Merriam-Wester Dictionary defines reasonable as something based on good sense. Great! That is very helpful, right? Not really. Arguably good sense is a rare commodity. So, how do I determine what is reasonable for me? I think to begin to determine what is or is not reasonable in your life, you need to break your life down to it primary areas: personal, professional, spiritual, financial, physical, and emotional. Feel free to break these areas down further or include additional ones, if you choose. I am going to give you some insight into my definitions of what is reasonable or unreasonable in those areas.
The main theme fueling my determination of reasonableness is predicated upon one thing: does what I am doing, going to do, or being asked to do, destroy my peace. What this means is that I value my peace above all other intangible things. If I am doing something, considering doing something, or being asked to do something, you can be guaranteed that I will say no 100% of the time, if ultimately it destroys or will destroy my peace.
An example of this is that I have a family member that asked to move in with me to help her get back on track. Though it may seem harsh, I politely told her I could not let her move in with me, but I could give her some money towards her getting back on her feet. Some of you may be judging me right now and that’s okay. Your judgment is (or should be) coming from a place where you are thinking about what is reasonable in your life. In your life, you may have opened wide your doors to that family member even knowing that she would destroy your peace. I did not and would not open my doors to that person even today. Some of you may be wondering why. Let me tell you, I believe wholeheartedly that people can change… but ONLY if they want to change and are willing to do the work required to change. Furthermore, I believe that she could get on her feet with my money just as much as she could in my home.
I believe completely that I should have peace in my home, if nowhere else. So for me to let someone in my home that I know would destroy that peace is unreasonable for me. To be clear, I am not equating peace to comfort. There are some things and people that take me outside of my comfort zone or make me uncomfortable, yet they do not destroy my peace.
Ultimately to assess whether something will destroy my peace, I look for growth, positive or negative, from that experience. My test goes something like this:
Why do I say grow and not learn? Well we can and should learn from every experience, interaction, and person. Whether or not we grow is another thing entirely.
Here are some of my considerations pertaining to reasonableness in the following areas (after assessing its effect on my peace):
Personally – Will I be a better version of myself for having done this?
Professionally – Will I be of service to others? Will I improve my gift, resulting in me having a bigger impact?
Spiritually – How does this thing affect my relationship with God?
Financially – Will becoming involved in this thing affect my finances? If it costs money, will I be okay if there is no return on investment?
Physically – Will this thing negatively affect my physical well-being? (i.e. I probably couldn’t say yes to becoming a cupcake taster.)
Emotionally – Will this thing affect my mental health?
The final word… Determine what is reasonable in your life and stick to it. It will bring you one step closer to who you are becoming.