What do you do for yourself? | songs we sing on WordPress.com

Last Saturday, I got a chance to talk to an older cousin of mine. We talked about work, family, and the like. She is abundant in all areas of her life at the moment. She is currently in an MBA program, her work is less challenging but very flexible with school, things are going well socially. Thinking about how much and how hard she hustles, I asked her, “what is something in your life that you do for yourself?”

Her response was not what I expected. At first, she talked about her dance classes, her post-work workouts. But then she said,

“School. School was the greatest gift I could’ve ever given myself.”

She talked about the phenomenal people she’s met, the constant growth she’s going through, and how her timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I expected her to say something small, something she does on the side every day after her hustle, but for her, her greatest gift was the biggest, most stressful thing in her life: the hustle itself. From her response, you can tell that there’s a robust and effervescent passion that fuels her intrinsically to succeed.

This conversation taught me that,

The things you do for yourself can be big or small but must be intentional, consistent, and make you feel good.

In my cousin’s case, her act of self-appreciation was nourishing her mind and building her own career. Yours can be as big as this or as small as taking a bath at the end of the day. It can be reading novels, learning a skill you always wanted to learn, or ritually brewing a fresh cup of coffee in the morning.

It is personal, and it can change. It is in your control, but it needs to be for yourself and no one else. Once you cease to do things for yourself, you cease to satisfy the one person in your life that deserves all your attention.

You cease to live for yourself and become a static character in another person’s story, rather than the dynamic character of your own.

For myself, I started this blog, something that wasn’t completely compatible with my schedule but all in all, for myself. I make coffee or tea for myself in the mornings. I read articles on life management and personal finance to better equip my hungry mind. I run a few times a week to strengthen my lungs and clear my mind.

Be dynamic, embrace change, and really appreciate yourself for being alive.

Photo by Takashi Yasumura from the series ‘Nature Tracing’, 2003

Originally published at songswesing.com on November 13, 2015.