Time for a Change

sakina

Photo of Sakina Mahama. Student, Model, & Entrepreneur

“The most important relationship ever is the one we have with ourselves.”

Last week’s article covered the topic of time and managing it more effectively. (click here to read it) Although there rarely seems to be enough time in a day to accomplish every chore, typically we make time for those which are of utmost importance. Occasionally, life deals us unexpected plans which compel us to focus on them rather than those originally intended.

Some things in life demand they be completed. Two which immediately come to mind are eating and sleeping. If time for sleep is not allotted, our bodies become sluggish and lose it’s ability to function. Likewise, eating is another chore which leaves no other option but to accomplish. While the healthiest methods of these 2 daily tasks are often debated, they undoubtedly must be done.

One activity which many have made a priority is physical fitness.  A little over a year, I was inspired by a 21-year old student named Casey Katchersyde, who published an article on LinkedIn about core exercises. For some reason, this struck a chord with me and I decided to give it a go. Now at nearly the age of 60, I am in the best physical shape of my adult life and even though it continues to be a struggle, the results far outweigh any of the inconvenience and discomfort.

There is one other task which has become extremely important for me and that is achieving some aspect of growth – spiritual, emotional or mental – on a daily basis. Although I do not set aside a particular time, I have learned to pay attention to the difficulties in my day because that is the optimum time for it to happen. When feelings of anger or frustration arise, I’ve taught myself to ask “why”. The answer often exposes a weakness in my character and a flaw within me. These are not exactly the things I wake up and look forward to seeing but I’ve trained myself to embrace these moments because fixing them is a transformational act.

Some people have regular times in which they study, pray, meditate, or a number of different activities which add to daily growth. This is a great method and I applaud your efforts. For those who do not, I would respectfully ask you to ask yourself “why not”?

One of the unique properties of being human is that we constantly change. Without getting into the biology of how this works, mentally, our wellbeing is as important, if not more, than physically.

Please know that as I move forward, my focus is on helping people heal and get a greater understanding of who they are. Consequently, my personal growth remains a priority because it will further enhance what I do. Clearly not everyone shares this same desire but no matter what your passion, it will be more effective as you continue to grow as an individual.

Thanks to Sakina Mahama for the picture and I look forward to your comments.

 

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A New Twist on Time

“When things become important enough, we will find the time to get them accomplished.”

The concept of time is one of the oldest human innovations. Our earliest ancestors no doubt needed to understand and utilize time, along with the seasons, simply to survive. There is some evidence that simple prototypes of calendars first emerged approximately 12,000 years ago! While there is extensive information on the history of how time was kept, there isn’t much on why it was done in the first place.

It would stand to reason that keeping track of time came about so that it could be used more efficiently. Early forms of commerce required long distance traveling and no one wanted to stand around idly waiting for all to arrive. Pointlessly and futilely wasting time is perhaps one of most dreaded feelings humans can experience.

There is, however, one truth about time which we all have in common and that is each of us has the same amount every day. What is different is the way we endeavor to use and manage those 86,400 seconds to their maximum potential.

The need for constant improvement has sparked all kinds of advancements including the development of several programs and applications to facilitate and schedule our days more successfully. But no doubt nearly everyone at one time or another has wished there were more of those precious ticks on the clock.

“I’m sorry but I just didn’t have enough time to get that done”, or some form of that statement is one which many have both heard and uttered. While some may have used it for a convenient substitute for forgetfulness, it’s definitely true that oftentimes there are more tasks to be accomplished than what time allows.

There is one suggestion which I would like to propose that may put a twist on this dilemma and provide a different perspective. Rather than using the limitation of time as an excuse, consider the notion that when things become important enough, we make the time to accomplish them.

The opening quotation has been a mantra of mine for several years and truthfully, it has come back to haunt me on several occasions when I agreed to complete something which ultimately was not. However, putting the responsibility and an onus on me instead of blaming the natural predicament under which we all are hindered, forces a change in my behavior and strengthens my character. Blaming something or someone else tends to impede us from doing better next time.

Some things such as eating and sleeping leave us no choice but to complete. There are also other priorities like exercise that many hold in nearly the same regard. What are some essential tasks in your life that hold great significance for which you will always make the time? Next week’s article will address one that is very significant for me and I’ve often wondered where it falls on the lists of others.

Thanks to Ahmadreza Sajadi for the wonderful picture and I look forward to your comments.

“When things become important enough, we will find the time to get them accomplished.”

The concept of time is one of the oldest human innovations. Our earliest ancestors no doubt needed to understand and utilize time, along with the seasons, simply to survive. There is some evidence that simple prototypes of calendars first emerged approximately 12,000 years ago! While there is extensive information on the history of how time was kept, there isn’t much on why it was done in the first place.

It would stand to reason that keeping track of time came about so that it could be used more efficiently. Early forms of commerce required long distance traveling and no one wanted to stand around idly waiting for all to arrive. Pointlessly and futilely wasting time is perhaps one of most dreaded feelings humans can experience.

There is, however, one truth about time which we all have in common and that is each of us has the same amount every day. What is different is the way we endeavor to use and manage those 86,400 seconds to their maximum potential.

The need for constant improvement has sparked all kinds of advancements including the development of several programs and applications to facilitate and schedule our days more successfully. But no doubt nearly everyone at one time or another has wished there were more of those precious ticks on the clock.

“I’m sorry but I just didn’t have enough time to get that done”, or some form of that statement is one which many have both heard and uttered. While some may have used it for a convenient substitute for forgetfulness, it’s definitely true that oftentimes there are more tasks to be accomplished than what time allows.

