Bring Balance to Your Life (and Joy to Everyone Else)
I’ve discovered a secret to balance.
A way to repel haters, whiners and life-suckers.
A way to exit a conversation without feeling the need to rehash, second-guess or defend every word I speak.
A way to honor my husband.
A way to engage my children.
A way to encourage my friends.
A way to enjoy social media.
A way to save money.
A way to reduce clutter.
A way to clear the calendar.
A way to keep off unwanted pounds.
A way to eliminate almost all the drama from my life.
It’s this: Does It Add Value?
Four words in the form of a question.
Does It Add Value?
Before I publish a Facebook status, I ask myself…Does It Add Value? Does it really bless my Facebook friends when I complain about the weather or the President or Justin Beiber? I doubt it. Maybe something encouraging, positive or funny would add value to their lives instead.
Before I offer my opinion about you, your blog post or YOUR Facebook status, I ask…Does It Add Value? I have an opinion about everything. Do I really need to voice it every time? Just because you invite me to argue does that mean I need to take you up on that offer? No. The answer is no. Maybe adding value means saying nothing.
My fear is that no one in the history of mankind has ever said, “I saw two Christians on twitter attacking each other and that made me want a lifelong relationship with their Christ.” And that should matter to us. Jon Acuff
Before I allow someone to leave a comment on my blog…Does It Add Value? When other blog guests read this comment, will they be better informed or see another side to the issue? Or am I just making room for a Life-Sucker to leave us feeling negative, insulted, defensive or less-than?
Before I respond to my husband…Does It Add Value? Does what I’m about to say make Jon feel honored, respected and loved? Will it make our marriage stronger, more divorce-proof? Just because he’s my husband doesn’t mean I need to dump all my mental trash on his lap every day.
Before I address my children…Does It Add Value? Will this teach my children how to love God or love people better? Will it someday aid them in the fulfillment of their life-purpose? Will it make them feel cherished and safe? Maybe I can word this correction differently. Maybe I don’t need to say anything and simply listen.
Before I talk about another person…Does It Add Value? Is what I’m about to say good? Is it positive? Will it benefit the hearer in some way? I mean, unless I know someone is in danger, what negative information do I need to be spreading about others anyway? None, that’s what.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Before I say yes to a commitment…Does it Add Value? Will this help people? Will this help me? Does this honor God? Is this something I or my children enjoy? Is this fulfilling a need? Will it draw me or my family closer to each other or to others?
Before I mindlessly toss that item into my shopping cart…Does It Add Value? Will this item be useful? Will it be beautiful? Will it save me time? Or will I need to use precious space to store it, and precious time to learn to use it, routinely clean it and regularly maintain it?
Before I mindlessly toss that piece of food into my mouth…Does It Add Value? Is this food good for my body? Does it bring me closer to my health goals? Do I feel good after I eat food like this?
(Sometimes food isn’t good for the body, but it’s good for the soul…so, my answer to fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies may be a resounding YES, even if it doesn’t bring me closer to my health goals.)
(Hypothetically speaking, of course.)
Since the beginning of the year, “Does It Add Value?” is the question I ask myself one hundred times a day. It’s causing me to be mindful of every word, keystroke, dollar, and minute I spend.
And it’s changing my life in a very big way.
The response to this four-word question before any action taken will be life-changing to all!
Thanks for sharing. Brilliant!
And your comment just “added value” to me. Thank you! 🙂
Wow, what a great question….I know what I’m going to be asking myself tomorrow!
And the next day…and the next day…and the next day….
Excellent. Not only a great question to add in relationships but at work as well. It can help to set priorities and help you move away from doing things that really don’t matter.
Yes…if I had a job outside the home, I would have offered an example of that. 🙂 Thanks for representing the wage-earners!
Oh I am sure you earn a wage…. it may not be measured in dollars.
I somehow stumbled onto your blog. Must be friends of friends. I went to Blessed Sacrament with Jon and many of my classmates went to CCHS. I went to NDA…Anyway, your words have touched me! It makes me think before I post or speak. It makes me as smile to know that Jon has a beautiful woman (inside and out) to share his life with! I believe all of us had a crush on the Cooper twins in grade school;) I look forward to your blogs!
Hi Lynn! How fun that we have so many mutual connections! Your comment made my day (especially the part where you said everyone had a crush on Jon in grade school. Sometimes, I still can’t believe he chose me.) Jon said he remembers that you were very nice and very smart. So glad you stumbled upon my corner of the internet.