We Don’t Have All the Time in the World
“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it, and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.” – George Harrison
Now is now, but later, Now will be gone – just like that, another second disappearing into oblivion. Now becomes history, never to return. So, what are we doing with our Now? What are we doing with our time, with the moments, days and months we are given?
Life is an accumulation of decision-making,- big and small decisions. life-changing momentous decisions and small insignificant decisions. It is a string of decisions that impact our day, our life, those around us and so much more. Like the butterfly effect where the flapping of wings can impact events in another area of the world, our decisions have an impact and we do not know the extent of this impact.
Life happens, but we don’t need to let life’s happenings control us. We can, to a certain extent, have control over what happens to us or at least have some influence as to how we will be impacted. No matter what we go through, no matter what happens, certain principles will help us to come out stronger and smarter.
Yes, that’s right – just show up! Be all there – physically, mentally and emotionally. Show up ready to give the best of you. Whatever your challenges, whatever your goals, just show up and do the best you can with what you have. Showing up also means not giving up and not running away. We need to confront situations, challenges and even ourselves head-on and be in for the long haul. If we don’t present ourselves regularly to take the steps we need to take, to move forward each day, to confront situations, who is going to do it for us?
Show up and be consistent day in and day out. Do something to move towards your goals, towards fixing whatever challenging situations you may be experiencing, or towards accomplishing what you have set out to do. Perseverance will always work in your favor. It has been said that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Don’t be afraid to take baby steps ( breaking down the issue into smaller bites). Just doing something each day will move you forward rather than backward. The accumulation of small victories will eventually lead to bigger victories and you may be surprised by how much has been accomplished over time.
Take It All In Stride
Let’s face it; we’re all going to get muddy in life – life can be messy.Things change and the one thing we can count on is that things will change. But, seriously, how many of us really like things? It’s hard and often unwelcome. It means adjusting, changing how we see things, making new plans, dealing with emotions and so much more.
But what if we just adopted the mindset of expecting the unexpected? No matter how well we plan, no matter how regular our routines are, something or someone is going to come along and mess it up. The highway is not going to be straight forever; there will be hills and valleys, there will be traffic and detours. Life is crazy that way; it gets in the way. If we just expect the unexpected we will never be disappointed.
Own Your Time
We all have 24 hours in a day and we are all busy. We all have problems and challenges. Our load is not bigger than another’s load; it may just be different. Life will trip us all up- we have things that get in the way and things that slow us down or knock us out for a while. But it’s up to us to fix our problems, get distractions out of the way, and clean up our messes. Whatever is causing us to spin our tires needs to be dealt with. We need to get to the heart of issues, of what is causing us to stagnate, so to speak. Just putting a band-aid on the problems will not make them go away. If we want to grow, learn and achieve victories in life, we may need to go in for surgery from time to time.
Talk to the Winner in You
We all talk to ourselves. In fact, we have running conversations with ourselves all the time. We complain, we argue, we beat ourselves up, we negotiate, we question and we doubt. All of these things we do with ourselves. Have you ever wondered what portion of our internal dialogues is positive? My guess is not a big part. Most often we are telling ourselves what we did wrong, questioning our abilities and rationalizing our mistakes.
Why do we waste so much precious time on these kinds of dialogues? Habit-that is why. We have adopted the habit (it’s easy and it’s comfortable). Honestly, if someone were to speak to us the way we speak to ourselves, we would probably be very angry.
So, why not break that habit and break up these dialogues. Why not speak to ourselves in a way we would like to be spoken to? Why not talk to ourselves the way we would like to be spoken to. Speaking encouragingly can also become a habit. What we tell ourselves has power-either negative or positive. Begin today to be kind to yourself, to encourage yourself and to build yourself up.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Be serious about doing what you want to do in life and be serious about being the best version of you, but don’t get your britches in a knot over things that don’t matter. Learn to laugh at mistakes (and learn from them too). Don’t get too caught up with what other people are thinking, because, quite honestly, most people are not concentrating on you. They are too focused on themselves. Yes, I said it; we are all egoists! Most of the time when we are talking to other people, they are not concentrating on what we are saying. They are likely thinking of some other problem they are dealing with.
Life is far too short to worry and too short to take ourselves seriously. We can laugh at ourselves. We are actually highly entertaining when you think about it. and the more easily we can laugh at our mistakes and foibles, the easier it will be to learn and move on.
Find Your Spin
What are you gifted at? What can you and only you do? You may be wondering: “Who me? I don’t have any special gifts to offer. I’m pretty ordinary.” Oh, but you do! Everyone does! You have things that you can do with your own unique spin that no one else can do quite like you. You can see things from a different angle and you have your own unique personality. Two versions of the same painting will never be the same.
Maybe you have been too distracted or overwhelmed by life’s busyness and messiness to discover your unique talents. They are there. Sometimes other people will reveal them. Sometimes other people will tell you what they appreciate about you or what they think you are good at. It can be really hard for us to know what we are good at because we are often our own worst critics, so it might be helpful to ask others how they see us to get some perspective. Remember, we all have something to offer.
Remember: There Are No Shortcuts
Whatever you are trying to do; raise children, have a stable marriage, excel at a sport or in school, get ahead at work, there is no shortcut to success, to victory. It is not easy, success never is. Between the dream and the victory is the long, bumpy path of the struggle. And we can’t expect everyone to pat us on the back and tell us we are doing a good job.
Many times we have to struggle alone and try to keep our eye on the horizon. The day to day grind may make us think that nothing is working out and that our situation is not changing or improving. But if we lift our head up a little higher and look a little further down the road, we can be encouraged because victory is coming. Expect difficulty and expect opposition, but bring out the velvet boxing gloves and prepare for battle. Don’t back down and don’t compromise; victory is always sweet.
Hold the Bar High
Holding the bar high doesn’t mean setting impossible standards and beating yourself up when you fail. It means to have a standard as opposed to not having a standard. It means having guideposts to live by and measure yourself with. People will always have respect for someone who holds himself to high standards because it shows he respects himself. Your life should be an example, not a copy. Be hard on yourself, but not on others. Your job is you.
Not having a standard, criteria to live by and to guide decisions, will leave you vulnerable to the whims of others. You can easily fall prey to the consequences of poor decision making and unhealthy associations. Having high standards will give you strength and confidence to face any situation.
Life happens so much quicker than we imagine it will. When we are children, it seems like an endless highway ahead of us. As we get older we become increasingly aware of how short it really is and how quickly it passes. We know this and yet we get tripped up by it all. We spend a lot of energy on things that don’t matter and will never give us any real benefit. Life is messy, but it can also be simple if we get rid of the distractions and focus on what is essential.
I hope this post has been helpful to you. Please leave me a comment.
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- February 24, 2020