Los Cabos, Mexico – August 9, 2013
This week we’ve been in buffet heaven! Row upon row of incredible food. Grilled fish. Tantalizing mussels. Made to order fajitas. Carved Roast beef. Fresh salads. The list goes on. And the desserts! Chocolate fondue, crepes, cheesecake, brownies. Beautifully presented. Tempting you to indulge. And on our first two days at the resort, indulge we did!
I consumed everything on sight. I ate more than I would in a week. At one point, I had fish, chicken, lamb and beef on my plate all at once. Thankfully, my stomach did not revolt! After a while, sanity prevailed and I approached the buffet differently. I took a deep breath, walked around and really thought about what I wanted to eat. Instead of piling up my plate with everything I saw, I filled my plate only with food I consciously wanted to eat. The result was terrific. I found I enjoyed my buffet experience more. It was less overwhelming and more satisfying. My focus was less on the quantity on the food, and more on enjoying the experience. And my stomach was happier!
I see a real correlation between the buffet table and life itself. We live in a world where there are so many competing priorities. Each one says, “Pick me. Pick me!” If we were to pick them all, we might have a full plate – but not enjoy the experience. In fact, we may grow to resent our lives as we fall deeper and deeper in the sea of overwhelmingness and too much to do.
Perhaps the answer is to carefully and consciously choose what we want to do and learn to say “No” when necessary. In my coaching practice, I often ask clients the question, “When you say “Yes” to everything, what are you saying “No” to?” It’s a way to force them to look at their priorities and invest only in things that matter.
In my current situation, I am always reminded that time is not a limitless resource. In one day, we each have 24 hours, or 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds a day. For many years in my life, I saw working long hours as a badge of honour. No more.
Now I’m more selective. It’s more about using the time I have to contribute meaningfully rather than packing in as much as I can in one day. Sometimes that selection may involve working long hours, but not always.
It’s all about figuring out our priorities. In your buffet of life, what selection are you making?