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The Unintended Consequences of Self-Neglect

Tiny little sprout with yellow leaf - The Unintended Consequences of Self Neglect

Stop what you’re doing.

I want you to take a good, hard look at yourself:

–   Where are you?

–   What are you doing?

–   What’s your current mood?

–   How does your body feel?

–   What’s your outlook on life?

How’d you do with your inventory?  Feeling good … a little meh … or concerned?  

Imagine every day, for the next 30 years, is like today.  What does this lead to?  A healthy, happy life?  Or, something else … something uninspiring, or maybe even a little terrifying? We tend to forget we’re the most important person in our lives – we’re the VIP. And if we’re neglecting ourselves through poor choices, we’re depriving both our current and future self joy.

I thought of this recently after listening to this Ted Program which helped me understand that many of us don’t consider who we’re going to be  –  when we envision our future selves, we see a stranger.  Because of this, we aren’t making the right choices today to care for our tomorrow.

This can be corrected through one critical skill: empathy. We need to have empathy for who we’re going to be and, in doing so, take the time to care for ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally today.  So the adage “live for the moment” isn’t quite right – it’s live for all your moments, the ones we’ve got today, and the ones we’ll have tomorrow. 

To gain empathy, start thinking about the person you hope to be – where are you, what are you doing, what’s your future selves’ mood, how does your body feel, and what’s your outlook.  Painting the picture of who you will be shapes the behaviors you demonstrate today.

So, ask yourself: what is one choice you can make today that will be a positive investment in the future you?  Just one thing? 

For me, I’m going to increase my steps and take more walking meetings.  I can’t even begin to imagine how I’ll feel 30 years from now if I continue sitting in this dang chair any more than I have to! 

Small steps, my friends, small steps.   That’s how we make big change!  My best, Angie