About 3 years ago I was sitting in a class titled Creative Self-Care. As I was enjoying the perspectives and information that the Instructor was sharing, she asked us the question, “What are three thoughts you have about time?”
As my classmates relayed their thoughts about time, it caused me to reflect on my own answers, four years ago, would have been something more like this.
There is never enough time.
My children and family take up all my time.
Why can’t I get things done!
Here are my three answers as I am today:
There is plenty of time.
I can choose how to spend my time.
We all have the same amount of time in a day.
What changed for me? Was life all of a sudden easier? Did I have the latest and greatest App to keep me on track? Was there not as much on my to-do list?
For me, acquiring the awareness of my own ways of thinking was the beginning in helping me create more of what I wanted in my life. The way that I spent time not only became more productive but more importantly, more enjoyable. It’s not about managing your time; the truth is it’s about managing your mind.
The first thing that I would like to make you aware of is time is the same for everyone. Time has been broken down into years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds. Maybe it was so we can be more productive, have schedules, or be more organized. Maybe it was to ease the minds of people who need to know what time it is every minute of every day. Whatever the reason, how you choose to explain your personal use of time depends entirely upon you.
I love the saying “Don’t compare your worst day to someone’s best day, you’ll lose every time.”
I think one of the first things we can stop doing is comparing. Compare your days and years to you. Your timeline is all you need to look at. Glancing at someone else’s will not make yours improve.
The truth is that every day I am trying to live up to the potential that I know I am capable of. Some days are rock solid, while other days I need to step back, view what happened, and decide how I can improve my time for the next day.
What I do know, is that I am trying new things, viewing life from different perspectives, and learning to live in the moment, so I don’t catch myself waiting for something outside of me to change. Instead I change the way I look at thing, and the thing I look at changes.
When glancing over someone’s credentials you see all their success and accomplishments. Some people have so many that they have to hold back from listing them all, while others have very few or none at all. What is the difference between the two kinds of people? Why do some never stop growing, while others live by the thought of flying under the radar? Is it their upbringing, the opportunities afforded them, social status, or physical and mental restrictions?
Walk into any bookstore or search online and you can find an autobiography or biography of someone that has overcome tremendous obstacles to achieve all they have. Their tales of success by overcoming some sort of adversity inspire us all. I love rooting for the underdog, especially if they have the desire to grow. Don’t you?
So, how do we become the first type of person; the one who has gained success by facing and overcoming their obstacles? First, teach yourself to be open to failing. The old adage, “No one got anywhere without leaving where they are right now” comes to mind. You might think, “But it’s hard”. Yup, it could be, and it could not be. You won’t know unless you try. Second, get it in your head that it will be hard. I love the saying floating around social media these days, “Being unhealthy is hard but so is being healthy, choose your hard.” This couldn’t be truer when wanting to learn to fail. Okay, you’re thinking, “I get your point but really it is hard.” Yes, I hear you.
So, here are a few micro steps on how to fail:
Write down something you would be willing to do.
Say it to yourself daily
Feel the emotion that comes up when you read it.
Look for opportunity.
Jump in and do it.
1. A wish is only a wish until you write it down. Then it becomes a goal. By writing it down you are telling the universe I am ready to go forward so align all the stars and give me the opportunity. Here is an example.
“I want to smile when I see people and ask them how their day is. Some people might enjoy talking while others will not. For me it doesn’t matter the outcome only the effort I am making. Because I want to grow through this and gain confidence in talking to people in person.”
2. The opportunity might appear right away but the strength behind your power might need a little building up. Repeating this goal to yourself can be key in building your strength and confidence. It will give you the strength needed to endure when you do fail. Being mentally present when you fail becomes a learning moment.
3. While you are reading your goal there will be emotions that come up for you. This is a very good thing. Now is the time for you to practice being aware and contemplate the emotions you are feeling. Where in your body are you feeling it, what color is it, on a scale of 1 to 10 where is it?
4. To tell you the truth, by the time you do the first three on this list the opportunities will be endless. You will be more present at the moment, your affirmation will at the forefront of your mind, plus you will be able to choose when you take that leap into failing or succeeding. When you start looking, you will see more and more opportunities and begin to wonder, “Were they always there, and I just didn’t see them?”
5. This is the challenge and the reward, all in one. You could just look at the first four on the list and decide to avoid five altogether. And actually, by doing one through four, step five will become your desire and the prize you want to claim.
By choosing to do the micro-steps, you will create the desire and strength to try, to step out to fail or succeed so well that you will want to do it again and again. Yes, you can be a perpetual failure like myself, love who you are, the life you have, and the fool you look like. Ready to listen to criticism, views, the difference in opinion, etc. All the while being true to yourself and learning from all the growth!