Monday, April 13, 2009
I'm smack dab in the middle of a great book. Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley. This book is really making me look at the way I spend my time. You see, the book is based on the principle that all of us cheat. We have to. There are not enough hours in the day or enough energy drinks in the world to allow us to give all that our work needs, as well as all that our families need. So, we cheat. We cheat one out of that time and focus to complete the other. Most of us end up cheating our families to give more to our employers. I know I have.
Many times I've come home physically exhausted or mentally drained and give a sighing "not today" to my girls when they come and excitedly ask me to bounce them high on the trampoline, to do a puzzle with them, or their favorite - to have fight night where we wrestle and my girls rain down elbows, Thai kicks, and elbows to my sore body. My wife has also shared her heart in a spirit of love, not complaining, about wishing I could "turn off" my work when the day is done. She worries about my stressing over things left undone or sleepless nights spent improving job related strategies for a client.
I think the first step changing this scenario is this. Think of your kids getting ready for school this morning. What things were done or said that got their day off on the right foot? Did you make memories with them this morning? Now, think of your spouse and the conversation you had before going your separate ways today. What things are they doing today? Do they know without a doubt that you value them more than the accolades or rewards you will receive from your work today?
Now for step two. If the first step struck you, it's time to make a decision today. Right now you need to decide if tomorrow will resemble this morning. Will your spouse feel that he/she is taking a back seat to the "attaboys" or promotion possibilities? If not, I need you to take the rest of today and notice the times your family is made to feel inferior. See the wind fall out of your daughter's sails when you tell her you don't have time to do a puzzle with her. Let it make you mad. Absolutely become furious and vow to do something about it.
Coming up this week, I'd like to share about someone I've found who is doing it right and some things for employers to remember and where they fall into this scenario.
What are the ways you've seen yourself cheating your family for your career? What have you done about it?