Following the Golden State NBA win, Kevin Durant’s mom was a guest on Good Morning America. As I was getting ready for the day, I heard the host, Robin Roberts, say, “She put so much of her life on hold to raise her two sons.” I’m sure there are ways to argue this to be true, but hearing what Wanda Durant shared prompted my thoughts in a different direction.
Referring to her son’s 2014 MVP award ceremony (it's worth watching) Wanda said, "I felt fulfilled as a mom. When he gave the speech and he talked about me... I felt like he got it, he understood why I was the type of mother that I was… at that moment I felt like I was fulfilled as a parent because it was like all that hard work really paid off."
Does that sounds like a life “put on hold” or, like a life lived with intentionality, purpose, and fulfillment? I work with people at all stages of life—young moms overwhelmed with managing a household and career, retirees who realize that “waiting for retirement to get organized” probably wasn’t the best plan, and everyone in between.
A common thread is a desire to make the most of the current stage they’re in, to simplify and purge things, so that more attention can be focused on relationships and what matters most to them. Wanda Durant was clear in her understanding of what her life was about and she embraced it— making sacrifices yes, but choosing to build into those she loved most dearly, her two sons.
There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to living a life with intentionality, purpose, and fulfillment, but here are some Timely Tips to help you live like the mom of an MVP.
Timely Tips - for purposeful living
- Identify what’s most important to you. No one else can do that for you (even though they’ll try). It may not be the thing(s) you’re currently investing in. I’ve never heard of someone on their deathbed saying, “I wish I had spent more time shopping online, or watching Netflix." It’s easy to slip into a comfortable routine that leaves no time for things that truly give us purpose and meaning in life.
- Think short and long term. Reframe the “putting your life on hold” perspective by identifying current and long term goals that align with your values. Weigh the costs and embrace the sacrifices that come with those commitments. Commit to “living” your current life with purpose. You may not have the pay-off of a famous, wealthy son in the NBA like Wanda has, but you will experience a sense of fulfillment.
- Make the most of your strengths. What do you do well that will enhance your values and goals? My husband is a natural coach. From teaching our kids how to walk and talk, to coaching their softball teams, he used his skills in his role as a dad. How can the strengths and skills you have help you fulfill your current goals?
- Reject “all or nothing” thinking. My oldest daughter did lots of musical drama during her high school and college years. Now with three kids (two three-year-olds and a one-year-old) she can’t commit to a Roger Rocka’s rehearsal/performance schedule, but she recently participated in the Clovis Community Choir patriotic concert. She found an outlet for her passion that fits her current life-style. All or nothing thinking sometimes stops Seniors from purposeful activities, too. Maybe you can no longer work a 40-hour week, but there are many part-time jobs and volunteer opportunities out there.
- Create an environment conducive to your goals. You knew I’d get to this, didn’t you? Is your home supporting the values you’ve established? Are you wanting to focus more on relationships, but feel too embarrassed to invite people in? Do you have a place to work on your projects and goals? Is your home serving as a respite for your family or does your stress level rise as you enter the door? Sometimes, just like we need to create space in our calendars, we need to create space in our homes for what’s current and important. Lives of meaning and purpose don’t need a “model home” environment, but they need a supportive place to restore and energize you as you achieve your goals.
If this struck a chord, but you’re not sure where to start, or afraid you won’t follow through, I offer Close-The-Gap Phone Coaching in addition to my hands-on organizing. Through coaching I help people foster awareness around their values and motivation, create and engage in action plans, and learn through the process of challenges and completion. Feel free to contact me.
Good intentions will never take you anywhere you want to go. Only intentional living will. -John C. Maxwell