Protecting our life resources while starting a side-gig
Some people seem like they have limitless resources when it comes to life. How do some of those high performers accomplish so much? It’s not a little known Tibetan tea, it’s that they understand their limitations.
That sounds a little cryptic, so let me explain.
Life is made up of three main resources: Time, Money and Energy. All three are non-renewable in the long term course of our life-span, we only have so much in a given life. Eventually at the end, it’s either all spent (time and energy) or of no use to us (money).
In the short term, be it a day or a week, these resources are renewable. Our energy is restored after sleep, our daily time allotment is replenished at 12:01am and we get financially topped up on a regular schedule.
Comparably to other people, how much we get can vary as some people naturally have more time, energy or resources. But regardless of where you are compared to your colleagues, these three resources must be protected at all cost… as eventually the day comes that it will all run out.
When we are young, we have more available time and energy, and we begin to trade in those resources to start earning money. You probably remember how eager you were to work more hours, trading time and energy for a little more money. And you definitely remember when you decided it just wasn’t worth the trade-off anymore, and something had to change.
If you are or have been a parent, you would know how that at times those resources always seem in scarce supply! Perpetual exhaustion, running off schedule, and always playing catch up financially (if you are in that place now, don’t worry, everything gets better.)
How do we know when we’re running low?
Growing up through these hectic times is the great educator in managing our resources, but only if we are receptive to the lessons and understand the value of the resources. When you get close to tapping out on a resource, you don’t get subtle warning signs, it comes at you with one feeling: overwhelm.
Overwhelm is dangerous as you don’t notice it at first. It’s not obvious until you are in the thick of it, you take a breath as you look around at your life and say, “Well, crap.” You are now committed to see the events through, so hold on tight!
Most of us who have been there a few times now know when we’re at the tipping point. We had a lull in our busy lives, or had cash burning a hole in our pockets, and look for something to commit those resources to. Once we’re committed to that new venture, that lull ends, and we have the “uh oh” feeling of looming overwhelm.
How do you prevent it?
The biggest thing that we, as a society needs to do is to get rid of that unconscious need to be “busy” at all times. The perpetual drive of having to be over-committed to everything leads to some unhealthy life consequences.
Being protective of time, energy and money reserves, isn’t a sign of being lazy or just taking it easy. This is being respectful of the natural boundaries that make up our lives and is something that should be understood and celebrated.
There is a time for working hard, but also a time for enjoying what you have accomplished. So take some time to enjoy the nothingness of having completed all the tasks at hand. These are the times you have to experience to remember why we work hard.
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