Issue 9 September 2006
Sanity Saver #11: Balance Being and Doing
Remember when your mother or father said, “If something’s
worth doing, it’s worth doing well”? Well it’s
not quite that black and white, especially not today. There are
very few things worth doing well and there are an endless number
of things not worth doing at all. But in between are numerous
everyday things that need to be done--but not done perfectly.
In fact these tasks invite shortcuts and simplifying.
Let me tell you a secret, “If a thing is barely worth doing,
just barely do it.” Write that on the dust on your bookshelf.
To determine if something is worth the effort to be done well,
ask yourself three questions: “Will it matter in five years?”
“Do I need it?” “Can I simplify it?”
By using these three questions, you’ll develop new skills:
the skills of discretionary neglect, selective prioritization--and
of discerning those things worth doing well, those things barely
worth doing and those things not worth doing at all.
Take a few minutes and think about all the things in your life
that you consider crucial and ask yourself these three questions
in relation to each one. I think you’ll be surprised to
discover that you can adjust the amount of time and energy you
devote to many of these tasks.
The result of continuing to do, do, do is that we become more
like robots than human beings and we lose touch with our humanity.
You know the phrase, “Don’t just stand there, do
something?” I’m suggesting that, in many cases, you
don’t do anything but simply stand there and begin to discern
what you need to do and what you don’t need to do at all.
As you adopt this attitude you will create more time to feed your
deeper needs and longings.
Making Time to Feed My Soul
Remember, keep it simple, but be sure that you do something that
allows you to quiet your mind and turn your attention inward.
We have become so expert at supporting other people that without
a space of our own, it’s often difficult for us to connect
with our Wise Self.
While not everyone can have a room of her own, we can create
a sacred space, whether it’s a windowsill, a corner or an
area in your garden. The location isn’t that important.
What is essential is that you make a space that’s just for
you and you alone. Stake a claim, the way pioneer women did in
the Wild West. We each need a piece of real estate we can call
our own. When you carve out a space for yourself it’s a
declaration of your own worth and the value you place on your
For more information on 30 Days to Sanity please visit www.30daystosanity.com.