Yesterday, I posted 10 Ways to Find Time for Inspiration. This post expands on way #4: Know When to Say “No.”
Though service to others is one of the most inspiring ways to spend your time, this does not mean being at others’ beckon call. If you are asked to do something that does not resonate with you and your purpose, say “No.” Your time is your life. It is the most valuable thing you have.
Your Time is Your Life
Time really is the most valuable thing that you have. When Benjamin Franklin said, “Time is money,” he was not talking about using time wisely to acquire money as it is usually interpreted. Instead, he was literally saying that time is the ultimate currency. It has value like nothing else in life.
The most important thing we can do to assure that we do not allow ourselves to be overloaded with every task that comes before us is to value our own time. The most common reason we fail to value our own time is a lack of self-respect.
If time is the most valuable thing you have and you squander it thoughtlessly, you must not think very highly of yourself. But, you are a creation of God, and therefore, a part of God. You are living this life to fulfill a purpose, otherwise God would not have put you here. Learn to love and respect yourself as a creation of God and respect your time as a gift from God.
If mistakes or misdeeds of the past are making self-respect difficult for you, see Forgive Yourself and Find True Inspiration.
Service is Inspiring
When we take the time for personal development and spiritual growth, we have something to offer others. Nothing is more inspiring than being able to inspire others. This is possible when we do not allow the sometimes trivial requests of others to overwhelm and lead to burn out. If we do not take time to fulfill our own needs, spiritual and physical, we will have nothing to offer anyone else.
If your desire to serve others has you overloaded with tasks of service, you may find your service ineffectual. Remember that taking time for yourself will increase what you have to offer others. Simply through learning and growing and become a better person, your are making the world a better place for anyone who your life touches.
Make Conscious Choices – A Personal Perspective
Indecision is costly. I used to be the type of person who would spend 1/2 hour looking at a restaurant menu before deciding what I wanted to eat. Because I had no sense of priorities, this decision was just as important to me as my career choices. At one time, if a friend asked me to meet with a date he had stood up and drive her home because he didn’t want to face her, I would drop what I was doing and run to it. If I was asked to take on a volunteer position, I did without a thought.
I have since developed a sense of my values and priorities. By knowing what my priorities are and making conscious choices about my life’s purpose and how I want to live, choices about what to eat or whether or not to take on a particular task becomes much simpler. Consequently, I waste much less time, and my friendships are based on love and respect. Most choices, no matter how big, come down to one question. How does this fit my priorities and purpose?
Daily Action – Question Your Tasks
Take a look at the tasks you have set for yourself today and ask yourself, “How does this fit my priorities and purpose?” If the answer is that it does not, find a way to eliminate that task from you life.