Happy Monday! My name is Sheila and I'm one of the creatives on the SayLaaVie team.
Today I want to encourage you about diligence. For those of you unfamiliar with the word, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines diligent as: characterized by steady, earnest and energetic effort. The first time I really payed attention to this word was when someone used it to described me. Since then, it is the word I try to exemplify as I take on the day-whether it is at work, my internship, school, projects and even in my relationships.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary also shares the origin of the word diligent. It entered English in the 14th century by way of Anglo-French, and descends from the Latin verb diligere, meaning "to value or esteem highly" or "to love".
When I read this, it really resonated with me because I am a firm believer in "doing what you are passionate about, doing what you love and never sacrificing what you value to do it ." Now this could be applied to most aspects of your life. When it comes to work, how much easier is it when you LOVE what you are doing and are truly passionate about it?! When we work for a company (or even profession) that doesn't share our values or work for a job that we only took because it pays well, it is likely that over time we will experience burn-out pretty quickly.
Recently, I found myself lacking diligence in several areas of my life and it forced me to take a step back and ask myself, "Why do I feel so drained?" "Why am I not as motivated to put in effort?" and "What is the factor that caused this shift?" I quickly realized that my life had been so unbalanced that it threw off my well-being. I was tired, unmotivated and unhappy because I wasn't catering to the needs in different areas of my life.
Here are some ways I now try to maintain balance in my life to prevent me from breaking down-or lose my diligence that I value so greatly:
- Self-care is "Major Key": Identify the things in your life that relax you, inspire you, and bring you comfort. Try to find things that don't have to do with what you do at work or that is part of your daily routine. For me, I really enjoy picking up my camera and exploring Chicago, taking a bath after a long day or catching the sunrise. Also, try something new! Seeing new places and learning new skills can be inspiring and motivating-giving us the energy boost we need to keep going throughout the week.
- Ask yourself daily, "where/what am I putting my energy into?": This is something I am constantly working on trying to improve. What are you putting your energy into? Negative thoughts? Anxiety? Anger? Unhealthy friendships or relationships? A job you're unhappy at?
If you find you're putting your energy into something or someone that isn't reciprocating that energy back into you, then it's most likely draining your energy. Focus on things that will fuel you-find the positive in every situation, don't focus on what you can't control but rather what you can change in your situation. And don't pour so much of yourself into a relationship that isn't pouring into you. Try starting a gratitude journal (where you write down three positive things about your day at the end of each day) or identifying one or two supportive people in your life that you can always rely on. These small changes can go a long way in adjusting what feeds (or drains) your energy.
- Spiritual Growth: Whatever your spirituality is or whatever you believe in, I truly think it is important to constantly be growing in this area. Many associate spirituality with a specific religion, but it is also the sense of connection for something bigger than ourselves or a search for meaning in life. It shapes our values, character, how we treat others and our decision making. The more we learn about our spirituality, the more we learn about ourselves. For me, I try to pray and read my bible daily. Praying is like meditating (in my case I also believe I'm creating a line for God to hear me) and this allows me to slow my thoughts down and provide a space for self-reflection and revelations. My spirituality is constantly challenging me to grow and never remain complacent. Find what brings meaning to you and focus on how it can bring personal, intimate growth into your life.
These are just a few ways I try to maintain balance in my life. What brings you balance? Feel free to comment and share with our team! May this day and every day increase your diligence, fill you with joy, and bring you success!