Last weekend I drove down to Cleveland for a professional development day at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management. If that all sounds rather fancy, good - it was meant to. Case is my alma mater and I’m very proud of both my school and the education I received there. I always leave Case inspired to do better by myself and this world.
This weekend was no exception. There was much talk about the research and advancements in the field of organizational development that continue to showcase how we can do great things when we focus on investing in strengths, being mindful and embracing our humanness. I was at the school less than 30 minutes before I was overcome with tears of joy and hope.
The most important lesson of the weekend, however, didn’t come at the school - it came from the mouth of my wise, wise friend, Martha, whom I was staying with. For those that have visited the SheHive in the past and remember Martha, the red, velvet couch - this is the Martha that inspired her naming.
Towards the end of the weekend I was lamenting to Martha that I didn’t talk to very many of the Wolf Pack - a group of seven of us from grad school - besides her. Martha has, somehow, managed to stay in touch with all of us. “You know why?” she asked me. “Because I make a point to stay in touch. I call them.”
Ohhhhh. Point taken.
I consult three days each week right now in an environment that it less than ideal. I work with too many people that are surprisingly comfortable with voicing their contempt for both me and my work without any concern for my well-being. More often than not, on the days I am on site with the client, I come home drained and completely check out. Driving to the client site this week it dawned on me how much time and energy these people - who don’t like me and don’t respect the work I do - are getting from me and how little is left for those that show true care for me.
I decided to take Martha’s wise words to heart and flip the script. Friendships and relationships - and everything else good in life - aren’t sustained by happenstance. These things grow when we choose to grow them.
So I spent my drive making phone calls to those I wanted to invest my precious energy in - my family, a few friends, a former co-worker, a few of the KeyHolders. No one was answering the phone so early in the morning, but it felt good to even just leave voicemails to let them know I was thinking of them. I continued the pattern on the drive home. It still wasn’t an ideal day, but it was a better day than the day before simply because I choose to redirect at least a portion of my precious energy - my life force. I was reminded how many people there are in my life that value me and how much love surrounds me.
Where are you choosing to direct your life force these days? Do you give it all away to people who haven’t earned the right to get it? I sure have been.
What can you do to redirect some of that precious life back to those you want to invest in? Inspire and lift up your Hive by sharing your suggestions below.
With much love and gratitude,