Whether you’re into Eastern religions or not, something most of us would agree on is the need of finding balance between work, family fun, etc., in our lives. It’s all too easy to let goof the things that mean the most to us and focus instead on the things that “need” doing. Often this is referred to as ignoring the important in favor of the urgent. The cure is both simple and yet difficult.
In order to break the control of the urgent, you have to set aside time, preferably an hour or so, with a pencil and paper. Spend a few minutes just sitting still. You want your mind to be reasonably quiet and focus when you begin. Once your mind is quiet, take your paper and pencil and start jotting d own the things that are important to you. How important is work? What about your family? Learning new things? Reading a book? This is your list; no one else will ever see it. Let go of the guilt of what you think should be important to you, and work out your own priorities in your mind and on paper.
Next, write out the cost of pursuing a few of the things you consider truly important. Would spending more time with your family instead of staying late at the office cost you that promotion you’ve been hoping for? Would taking a couple of classes at your local college cost you the new car you’ve been thinking about? Some of your goals will affect your family if pursued; weigh how important the goal is in comparison to the cost, and, if you think it’s worth it, make a note to discuss it with your significant other once you finish your quiet session.
Be sure to jot down why this goal is important to you, what you would have to give up to achieve it, and why you think it’s worth it. Just writing it out will clarify the ideas in your mind, but having the paper in your hand will make it easier to express yourself to your other half. Telling your wife that you want to take college classes instead of getting a new car might not go over too well (telling her that you’re going to take college classes instead of getting the new car is a sure recipe for argument, resentment, and general disaster). But explaining why this is important to you and inviting discussing on what it will cost means sharing your goals and your desires, and involving her (or him) in them. Invite them to share their goals with you, and see how you can help them achieve them.