I was meeting with someone the other day to help them understand who they are behaviorally. A lot of what I do is helping people with their journey in life and work and how their particular behavioral style works for them (the good news) and how it doesn’t (the bad news).
Coffee shops and bookstores with coffee shops are a great venue to deliver such news. For no other reason, both options provide a great opportunity to people-watch while waiting for the other person to arrive. The other fun thing about these public places is how often those around us appear to be so engaged with our conversations about how and why we live, work and communicate that they cannot help but eavesdrop.
During meetings with people I ask a lot of questions.
“How has your style become a barrier at work?”
“When was the time your style really worked for you?”
“How do others perceive you?”
During this particular meeting as we sipped lattes in that bookstore, another question came to mind. Well, a lot of questions always do during meeting like this, but one kept bubbling up inside my head and I couldn’t shake it. As I listened and heard more and more about how busy life for this person can be, I had to ask it.
“When was the last time you had a few moments for yourself?”
“What do you mean?”
“When have you ever stopped scheduling things for everyone else, and just went to a bookstore like this and just walked around?”
How often do you have a few moments for yourself? If you are like most of the people I talk to…not very often. Life is full of our work and managing our lives. At the end of the day, you can lose yourself and the things you would like to do. Maybe I think about this more because I am now half way through this life. Between a pretty demanding job, a family, and a lawn that always seems to need mowing, time can just simply slip away.
It is ironic that someone will schedule time with me at one of these places, even if they won’t schedule time for themselves…at the same places. It is tragic how many times everything else dominates our schedules leaving no time for us.
As our bookstore meeting was winding down, I couldn’t help myself. I had to return to the matter at hand.
“So, we are already in a bookstore. I am leaving. You could take the next hour or so for yourself and just wander around.”
And they did. I got an email a few days later describing how wonderful it was. Life can be busy, especially when your job and situation requires you to constantly serve and coordinate everyone else. What does your schedule look like? Does your name appear on it?
Take a few moments for yourself. Put YOU on your schedule.
You are worth it.