A Reality Check on my New Year Intention

January is coming to an end and I’m feeling good about the fact that I’ve been acting on my new year intention to read more in 2018. My stated goal is to read 25 books this year, and I started #3 today. That said, I’ve noticed that focusing on the reading intention has meant that I’ve had less time, or at least made less time, for an earlier intention – writing.

I began writing on a regular basis, every two weeks, in 2016 and until recently had been quite disciplined about it. Now, however, that habit has started to slip. So what’s going on?

The part of me which often rears its ugly head telling me I’m not good enough is getting excited and whispering in my ear, “See, you’re a loser – you can’t really accomplish everything you want and you never will, blah, blah, blah…”. But I chose to ignore this annoying voice (one I have to train to keep in check) and instead today asked myself “What’s in the way of me doing what I want?”

When I look at how I structure my days and what I feel is the “right” way to go about things, I can see that my problem stems from the fact that I have, in my mind, allocated only x amount of time to activities like reading, writing and exercise – activities which don’t lead to income generation. I’ve got a fixed belief that I need to spend the majority of my time on income-generating tasks and activities. The other time I view as kind of a bonus, reward or allowed distraction, versus something which is core and necessary to me being me. In short, my default setting is that income generation is a priority, and anything else is allowable, but it must be to a lesser degree.

There is of course the reality that I do in fact need to generate income (as most of us do) in order to live, support my family and to enjoy the lifestyle I live. But if I’m really honest with myself, my priorities are out of whack and need adjusting.

Anyone who knows my story will know that my deepest, darkest fear is that of financial failure. My Dad went through a soul-destroying financial loss when I was six years old and that has colored my outlook on life ever since. The result is that I have a natural tendency to prioritize making money, or any activity which I feel is directly related to making money – at the expense of me being me.

Related to this is over the years my kids have accused me many times of being “cheap”. The root cause of this is of course the same. However, when it comes to spending TIME (vs money) on what I want to be doing and prioritizing what it is I want in the depth of my soul, my kids aren’t able to notice me being cheap. The fact is though that so far this year I’ve been cheap with the time that I allow myself to spend on non incoming-generating activities.

So as we move into February, I’m now armed with the knowledge that I must choose to consciously spend more time being me (i.e., reading as well as writing) and less time chasing income to quell the unquenchable fear of financial failure.

I’m grateful that I have managed to notice this and I will change my daily routine so that I can in fact keep writing and also act on my new year’s intention of reading more.

Consider what’s holding you back on your intentions this year. Join me in 2018 in BEING more. Please share your thoughts and feeling about how you’re doing being so far this year.

Chris Saye
[email protected]

Chris is a family office executive, coach and writer. He is a former partner with both Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young, and currently manages MarcWhittaker, a network of family office advisors in Singapore. He is a fluent Russian-speaker, having spent 15 years living and working in Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Chris has been married to his wife Galina for over 20 years and together they have three children and two grandchildren.

No Comments

Post A Comment