You are born into your family, and your family is born into you. No returns. No exchanges. – Elizabeth Berg
I’m sure at some point you may have been asked, “If you had it to do all over again, what would you do differently?” I routinely assess my past and examine how I should live better, moving forward. Questions like what you want in life, what are you willing to give up to get there, and, at what cost? Ask yourself thought-provoking questions since all our decisions have consequences.
I have made some serious adjustments over the years; some adjustments were proactive with insightful thinking, others in hindsight with the sting of regret. We must make choices, difficult ones, to grow our businesses and ourselves. The foundation of our business growth is our personal growth; the foundation of our personal growth comes from the proper stewardship of our family relationships and responsibilities.
How Do You Spell Success?
It’s the early 1990’s several of us are sitting around the table in the Firehouse kitchen in Brooklyn, NY, listening to an officer tell us how he achieved the rank of Battalion Chief in relatively few years. He studied continuously, passing a Lieutenants exam, Captain’s exam, and Battalion Chief exam. The timing was also a factor when the scheduled exams were open for filing.
He’s motivated, well-spoken, and still enthusiastic about his career. One of us asks him that question, “if you had it to do over again…” The Chief replies, “I would never do it the way I did it.” We asked why not? He replies, “I have a teenage son I hardly know,” we can see the regret written all over his face. He understands the price of his achievement was paid with the family memories he never made.
Successful Scheduling Begins at Home
“Family should always be our first order of business.” – JSP
As we assess our businesses’ health and our performance for this year and begin to chart a course for next year, let’s take time to evaluate the current health of our family relationships and chart the course for our family moving forward. Judging success by abilities and performance at work is not an accurate indicator unless they’re the same at home. The health of our family relationships dictates the health of our work relationships.
Setting priorities scheduling activities, and managing our time are some of the basics to successful living. Real success comes when family time becomes the priority and are the first entries in our calendars. Scheduling family activities and managing our time at home are the basics of successful family living. The Battalion Chief understood that mistake in prioritizing career ahead of family and began making the necessary adjustments, better late than never.
If you want to live a genuinely successful life, ask yourself if your priorities regularly interfere with your family relationships and responsibilities? Is your schedule helping you meet your family’s needs or neglect them?
Dr. Susan Biali Haas notes, “As a physician and as a coach, I work closely with a wide variety of people and continually strive to help people prioritize their relationships in the face of a relentless onslaught of ever-increasing work demands and other seemingly endless distractions.
When you get to the end of your life, you won’t wish you spent more time online or working. You’ll wish you’d had more time with the people you love. You’ll wish you spent more time cultivating strong, meaningful relationships and making memories that live on after you’re gone.”
Decide to Make Room for Family
In the 1994 movie “Shawshank Redemption,” a discussion takes place between two inmates. One is planning his escape while the other is marking time until he finishes his sentence. The one planning his getaway stresses the necessity of having plans, and he says, “Get busy living or get busy dying.” In essence, your future is what you make it. What’s living and what’s dying in your life?
We know our organizations thrive on healthy relationships and well thought out plans; why would we believe our families can thrive on anything less? If the pandemic of 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that family matters most.
If we want to experience life in its fullness, we must be healthy at home and work. Life begins at home, and the kind of stewardship we practice should be the same in every life area.
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” – Mother Teresa