moment. However, it is possible to be intentional about our time, even for (especially for) the busiest of people, and if we are intentional, we may be able to cut back on some of the activities we feel we must do and schedule our activities for when we will be able to perform at our best.

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Escape. Woman in the woods moving toward the sun.

Living a Life from Which We Don’t Need Escape

Do you feel good about your life?

Are you generally excited about your days (or at least something about your days)? Do you feel the activities that make up your days have elements that are meaningful, fulfilling, and fun? When many consider their day-to-day lives, they may think about them as something to get through—something to endure until they can get on with the fun or meaningful part of their lives. Something they have to do until they can escape.

But it’s possible to build a life from which we don’t need to escape—a life that gives us what we need. But it takes some effort, and it requires us to be intentional, open-minded, and creative.

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Blank Slate. From nothing, a new image of a butterfly emerges.

Assume Nothing—The Benefits of a Blank Slate

All of us see and use patterns.

It’s how we get through life. If we didn’t assume people would behave a certain way or that the world wouldfollow physical laws or that our cars would work the same way, we would never get through the day. We would spend all our time experimenting—figuring out how things worked and how they responded to our interaction.

On the other hand, our assumptions about how things work can impede our ability to discover new things. Our need to see patterns can lead to a habit of seeing them where they may not exist. Patterns can be very helpful, but we should avoid assuming a pattern or some other condition if the potential for learning something new or different exists. Things aren’t always as they seem.

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No apologies. Woman being her true self.

No Apologies—Being Serious about Being You

Just be yourself. 

This is advice we may get when we are children. It implies that if you just be yourself, people will see that you’re genuine and will like you. Parents often offer related encouragement, like “You’re a great person” or “You’re really funny.” But the main point is that you should be yourself regardless of your admirable qualities because ultimately, you can’t successfully be anyone you’re not.

When we’re born, we are truly ourselves. There is no purer version of ourselves we can be. When we’re tired, hungry, scared, angry, or happy, there is no filter between those feelings and our identity. When children grow up, they may start to experiment with different identities and personas. They notice the personalities of their friends, siblings, and parents and start to mimic some of their personality traits. As many people continue to grow up, gain confidence, and become comfortable in their own skin, they are able to truly understand themselves and who they are and embrace their identity. 

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Place. Friends enjoying the food and wine deeply rooted in their place.

Home is Where the Heart Is—Our Sense of Place

Where is the place you call home?

When we think of home, we might think of the place we were born or the place we spent our childhood. For some, home might be where their extended family is. When they go to see their family, they’re going home. Some might think of their home in terms of their current life: where their spouse and children live. Some feel at home anywhere—they are able to bring their sense of home with them wherever they go.

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