What a busy last few days! Supported two online hackathon events in the last two weeks, several calls from different organizations for various purposes, and all these while having a day job… and of course playing the daddy/hubby role to my small young family.
One important question that I regularly answer to myself: Why do I do this?
Of course there are other things I need to answer regularly (in my weekly review) on the details of organizing my life… but it always comes back to this question, being so crucial to my not burning out.
The art of resting the mind and the power of dismissing from it all care and worry is probably one of the secrets of our great men.”
- Capt. J.A. Hatfield
If I approach this life without a system (a way of processing and organizing things) that takes into account my motivations, I find that it is easy to lose track of things I truly value.
Motivations easily get messed up.
Being grounded on these “things I truly value”, easily referred to as my “values”, will make sure I don’t spend energy on things that does not address the real important things for me in my life… that I don’t worry about non-essential things.
As an example, “family” is one of the things I list under my “values”. If I don’t explicitly tell myself that my family is a motivation for my job, I may easily take them for granted and forget that a huge reason (but not the only reason) for me to work my job is because I want to care for them.
Another example, “excellence” is also one thing that I value. This means that being able to provide for my family is not enough. I also care that the things I work on have a certain level of excellence.
Though I have to say that excellence is not to be confused with perfection, as in my experience perfection in this world is a futile pursuit… but maybe that’s for another blog.
But why do I talk about “values” when we should be answering the question Why?
Because that’s why. The reason for anything I do is that it perfectly falls under a larger category that I value.
If not, then it’s easy say no to… and dismiss or set aside in my mind.
I want to make sure that everything in my life is aligned and falls under my “values”… and that the system on how I work should take this into account.
Before anything else, in my humble opinion, a person must have the “self-awareness” first to know his- or herself to make sure the Why… the motivations… won’t get confused along the way.
So, what are things that you truly value? You may find that answering this will clarify many things and help you in the way you work and live.