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Life-draining or life-giving?

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By Dave Henning / June 29, 2019

” . . . there may be things on your list that feel life-draining, but the result of that thing is actually life-giving. . . .  It may help to remember that while on the front end it might feel life-draining, what you’ll remember is how much life it gave you in the end.”- Emily P. Freeman

As Emily P. Freeman continues Chapter 9 of The Next Right Thing, she discusses in greater detail two questions she previously raised.  Regarding a season of life you just experienced, Emily asks:

  • What was life-giving?
  • What was life-draining?

Most noteworthy, Emily considers the above questions simple as well as revealing.  Therefore, once you choose a category of your life, select a specific time frame.  Preferably, Emily opines, this time frame should be no longer than one season of about three months.  As a result, this keeps things manageable.  In other words, the author counsels, “Be specific and start small.”

Next, create your list.  Emily usually puts both lists on one page.  She writes her life-draining list on the top and her life-giving list on the bottom.  Because, as Emily wryly observes, it’s better to end with the life-giving list!

Yet, there’s no right or wrong way to complete your Life Energy List.  It’s most important to reflect on your life and get honest about the things that bring life as well as draw life.

In conclusion, Emily explains this process in specific terms:

“When we don’t take time to reflect and reevaluate, then we may fall into the habit of doing things simply because they’re what we’ve always done.  We can’t always eliminate the life-draining things, but that’s not what the process is for.  We will always have things we have to don in our lives, no matter how we feel about them.  It’s called growing up.”

Today’s question: What season of life would you choose for your Life Energy List?  Please share,

Tomorrow’s blog: “The exact right choice or the life choice?”

About the author

Dave Henning


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