What’s your advice-taking tendency? As I was brainstorming this blog post, I texted a friend, asking, “how do you take advice?” and she replied, “not very well!”
I think many of us can relate. 🙂 Some of us just don’t enjoy receiving advice in almost any circumstance. Others of us tend to take advice from any and everyone, but then have trouble knowing our own minds.
How we take advice, like so many other aspects of our personalities, falls along a spectrum of tendencies, from one extreme of never accepting it, to the other of always taking it. If we know where we fall on that spectrum, that self-knowledge can help shift us toward balance and even make our practice of discernment better.
A friend of mine wants to learn to cook. Right now, she doesn’t cook at all – she’s gotten by just fine without it, but in this new season of her life, she feels like it’s time. The problem is really with why she feels like she can’t cook. She’s totally overwhelmed at where to even begin: what should she learn first? Should she memorize recipes? Learn techniques? Become familiar with common spices?
In addition to being totally overwhelmed with how to begin, my friend is prone to perfectionism. She’s highly detail-oriented, too, so the thought of not following a recipe perfectly, of not cutting the carrots into perfectly even segments, of just getting things wrong, is holding her back.
(“Why am I Always So Tired?” – How Discerning the Cost of Anything is Essential to Living Well, Part IV)
This is part IV of a series looking at how discerning the non-monetary cost of things in our lives can help us figure out why we’re so tired – and how we can live better. Read Parts I, II, and III.
Emotional expenditure is probably the trickiest of life-costs to consider. We know how to track our time, and we have physical indicators of how much energy we have (or lack): but how do we measure emotional expenditure?
Thankfully, (because as humans we are body-soul unities and not brains in jars) our emotions, while not physical in themselves, do have real physical effects. Just think of tears. We feel the emotion of sadness or joy and our eyes suddenly release salt water. Of course, some people’s bodies seem to process emotion more closely than others’ – and even the most highly sensitive people can be unaware of the cost of their emotional life.
What’s to be done? The first step, as with any life-cost, is becoming more aware of the affects of our own actions and that of other’s actions around us. We have to know ourselves well to know what affects us emotionally, and how we process and spend our emotions.
(“Why am I Always So Tired?” – How Discerning the Cost of Anything is Essential to Living Well, Part III)
This is Part III of a series looking at how discerning the non-monetary cost of things in our lives can help us figure out why we’re so tired – and how we can live better. Read Parts I and II.
Most of us think about the cost of a thing is how much money we have to spend on it. But really, it’s how much life we have to spend on it. Life cost can be considered, practically, in terms of time, energy, and emotional expenditure.
Energy is a life-cost closely related to time, but rarely considered on its own terms. We might know that a task will cost us 2 hours to complete – but have you ever noticed that the very same task can cost 2 hours one day and 45 minutes the next? That’s because how much time something costs can depend on how much energy we have to spend. (This isn’t true of all activities, of course: a 3 hour train ride is a 3 hour train ride, no matter how tired we are.)
Unlike time, energy is not a fixed asset. Some activities drain us, while others seem to leave us with more energy than when we started. If we’re paying attention, we’ll know ourselves well enough to be able to judge our daily energy gains and losses.
(“Why am I Always So Tired?” – How Discerning the Cost of Anything is Essential to Living Well, Part II)
This is Part II of a series looking at how discerning the non-monetary cost of things in our lives can help us figure out why we’re so tired – and how we can live better.
In Part I, I wrote about shifting our definition of “cost” from that of mere monetary valuation to a more accurate weighing up of the amount of life something requires of us. How much life do we have to trade in to get the thing?
Most of us aren’t used to thinking of cost in terms of life: we’ve been trained from an early age to consider the price tag as an accurate representation of how much something is worth, rather than asking ourselves what the life-cost is to us.
There are three main ways to start thinking about life-cost: time, energy, and emotional expenditure.
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