As we ease into the lazy days of summer, my mind is turning to what really needs to be present in our lives for us to feel satisfied.
Identifying the ideal ingredients for work and life isn’t something you may think about often, yet the impact on your productivity, the flow of your days, and how your life feels overall is huge. Hitting the pause button to assess what’s working and what isn’t, what’s aligned with your bigger purpose and what isn’t, is a gift.
So much of the year can feel rushed, packed with endless things calling for your attention, and yet there’s something about July that beckons you to slow down, enjoy the long days at a more leisurely pace, and realize nothing is more important than right now.
When we talk about ideal ingredients for work and life, what does ideal mean, and is it ever really attainable?
A quick Google search brought up these definitions; notice the inherent tension between them:
- satisfying one’s conception of what is perfect; most suitable “the swimming pool is ideal for a quick dip”
- existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality. “in an ideal world, we might have made a different decision”
- a person or thing regarded as perfect. “you’re my ideal of how a man should be”
On the one hand, the ideal exists: the pool, the man. On the other hand, there’s a possibility it may never actually happen.
This the kind of contradiction can keep you up at night! Trying to design your ideal life and working scenario, yet all the while wondering if it’ll ever come to pass.
Living like that will wear you out.
The good news is that ideals do come to pass, often times because you took the time to dream up what seems like an impossible dream.
What if your ideal contained the seeds of something you can build and pursue, the raw ingredients to make a road map, taking you to someplace you could only have dared to dream about? All because you worked with the contradiction, rather than against it.
As you sip lemonade in your yard, or read a book by the pool, use the hot liminal space that is summer to carry you into your ideal world, the one designed by and for you. Find your ideal ingredients for work and life, and enjoy the stillness.