Primility is like my North Star that keeps me on the right track. And when I veer off of the right track — the track of living a balanced, fulfilling life — primility is what always pulls me back.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.
The last year-plus has included so many great moments: I’m engaged to the woman of my dreams; We bought a house together; I’ve been promoted twice; I’ve been asked to speak at conferences; I’m hosting successful podcasts; I finally made journaling a daily practice.
And on and on and on.
I’m happy, I’m motivated, and I’m generally healthy.
I’ve worked hard to achieve all of this — and yet, I don’t feel fully balanced or fulfilled. And it’s because other important areas of my life have been forgotten about or overlooked in the meantime. I know I could be doing more.
I haven’t been eating as well. I haven’t worked yoga back into my regular routine. I don’t plan as many fun adventures out for Heather and me as I used to. I haven’t read as much as I’ve wanted to. I don’t blog here as much anymore. I haven’t spent as much time connecting with friends and family as I would have liked and have in the past.
And on and on and on.
This has been, in many ways, my M.O. over time. I dive really deep into ideas or activities or goals … and the result is often achievement, but at the expense of something that had previously been important to me.
Which isn’t sustainable. Because I always end up right back here wishing I’d been just a little more balanced day to day along the way.
Because it’s the day-to-day that adds up to the differences month-to-month and year-over-year.
Everything costs something
There are always costs to anything. There is an opportunity cost right now to me writing this blog post. I could be working out. I could be reading. I could be recording a new podcast. I could be calling a friend. But to get something, you always have to sacrifice something else. There is simply no way around it.
But what there is … is a way to balance it all better. To be better at managing priorities and at making the tough choices about where to invest time, over time, so that you don’t wake up one day 18 months from now wishing you’d been more methodical about maintaining this, that, or another habit.
It’s a daily practice. Small, seemingly inconsequential decisions add up over time. Eventually they start to multiply — which is usually when we finally notice.
Trying to notice as soon as possible is what primility is to me. It’s why I wear the wristband. I’m not always great at heeding its reminders every day, but it never lets me stray too far away from what’s truly important to me.
In this way, primility keeps me self-aware so I can self-determine.
Fighting the resistance
I’ve often wondered why I run so hot and cold writing here. You may have noticed. (Even worse, my writing here may have become so erratic that you haven’t noticed.) Sometimes I’m great about writing regularly, sticking to a schedule, and approaching the blank blog page with confidence, vigor, and an enthusiasm I couldn’t control if I wanted to.
Other times, thoughts of writing here are met with a brick wall of resistance that I can’t find a way to scale. I’ve thought a lot lately about why that is. And I think it comes down to pride — too much of it in this case. I so badly want to be this shining example of what primility can and should mean, because it feels good when I have that level of balance. That’s when sharing here is the most fun.
It’s also probably when it means the least.
That pride is what makes me hesitate to share when I feel out of balance. Admitting weakness is hard. And yet, I always find myself drawn to writers or podcasters or friends who are able to do just that: open up about their weaknesses, or their weak moments. I always learn from their descriptions of how they embrace and power through those most human of emotions and moments to get to the balance that so often lays inevitability on the other side. It takes humility to do that. I am always so grateful to those who do.
Which is why today I asked myself: did you start primility.com out of some desire for personal glory or because you truly wanted to share with others this empowering idea that has helped you so much?
That’s a tough question. No one starts a blog without at least a little bit of that desire for personal glory, but no one succeeds with a blog (or podcast, or anything else) unless they ultimately driven by the desire to help and empower others. Only selflessness sustains with it comes to building a community, online or off.
Anyway … once I answered that difficult question, I figured I better come here and open up a little bit. 😉
I’ve tried to stay away from too many of these inner-monologue-type posts, because they feel so self-centered. But the reality is that primility is self-centered. It’s about being acutely aware of ourselves so that we can better serve ourselves and, more importantly, others.
So that’s why I wrote this post. It is meant to serve as a specific example for how primility works for me, and how it helps push me toward being my better self by countering excessive pride with needed humility (and vice versa).
I already feel more centered and more empowered to make my next choice the best choice and my next action one that moves me forward in an even more positive way than I already am. That’s how it always goes.
And I see no reason we should not strive to be better, even when we may already feel pretty good. There is no limit to how much we can grow as individual people, and how much our positive influence on the world around us can expand … except whatever limit we have constructed in our own minds.
Has anyone else had a recent moment where you felt out of balance and primility brought you back into balance?
Would love to hear in the comments …
Flickr Creative Commons Image via Jake Stimpson