I just recently attended a meeting where the main focus was on commitment and devotion to our goals. The toastmaster herself expanded on this idea by telling us how many years she has devoted to raising a family. It was during her speech that she pointed out different people in the group that was assembled and highlighted each of their achievements. As she pointed out how far each member of the group had come, they nodded and some blushed at the attention. Then something happened and she lost her place becoming somewhat disheveled. Her shuffling papers were accompanied by apologies for her sudden disorganization.

It was at this point that she began talking about her passion for helping others in life. She began listing all of the organizations she belonged to. By the time she was done I was exhausted. I actually let out a sigh and people looked at me to see what was wrong. I was just sitting there rubbing my right temple. Throughout the time she was talking she admitted to all of us that she just could not say NO to anyone who requested her to participate in a meeting or function. All of the things she was involved in were robbing her of energy and resources. She had almost no time by her own admission from the time the meeting was over to her next commitment.

By saying “Yes” to everyone she was giving to everyone else and depleting her reservoir of clean constructive thought. What she needs is to find a balance. By her own admission she is having difficulty doing that. With some input from the participants in this meeting we outlined a few strategies for her. The most important one was for her to begin everyday by doing something for herself. She can do this by going for a short walk ,or just having a cup of coffee quietly while reading the paper. By putting herself first from the very beginning of everyday, it will remind her that what she wants is just as important as anyone else.

Being of service to others does not mean losing yourself and what you are passionate about in the process. Many people will ask you for things you may not be able to deliver. It is always wise to say no when you feel as though it is stretching yourself. Only agree to be of service when you know you can deliver quality of your brand to those you are helping!