If you had asked me about priorities a few years back, I would have had a whole lot to say about my career. But I had it all wrong.
At the time, I was working 50-hour weeks and putting 110 percent into my job.
I wanted that promotion. I wanted that new car.
I wanted my kids to have all the best toys and to go to the most exclusive private school.
This was my way of taking care of them. But I had it all wrong…
Can you guess what I had left for my family after giving so much of myself at work? That’s right. Negative 10 percent.
My kids were growing up, and I felt like I barely knew them. I couldn’t name their favorite shows or their best friends. I loved them with all my heart, but even though we were living in the same house, I felt like we were worlds apart.
And then it happened. I got laid off from work.
I had given my all to my job, and what did I have at the end?
It was at that moment that I realized how messed up my priorities had been.
When I shifted my focus, some amazing things happened. Here are some of the reasons why choosing to focus on my loved ones is now the most important thing in the world to me.
I get amazing ROI
When it comes to family time, you truly get out what you put in. You may even get more. The time you invest in your family now creates memories and bonds that will last a lifetime.
It wasn’t long after I started investing more time that I saw the results.
My kids started coming to me with homework questions and hugs. You’ll get a better return from investing your time in relationships than you’d ever get at work – or anywhere else for that matter.
Start giving more focus to your loved ones. It pays huge dividends.
I’m paid with love
In your final moments on this earth, what will you cherish?
No matter how much material things mattered to you before, it won’t be money. In a few moments, money will be meaningless to you.
But do you know what still matters? Love. Focus on my loved ones opened new worlds for me.
Love will help you through dark times and lift you up higher when you’re feeling great. It may sound cliché, but love is the answer to everything. The question doesn’t really matter.
I began to focus on my loved ones, my family, and now my heart is constantly filled with love.
My family is better off
I’ve had some dark moments in the past where I thought my family might be better off without me.
I was spending so much time at work and it seemed like they didn’t even really like me that much. My confidence and self-worth was completely tied to work, and I thought my time was better spent there.
I had little to nothing left over to be able to focus on my loved ones.
If you asked my family at the time, they might have even thought they were better off without me.
I was failing pretty hard. But we were all wrong. As it turns out, my family needed me as much as I needed them.
They just needed me to be present and take an active role in their lives.
We started having family dinners and talking more about everything.
We’d talk about school, work and life in general. I was able to help them with problems by providing the unique perspective that only I have.
If you’re ever feeling like your family is better off without you, know that you’re wrong.
You are the only you there is, and you’re exactly what they need.
I get to shape who my kids become
Parenting is pretty cool. Sure, there’s no manual and you always feel like you’re doing it wrong, but you get to play a role in shaping another human’s life… and that’s amazing.
We all want our kids to be better versions of ourselves, and the only way to accomplish this is by investing time in them.
When I began to focus more on my family, I noticed that things were going more smoothly. I was able to instill values that were important to me and my kids were growing into well-adjusted adults.
I get to weigh in on important moral issues and have the tough conversations that are so important for their growth.
I can stay grounded as I focus on my Loved Ones
I like to say that I’m a recovering workaholic.
As such, I still have moments when I feel the urge to dive fully into a work project that will take me away from my family. But I have to remind myself that it’s a choice.
In those moments, I remind myself of what’s important.
We only have 24 hours in any given day. If I choose to spend time on something else, it’s taking time away from my family.
This is time that I’ll never get back. And it’s not just work that threatens my family time. It’s everything.
Time is such a precious commodity and it reminds me that most things in this life are nothing more than distractions.
That’s not to say that I only spend time with my family or never take on an important work project, but it’s more of a decision now.
Now, I spend time thinking about what I have to sacrifice when I choose something else over my family.
I feel fulfilled
Have you ever had one of those moments when you’re just happy?
I have them all the time now. It’s important to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.
When you’re having a happy moment, hit the pause button and appreciate it for what it is.
Not every moment in life will be this way, so it helps to appreciate the moments where you’re feeling fulfilled and completely connected with your family.
I have these moments often when I’m in the pool with my toddler.
It’s one of her favorite things and she just laughs and squeals the whole time. It’s amazing. In moments like these, I try to take a mental snapshot of what it looks and feels like. This is what life is all about.
Wherever you are in life, regardless of what you’ve done or will do, take time to love and cherish your family.
Trust me, you’ll get back way more than what you put in.