Don’t we love to give advice? We often have great ideas for others on how to run their business, find new clients, and handle a problem or generally how to run their lives.
Giving advice is not a bad thing. We generally offer counsel because we want to help, or truly care about the other person. And the suggestions might be good ones, as in “you might want to take a jacket, it’s supposed to get cooler this afternoon” or “I wouldn’t serve that chicken salad…it is over five days old” However, when it comes to ourselves, we sometimes maintain a different standard. We put ourselves last in the never ending priorities of life and don’t take the advice that we would give to others. For instance, we might not go to the doctor right away for a small health problem, not seize upon an emerging opportunity due to perceived issue of timing, or not standing up for one’s self when being taken advantage of by others. The exact opposite behaviors from advice we would give to others. Isn’t it ironic?
For example, I travel the country giving motivational keynote presentations. My opening conference keynote is filled with uplifting messages about pursuing one’s dream, “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” kind of logic, and real stories on how to reach your goals. I see lots of nodding heads as I encourage the audience to try something new, be open to a new challenge, and take a baby step toward a specific goal. And the final message at the end is that life is too short, and fun should always be part of the process.
Imagine then, that I experienced my own “crisis” in fun management. With the recent passing of my husband, the jobs of running our family winery, our horse ranch, and expanding my consulting and speaking business became a bit overwhelming for me. On one particular afternoon, I was literally crying between customers in the tasting room. Between smiling and serving wine, I had to retreat to the back room to suck up the tears and control my angst. While I hid it well from those wine tasters, it seemed ironic that a fun day for others was one miserable afternoon for me. My best (and wisest!) friend came by to check on me, and stated “this is ridiculous…you aren’t having any fun.” In fact, she really dealt an underhanded blow when she said “you should really read this book called Drink Fine Wine, Ride Fine Horses – Leading the Life of Your Dreams. That author is really smart and says if fun isn’t part of your life, then maybe you should do something different!” Why would such advice be such a mean trick? Because I AM THE AUTHOR and those were my own words!
In my own mind, I had to be on top of everything and keep all the plates spinning. I was striving to maintain my husband’s legacy while taking on new roles and challenges…and it was too much. I became emotionally and mentally exhausted. With her advice, I decided to temporarily close the winery for the summer to bring more fun into my life. To give myself time to relax, travel, visit with friends and family, and still continue my speaking career which brings me great joy and energy. It was not an easy decision – the loss of income, potential customers, and our presence in the local winery world were big considerations. However, in the end, my husband would want me to be happy, and I am a better person when I am rested and having a bit of fun.
I am one month into this new plan and loving it. Taking all my adult children for a vacation in Florida, reconnecting with old friends, taking naps and long walks has started to heal and rejuvenate my spirit. I’m less tired, less frantic, and actually losing weight and feeling better. Who knew that fun would lead to weight loss…a great side benefit! Actually, I think a better frame of mind and increased mindfulness about my spirit has made me more health conscious as well.
My friend gave wise counsel when she said “if I was in your position, you would be giving me this same advice. Why don’t you just turn that advice around and receive it for yourself.” It’s the best advice that I’ve ever been given.
About Your Columnist
Tammy Rimes is a featured columnist for Women Taking Charge, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence, where she covers how anyone can become spectacular at what they do. Tammy Rimes owns Hacienda de las Rosas Winery, featured on the front page of USA Today, and winner of the 2014 San Diego Reader’s Poll of Top 5 Wineries in San Diego County. Tammy is the author of “Drink Fine Wine…Ride Fine Horses – Leading the Life of Your Dreams,” a book that provides a fun and informative guideline on how anyone can begin their own dream life.