How are you, really? What noises in your head are telling you you're 'too this' or 'not enough of that'?
Is it time to finally take a break from all that chatter and just be? Yes, yes it is.
We talk about being too busy, read books on high performance and how to achieve more, but wait - what about looking after yourself and being mindful? Oh don't you worry, there are books and courses about that too.
Can we just simplify it all already? I think we seriously need to stop the crazy making. There are some pretty basic questions to bring it all back into balance.
- What am I doing that makes me happy or lights me up? What makes me laugh? Do more of that. If there's no oil in the lamp, it can't shed light, now can it? If you've depleted your store it's time to re-think how you think about you.
- Who or what am I spending my time on? "Spending" being the key word. Recognize that once those moments are spent, they are gone. Forever. One of my differentiators is determining who (or what) I'm sharing my time with - mine. It's my time I'm letting slip through my fingers. Do I really need to spend my moments on people who don't value me, or on activities that will eventually lead to regret. Stop right there. Aren't we taught there are no regrets? Oh the crazy-making!
- What am I avoiding that could step up my inner peace if I simply tackled it?
- What am I beating myself up about based on outside pressures that isn't serving my purpose or well being?
- What internal processes am I beating myself up about that I can render useless and ineffective in creating a peaceful mindset? Write them out, then tear them up or burn them - just do something to symbolize letting those gremlins go.
- What vocabulary can I eliminate that feeds my negative headspace? For example - if you catch yourself saying, "This is hard," what do you expect it will be? If you replace 'hard' with any number of 'more better' words, how can it improve your outlook and your outcome?
- What can I say no to that would simplify my life immediately? Do that.
When you say 'yes' to others, make sure you are not saying 'no' to yourself. --Paul Coelho
Pay attention to the indicators that ramp you up, those things that cause you unease. I don't mean tasks that are required to do life, just all the other crap that keeps us from living. Living fully, fully living.
Keep it simple. Time flies. Life passes us by - or does it? Maybe we pass life by.
Do your part to maintain the pulse on your own well being.
The following story has made its rounds on the internet, but its message knocks it out of the park for me. Maybe it will for you too:
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.
"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital," he continued. "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."
"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.
"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.
"It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.
"Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."
"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."
"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"
You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter..
Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey,I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast." " What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles... "