When you read the title Duty Before Self what do you think? Here is another guy telling me I should live for my job. I should rise and fall for the team. I need to reallocate 25 percent of my personal life in order to be successful and to demonstrate I am fully committed to the company.
If you are thinking those things you are wrong. Duty before self encompasses every aspect of your life; family, home, self and work. You have a duty to all of those areas that must always be understood and respected. Yes there will be a time when those things will be in conflict and that is where your exceptional prioritization skills will be needed. I am not, however, going to attempt to tell you how to prioritize those things.Duty before self in these 5 areas of life:
Significant other – You have to put in the time to nurture this relationship. You have to give them your time, make memories, provide support when needed and be present in the moments you have together. When you want to go to the game with your friends but they want to see The Nutcracker, you go see The Nutcracker.
Family – Be a part of their formative years. Go to their events. Show up at parent-teacher conferences. Turn down the business trip or night out with the friends if they are in the hospital, have a solo in the choir or any other milestone in their life.
Home – Be an equal partner in the household. Help make the decisions. Help with the remodel. When skilled in fixing what is broken, fix it and fix it timely. It is your home too, participate.
Self – You need your downtime. You need to nurture your hobbies. Maintain your knowledge by studying and attending workshops rather than spending every free minute in front of the TV. You have a duty to yourself that no one else will fill.
Work – Don’t live for work. Don’t try to fill a void in your personal life with work activities. Work is important. Showing up and being an active participant is important. Sacrificing your other life areas for work seldom pays a high rate of return.
Build up your bank of deposits with your significant other, family, home, self and work. When you make withdrawals for times when one need is greater than another, you can be fully engaged without the guilt of neglecting the other duties you have.
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