“Having a full plate is good; having a full life is better.” I heard these words of wisdom at the 2012 Texas Conference for Women, spoken by Cathie Black.
At least once a week someone says these words to me: “Your plate is really full.” Sometimes the question is followed by: “How do you do it all?”
From time to time, this conversation is accompanied by judgment. It comes in the form of words and/or nonverbals that say, “Something in your life must be suffering. You are dropping the ball somewhere. You don’t have it all together.”
First and foremost, I don’t “do it all.” I do what I do, and it works for me. I am in the process of learning how to lead and learning how to live a life that is focused on what matters most to me. Am I dropping the ball sometimes? Absolutely. Do I have it all together? Heck no.
I know that I’m not Superwoman. In Retreat to Success, I wrote about my journey to learning that I don’t need or want to be Superwoman. I want to live a life I love, NOT have it all, do it all, or be everything to everyone.
It’s made me think about whether I want a full plate or a full life. And is it possible to have both. From the outside looking in, some might see a full plate. Others see a full life. It’s all a matter of perspective. But does it matter what they see? No. It matters what I see. What God sees. What my husband sees. What my kids see. What those who matter most see.
I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately: How can I say YES to the things that make my life full and NO to the things that make my plate full?
As I’ve shared this question with other leaders, the answers have been fascinating. Why? Because it really is a matter of perspective. What looks and feels like a full plate to some appears to be a full life to others. And vice versa.
You have to define what you want for YOU. What does living a full life, a significant life, look like? And are you living it right now?