We all think we control our lives… or do we? More and more it seems many of us allow our day to day to be dictated by something other than our own desires. Responsibilities are real, sure – and we all have them, but taking care of your responsibilities while taking care of yourself is a very far cry from letting outside forces dictate your world’s order.
The former is creating your own reality while the latter is living by someone else’s rules. Admittedly, sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference!
So, if you’re not sure who’s got the reigns in your life, here’s your chance to find out. This quick, score-it-yourself quiz will give you an idea of where you stand when it comes to setting your own agenda… and if necessary, how to change it!
1. Quick reaction (in other words, don’t spend time on this one, go with your gut), my daily life centers around:
a. Getting through my work (career)
b. Maintaining my relationship or finding love (relationship)
c. Fitting in friends, family or co-workers (society)
d. Balance… however I define it (yourself)
2. Before I make plans for a vacation, I’m most likely to consider:
a. How long I’ll be away from work and if there’s a wireless connection
b. My partner’s opinion – if single. whether or not I’ll meet someone
c. How cool I’ll sound when I say I’m going to [fill in the blank]
d. What my purpose for the trip is – to chill, be adventurous, sightsee…
3. It’s dinner time. You’ve had a long day. Your major concern is:
a. Dinner? Seriously? Who delivers or where’s the closest protein bar?
b. That it goes over well at home… or it doesn’t make me fat!
c. Not letting down the three people I agreed to meet… even though they’d understand if I cancelled!
d. That it be easy. Healthy… and okay, on this particularly stressful day, maybe a little indulgent!
4. Happiness comes from…
a. Achievements and how they translate financially!
b. Love and family
c. Being known and liked
d. Finding fulfillment, achieving balance
5. Your philosophy is closest to:
a. Whoever dies with the most toys wins
b. Without love, I am nothing
c. You can tell a lot about someone by their friends
d. You can have it all… it just depends what you’re willing to sacrifice.
6. When it comes to what people think of you, your primary concern is:
a. Seeming professional and on top of your game
b. Being perceived as loveable… and loving.
c. Measuring up to the standards set by my peers
d. Maintaining the respect of as many people as possible even if they’re not close friends
7. Which word best describes how you see yourself.
b. A people pleaser
c. A good example of how to live
d. Content… as in the moment as I can be
8. While no one wants to judge, I’ll admit, I’m most likely to judge people on their:
a. Level of professional success
b. Marriage status
c. Social standing
d. Behavior toward others
Mostly A: You’re Living by the Rules of the Game
Clearly, you work really hard. Some might even say you’re a work-a-holic – though you’d probably just say your job is important to you. The catch is, no matter how much or how hard you’re powering away, you may or may not be getting where (you think) you’d like to go. In fact, whether you’re cashing in or slaving away in the hopes that your ship is en route, most of the time you probably feel like you’re caught in the mouse wheel of life… and it’s run by your boss. While working hard is commendable, it’s vital to set professional boundaries as well as goals. Believe it or not, taking time off for you, your family (if you have one… or even want one eventually) and your sanity is the only way you’re going to find balance. Does this mean no more late nights? No. But it can’t be every night… and it can’t preclude every other area of your existence from flourishing.
Mostly B: You’re Living by the Rules of the Unloved
You’re always concerned that your lover is happy. If you don’t have a lover, you feel desperate to find one. This informs every move you make from how you spend your Friday nights to what you wear to work. After all, you might just meet someone in the hallway! This is true. But if someone else’s happiness (or the idea that someone else can solidify yours) is the driving force in your life, you’re not living for love… you’re living like you’re unloved. And while you may only do this occasionally (selecting a few b’s shows that you care about love, which is great!) it’s important to remember that any good relationship is reciprocal, wherein both partners have a voice. Similarly, single life is only unhappy if you make the fact that you’re single the focus. The key to dictating your own destiny (with one of the goals being a happy, mutually satisfying relationship) is to put a little more focus on being personally fulfilled – knowing what you like, and spending some time doing it. If you’re part of a pair, you’ll find that you bring a fuller half to the whole, and if you’re single, you’ll find the mates you attract are much better reflection of the person you chose to become.
Mostly C: You’re Living by the Rules of Society
While culture is hard to avoid and tabloid magazines greet us at every grocery check out, being part of the “in-crowd” is not everything. Still, to one degree or another, like a good chunk of modern society, you’ve bought into the idea that it’s what you have and who you surround yourself with that makes you who you are… at least a little bit. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s easy to do. But the truth is, by striving to keep up with the Jones’s and worrying mainly about how you’re viewed from the outside, you’re giving power to people who don’t deserve it. Liking things that are fashionable or trendy is not wrong… but liking things because they are fashionable and trendy and seeking to have them at whatever cost lest you be thought less of, is a slippery slope. Fitting in is not everything… and the best way to fit in where you belong, is to be yourself. Stop letting fashion/pop-culture/your friends/society set your rules and make your own game plan!
Mostly D: You’re Living by Your Own Rules
Congratulations! Whether you’re placing the most emphasis on work, home, friends, family, love or anything else, you seem to be giving enough attention to all the facets of your life. You understand that balance is the key to lasting happiness, and while it doesn’t prevent you from experiencing lows (or climbing to the highest highs), it makes a difference when you’re faced with difficulties in any arena. That’s because you’re rested, reassured and ready for whatever life hands to you… not burnt out from work, overburdened by unbalanced relationships or worried about what other’s think of your every move. You feel good enough to know you make your own life and play by your own rules… which is why you so often find yourself claiming the gold!
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