There is one suggestion which I would like to propose that may put a twist on this dilemma and provide a different perspective. Rather than using the limitation of time as an excuse, consider the notion that when things become important enough, we make the time to accomplish them.

The opening quotation has been a mantra of mine for several years and truthfully, it has come back to haunt me on several occasions when I agreed to complete something which ultimately was not. However, putting the responsibility and an onus on me instead of blaming the natural predicament under which we all are hindered, forces a change in my behavior and strengthens my character. Blaming something or someone else tends to impede us from doing better next time.

Some things such as eating and sleeping leave us no choice but to complete. There are also other priorities like exercise that many hold in nearly the same regard. What are some essential tasks in your life that hold great significance for which you will always make the time? Next week’s article will address one that is very significant for me and I’ve often wondered where it falls on the lists of others.

Thanks to Ahmadreza Sajadi for the wonderful picture and I look forward to your comments.

A Mother’s Influence

Mother

My Mother with her Niece and Granddaughter

“The lessons learned from a Mother’s love will last a lifetime”

Today the U.S. celebrates one of its most cherished holidays and that is none other than Mother’s Day. I have certainly been blessed with an amazing mother who is still in great health well into her eighties. If there were but one wish I could have for everyone, it would be that all would have the privilege of experiencing a phenomenal mother. Unfortunately, it has not been the case for far too many. However, that doesn’t mean there are not tremendous values in examining the virtues of an ideal mother.

What a good mother does for her family is also a great metaphor for many aspects of life. Incredibly nurturing and often sacrificing for the good of their family, mothers are known to forego their own needs to make sure the rest of the household’s are met. Surrendering their own wants becomes the norm and seeing the smiles on their child’s faces brings more delight than any joy received personally. Strength for most mothers is not a display of power but rather the ability to dry a tear or console her family during difficult times. Kindness and compassion are more important than any other accolade.

In present day society, these qualities are not only lacking but frowned upon by many government and business superiors. Imagine how differently society would be if these assets of Motherhood were pursued rather than just assets. How often do those in authority abstain from their own gain to help the greater good of the community?

Ironically, men can learn significant and essential values from the virtues of their female counterparts. Measures of strength for far too long have been some show of force; whether it is through demonstrating physical might or amassing the means to purchase those displays, men have substituted the ability of insight and introspection with outwardly, self-aggrandizing exhibitions.

There is something so incredibly wonderful in the simple touch of a mother’s hand. Often, the look in her eyes conveys a message much more plainly than any words could speak. She understands that not everything will always be fair but does her best to be as objective as possible. No handbook containing all the right decisions was ever given her and no two mothers operate the same. They are just as vulnerable to mistakes but willingly transform those missteps and become the more wiser for them.

Motherhood has been a cherished tradition for as long as our species has existed on this planet. While there have been countless people who have thrived without the assistance of a great mother, having one does increase the odds of making it in this journey we call life.

For those of you who had the experience being raised by a wonderful mother, take a moment to reflect on that and if it is still possible, let her know how appreciated she is. Those who weren’t quite so fortunate, remember it doesn’t have to derail you from living a full and compassionate life. I look forward to your comments.

Following the Leader

Geese

Photo Courtesy of Sonja Andersen

“A leader should not be the only one who makes sacrifices”

In last week’s article, looking at the qualities of leadership was the main focus (click here to read it). Although countless books have been written on that subject, the discussion is rarely geared toward those who are being led. Everyone has been a follower at one point in life and since followers always outnumber leaders, it would stand to reason that this perspective would provide valuable insight.

Being a Follower does not imply that one blindly obeys each command without any responsibility for that action. Nor does it exempt others from sitting back and reaping the benefits without effort. If there is any expectation of getting something, it requires being part of the solution. While those duties and expectations change depending on the overall circumstances, members of the group should strive to understand what needs to be done to accomplish those goals.

Perhaps the word “Follower” denotes the wrong impression and should be thought of more as a “Doer”; one who will do something to contribute based on his or her abilities, proficiencies, and experiences. Each Doer has different levels of skills and talents which a wise leader will be able to distinguish as well as appropriate the right tasks for each person.

Being a good Doer also suggests having a certain level of discernment and the ability to understand what is being asked for the good of the entire group. Unfortunately, leaders become corrupt and may demand actions that risk the integrity of the Doers. After gaining their trust through charismatic spectacles or perpetuating all kinds of deceptions, the leader – now turned tyrant – will change course and mandate instructions which aim to secure that leadership position and prohibit any other person from rescuing the group.

There are responsibilities involved in being a Doer and what may be the most important and most difficult part is realizing that sometimes a request may not be fair and require more effort than those in the rest of the group. Again, this is very situational because a soldier’s risk can mean life or death, while an employee may only forfeit a few extra hours of free time.

Creating a precise list of all the expectations and responsibilities that Followers need is virtually impossible. Often, the work of a Doer goes unrecognized and can feel as though it is not appreciated. Egos, combined with the human ability of freethought, creates opportunities for arguments and misunderstandings which ultimately become breeding grounds for strife and conflict. This is when the wisdom of a great leader will propose ways of reconciliation and teamwork but it requires determination from every member of the team to work together and resolve those issues for everyone’s greater good. If a Doer expects to receive anything with no contribution, perhaps the feeling of entitlement will be the only thing received.

What are some of your thoughts or even specific instances when as a Doer, you put your own needs aside for the benefit of the team? Please feel free to comment and thanks again to Sonja Andersen for the beautiful picture.