Radiators and drains

Sustainable Giving for Radiators

It is often said that there are two types of people in life: radiators and drains: those who give and those who take. Natural radiators are often magnets for drains, who sense our warmth and energy and come flocking to drink it up. This, of course, can be very draining. So what can we radiators do to protect ourselves against depletion?

It is very difficult for any of us to change our fundamental nature. For radiators, the natural desire to give is spontaneous and overriding. As such, we can often find ourselves having already given away too much of our resources before we realise it. It’s therefore important for radiators to learn to recognise and anticipate situations that can potentially lead us to being bled dry. This way, we can take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves from overuse, helping to maintain a healthy, happy and balanced life. As radiators, we need to ensure that whilst we love to give, we are still able to retain a little heat, warmth and energy for our own needs.

~ Invest Your Energy ~

Investing our energy into positive projects that benefit multiple individuals can be an efficient way of helping others, without using up all our resources and leaving us feeling sapped at the end of the day. This might take the form of a motivational blog that can be accessed time and time again, featuring Daily Quotes to inspire and support others, whilst simultaneously serving to replenish our own mental reserves. Another type of positive project might be investing in a charitable cause that we believe in, something that is both sustainable and fulfilling. These are just two examples of how strategically directing our energy and resources allows us to regulate our expenditure. This type of regulation is useful for those of us who are drawn to committing too much of our physical and mental strength to fixing other people’s problems, at the expense of our own wellbeing. Yes, it’s good to give, but we can only successfully give from what we’ve got. Situations in which we’re giving from what we haven’t got is not only detrimental to our welfare, but invariably leads to feelings of frustration and resentment, both towards ourselves and towards those who are draining us. Overall, our health and happiness depends upon our ability to identify times when we are in a position to give and times when we need to step back and refuel.

~ Signs Of Depletion ~

For radiators, it is often difficult to recognise when we are being bled dry. Our loyalty and commitment to significant people or causes in our lives, combined with our tendency to want to help, can sometimes affect our ability to give sustainably. Nevertheless, there are some telltale signs that we are expending more than we have, which, if we heed them, can help us to apply the brakes before we crash and burn. These include physical and mental fatigue, headaches, tense muscles, tight chest, irritability and avoidance. These physical and emotional reactions represent the stress, imbalance and discontent that we feel from overuse, which if left unaddressed can lead to more persistent and pervasive problems. It is therefore crucial for radiators to adopt strategies that guard against depletion in a fast-paced world that is filled with thirsty drains.

Radiators are like the sun, naturally generating warmth, light and energy for the benefit of those around us. However, unlike the sun, we are not indefatigable. This truth never occurs to drains, who are only ever concerned about what they can get. Achieving balance as a radiator means taking positive steps to protect ourselves from exploitation. This does not mean that we should withdraw our emotional or other support from friends and family, but rather we should learn to recognise when we are running low on reserves and be cautious about supplying energy to drains when we are most vulnerable. Drains, by their nature, are never fully satisfied and will always want more. To prevent becoming exhausted, we radiators need to be in control of our giving. We must learn to recognise when to reach for our own stop taps, in order to ensure that we have enough supplies left to meet our own needs. Knowing how and when to say “no” at times when we are less equipped to support others is key to managing our energy reserves and maintaining balance and contentment in our lives.

 

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Genius

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. (Albert Einstein)

Surrounding ourselves with the right people

Surrounding ourselves with the right people is one half of the recipe for leading a happy, balanced and successful life. The right people are those who have our best interests at heart. These people value us for who we are as human beings, not because of what we do for a living or what favours or status we can bestow upon them. They will always be prepared to tell us what we need to hear, and not just what we want to hear. They will not attempt to undermine our achievements, nor to belittle us in order to make themselves feel better. Surrounding ourselves with these people will enable us to grow in confidence, to learn from our mistakes and to share our best moments with those who really appreciate them.

The world is full of people who make empty promises to satisfy their own agendas. Whilst it is “as well to know what tunes the devil is playing” (Jeeves and Wooster, Comrade Bingo, 1992), it is vitally important not to get carried away with them. Be mindful that work and wellbeing do not always go hand in hand. What appears good for us professionally may not be good for us personally. This is where surrounding ourselves with the right people becomes crucial.

 

“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”

 

A friend may be a colleague, but not all colleagues are friends. Even those who we are friendly with and with whom we have established good working relationships do not necessarily want what is best for us or wish us well. In fact, if we are in any way competition for them, it will typically be quite the opposite, despite appearances. This is why, as we progress through life, it is essential to maintain a solid network of friends and family who do have our best interests at heart and who will give us good advice when our own judgement is clouded by a difficult situation.

Maintaining healthy relationships that benefit our wellbeing requires mutual effort. Nowadays, friendships are more fragile than ever, as people move around for jobs and work much longer hours, including evenings and weekends – prime social times. Before we know it, weeks have passed by and we still haven’t got round to having that Skype chat, coffee date or park walk – and nobody is happier or better off because of it. We can believe that we are in touch with people through social media, which serves its own purpose but is no replacement for regular real life contact with the people who are good for our souls. Without these connections, we can begin to feel isolated, lonely, emotionally less resilient and consequently downright unhappy. Human beings are social creatures. We have developed unrivalled communication skills for a good reason and we must remember to use them to benefit our wellbeing as well as our careers.

 

“Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life, said I’m here for you, and proved it.”

 

With the pressures of the working world seeming to increase year by year, friendships can suffer from financial and temporal restraints. “I haven’t got time” is an all too familiar excuse for many of us. However, if we stop to reflect on how we choose to spend each moment of our 168 hour week, we may find that we do actually have time for a coffee or a phone call, if we learn to prioritise. We must ensure that those people who are essential to our wellbeing always remain a priority. Yes, this might mean pulling out of work drinks, or switching off our favourite television series, but these are small sacrifices for maintaining special relationships. Spending quality time with someone who values us is priceless. As such, we should be very careful not to marginalise these opportunities as life becomes too busy. Instead of neglecting friendships in the assumed certainty that they will still be there when we really need them, we should try to focus on investing in them regularly, so that we can draw upon the positive energy that they generate, which can help carry us through the challenges of the week and ensure that we come out smiling at the end of it.

The essence of this article is perspective. The pace and fashion of modern living has allowed us more easily to adopt insular lifestyles, losing sight of the importance of real life contact with those individuals who enrich our existence and who encourage our personal growth. If we stop to think about the last time we actually saw the face of, or even heard the voice of,  someone we consider a good friend, we might be surprised. Whilst it has become normal to maintain relationships through social media, there is a visceral nourishment to be found in the tones of a friendly voice or the warmth of a loving hug that cannot be communicated via a tweet or a post. As sentient, social beings, we crave this human contact, and the longer we deprive ourselves of it, the more likely we are to feel lonely and isolated.

So what are we waiting for? Pick up the phone, make that call, schedule that coffee, turn the television off, go for that park walk and show the important people in our lives how much we truly value those relationships. Good, positive relationships can act as a buffer between ourselves and the pressures of the world. Putting effort into securing them is essential if we are to maintain healthy, balanced and happy lives.