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The 95% Rule

A while back I was talking to a friend about life in general and especially about one of the biggest mistakes I tend to repeat time and again: give myself entirely to something, to a friend, to a cause, to work, in general to everything that makes part of my life.
I always see the glass half empty, I tend not to test fate by saying all is good and splendid just in case fate decides to step in and change the course of things. I am happy in so many things but not so happy in many others. But one thing I always do, paying so many times a very high price for it: I always give myself and dedicate myself 100%. To whatever, whoever, whenever. As long as I feel it is something I need to do, I just do it. In this process I tend to forget about myself a lot.
So I was talking to my good friend T, saying I was feeling quite exhausted and not able to give my ususal 100 % that people around me are used too and that that was making me feel bad.
So she explained me her rule: The 95% rule. And this is one of the truest things I have ever heard, one that truly makes sense and for which I am so grateful to her. It goes like this:
“It is not healthy to try to give more than 95% of yourself.  You need to hold back the last 5% to maintain sanity.  There are times in life when 100% is required ( for me these tend to be when a family member is ill)  and you can give 100% but only for a short spurt of time.  Giving 100% for a long period of time leaves me empty and I tend to get grumpy, sad or angry. I have learned it is not selfish to reserve the last 5%.  It is what makes me better able to give the rest of me happily and without a grudge toward those I am serving”.
I have been pondering on this testimony for a month and this is really true! It does apply to me and probably to a lot of people. I have also discovered that a small part of me dissappears when I give 100% for a long time to something.
I become a layered person and to reach within and find the real me takes time and effort from others and from myself. I get a lot grumpier (like the dwarf in Snow White) but I also get unhappy. And when you become unhappy you are less able to give happiness to others, to enjoy life to see what is beautiful around you! So I tend to stay more reserved and inside my shell.
I thank T for what she shared with me. I have learned and pondered a lot about it and I am quite sure that from now on I will keep that 5% to myself!
And it starts now because I am writting way past midnight while listening to this song that I just love! Doesn’t it make you feel better? For me it even makes me feel a tiny bit beautiful!

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