I’ve been thinking about what is most important in life lately. We regularly spend a lot of our time and energy on things that maybe aren’t where our hearts lie.
As creative people, our lives are especially busy. We rush to and from projects, clients, meetings, etc. We stress over constant deadlines (hello, last-minute self tapes!), over-analyze even the smallest comment – or lack thereof – from casting or directors. Even our “downtime” can feel more like a networking event than a fun party.
And after an exhausting day, we get up the next morning and do it all again.
Why do we do this to ourselves!?
Often, it’s in the pursuit of something we think we “should” have—money, status, material possessions—but let’s be real, a life in pursuit of only these things can feel hollow.
While I l-o-v-e being an actor, some days I just want to hang on the couch with the people I love the most or do something purely for the adventure—without an expectation of how it will look to other people.
So, I want to share a special exercise with you (just in time for Valentine’s, Galentine’s or just a regular Tuesday!) to help you prioritize your more important goals—like love, kindness and joy.
What Is A Love Savings Account?
When you think about it, money is just paper and metal. It’s only valuable because we say it is. We all know the saying, “Money can’t buy happiness,” yet we spend a lot of our lives trying to make money, save money and spend money.
And a lot of people measure their worth by their bank account.
The same goes for the possessions we own — the decor of our home, the car we drive, having the latest fashion “IT” item. And let’s not forget all those likes on Instagram and Facebook. Who doesn’t feel a little special when you see that number climbing?
But are these really accurate and healthy ways to view your success? (Psst! No, they aren’t.)
What I propose is a totally new way to measure how your life is progressing: in LOVE!
Create Your Own Version
One of my friends shared with me that he has his own version of a Love Savings Account; he calls it a Joy Jar. Every time something good and/or joyful happens during the year — no matter how big or small — he and his wife write it on a piece of paper and put it in the jar.
Then on New Year’s Eve, they remove all the pieces of paper from the jar and read each piece out loud to remember and appreciate all of the wonderful things that have happened during the year and how grateful they are for all the blessings.
I love this idea, and I think it’s also a great way to set an intention for the year to create more joy in the lives of other people and your own.
What Goes Into Your Account
So my challenge for you is to get your own joy jar (or box, bag, whatever you’d prefer; it can even be digital). Commit to adding to it every week, just like you would regularly put money in a savings account. Except with this account, we’re investing love and joy, in all its platonic forms: kindness, care, warmth, understanding, compassion, etc.
- Tell someone in your life how much you appreciate them.
- Make dinner for your friend going through a rough time.
- Volunteer at a nursing home, food bank or community center.
- Buy a coffee for the person in line behind you.
- Donate to a worthy organization helping the earthquake survivors in Turkey.
Use your imagination; there are no rules!!
Then be sure to record each action you take and add it to your account’s balance. Cha-ching!
Turn Your Talents Into Contributions
Include the activities that are most important to you too (and maybe things you’ve been putting off because of work, family, etc.).
If you love to read, volunteer to read to children at your local library or record for the Blind Services in your area. You can download the Be My Eyes app and help a vision-impaired person at a moment when they need help the most.
If you love to knit, make some goodies to send to troops overseas or children in the foster care system.
There are an infinite number of ways you can use the activities that bring you joy to spread love and kindness to others.
And don’t forget to add in the things that others have done for you that have brought you joy and happiness throughout the year.
On New Year’s Eve, take a look at your account and see the REAL impact you made this year, in this very tangible way. You’ll feel richer than ever before!
Are you ready to join me in making a Love Savings Account for the new year? Post a picture of yours on Instagram and tag @moniquaplantewellness. Let’s get this love train rollin’!
LOVE + big returns on your investment!