Daniel Glyde is the founder of Positive Masculinity, helping professional men who are stuck achieve work-life balance.
Every action we take is to create a result. Therefore, every action should be a conscious decision to make something happen. But how many times do we make choices, especially regular habitual choices unconsciously?
Too many! As I started to take a good hard look at my life, I realised I was making choices and taking action which didn’t serve me, every day, and sometimes more than once. Why? Because my values and priorities were skewed. I hadn’t chosen them consciously; I wasn’t even aware of them. Sure, if you asked me I’d have told you what I held dear, but I didn’t have the mindset to go after what I really wanted and to be who I really wanted to be.
You see our actions are driven by our mindset, and our mindset is driven by a set of views, opinions and beliefs that we have often taken on unconsciously. And too often we confuse these beliefs, views, and opinions for facts. Many of these beliefs are limiting and disempowering and that is precisely why we feel unable to live the life of our dreams. It’s those beliefs that are standing in the way of us and our true potential, particularly in terms of how we show up as a father and partner.
Often these beliefs have been given to us, by our education, by our upbringing, by the media or by friends and family. We have not chosen them consciously. We often tell ourselves “I don’t have the time…” but is that true? If you planned your time and were strategic about what you focussed your attention on and what you put your energy into would that make life more enjoyable? Would that make you more authentic? Yes. It would.
That’s what I do. I use the electronic calendar in my phone to plan my days, even my weekends, so I can make sure that I’m focussing on the things that I care about. I would recommend you do that right down to when you spend time with your partner and your kids. And then when you commit that time, be present, don’t be disturbed by other things, put your phone away and put all your attention on what you’re doing. No excuses. There will always be time to deal with work and other priorities if you plan those in your diary too.
Do an audit of how you spend your time and see where it is wasted. Perhaps you’re scrolling through social media, watching too much Netflix or engaging in bad habits you’d rather drop. Do an audit of your habits, the things you do every day without thinking about it. Do they serve you? Are they positive or toxic habits?
Examine all your beliefs, views, and opinions. Test them and try taking a different point of view to see what happens. Ask yourself are your beliefs empowering or disempowering? Give yourself the space to choose what you value and what you want to prioritise.
And then act. Drop the habits that don’t serve you. Drop the beliefs that disempower and limit you and change them for beliefs that make you show up better in the world. Plan for how you will spend your time and stick to it as best you can. Don’t be distracted. Focus on the people and the things you love, your passions.
You’ll find life will start to flow more smoothly and you won’t feel anxious, stressed, and guilty. You can be there for the people you love and best of all you can have the consistency and discipline you need in your life to achieve the things you really care about.
Discipline is the highest form of self-care and caring for yourself is the best thing you can do for the people you love. There’s a good reason why airplane safety instructions tell you to put your oxygen mask on before you help others, because if you’re not 100% how can you take care of the people that rely on you?
My philosophy: Prioritise. Optimise. Execute.