I’ve been asking myself that question regarding everything I choose to do lately. As I’m working full time and in school, and am blessed to have many friends and family around, I’m constantly being pulled in every direction when the only direction that really matters is my own. So, I’ve been working to frame every decision I make by answering a very important question: does this enhance my life?
The question can be interpreted many ways and in fact is very broad. Yes, there are obvious things, like work, that enhance my life because I get paid and can live the lifestyle I want. But there are more subtle ways my life is enhanced as well. Going to school enhances my life not only because it will help my career progress, but also because it’s sparked new curiosity in other parts of the nonprofit sector, it’s connected me to likeminded people, and it’s continuing to allow me to think critically about the sector and my role in it. Lunch with a friend enhances my life by allowing me to grow a friendship that supports me emotionally and mentally. Even something like accompanying a friend to an event – something that doesn’t appear to directly enhance my life – does, as I am supporting someone who will appreciate my friendship that much more.
I encourage you to think about the commitments you make in this context. Before blindly saying yes, ask yourself: does this enhance my life? Because while it may be a very worthy cause, if you overextend yourself, your contributions to the things that matter to you may be affected. And in the end, there’s only one thing that really matters: you.