It’s About Time ...the clock is ticking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have fond memories regarding my formative years. For one, I never missed a meal. Due to my father’s excellent cooking, I looked forward to gathering at the dinner table.  Dad made the best fried chicken in town. It was his claim to fame. Neighbors enlisted him to cook his special dish for every party on the block.

One day I breezed through our kitchen as he worked on a batch of golden fried poultry. My father looked up from his task and asked me to stay so that he could teach me this culinary art.

I smiled, and politely declined thinking there was plenty of time to learn trade secrets from this home chef. As it turned out, the clock ran out. I did not respect time.

I have a friend, let’s call her Kelsey. She never arrives anywhere on time but comes prepared with an excuse, sometimes creative, sometimes reasonable, often quite lame. Kelsey does not respect time.

My cousin Jimmy has been known to totally blank out on appointments. He claims he practices calendar management, but on occasion admits to losing track of the moments that lead to hours. Jimmy  clearly lacks a respect for time.

 

 

 

Valuing Time

What’s my point? My friends and I are guilty of disrespecting the one thing that stops for no one, time. The late author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, aptly sums it up for us:

“Time is of more value than money. You can get more money, you cannot get more time.”

At some level, we can all gauge of how much time is worth. If this article were about time management, or work life balance, I would direct you to a website to help you track and gain productivity. But, today, that is not my message. I’m talking about respecting time.

Time Analysis 

Right now, do a deep dive on your treatment of time. In fact, it might be helpful to drop down to the bottom line. How much time do you think you have left on this earth? Perhaps, 20, 30 or 40 years? Maybe more, maybe less?

As you contemplate time, quiz yourself. What exactly do you want to accomplish in the years remaining? Are you on the right path? Given the limited supply of your banked hours, how can you manage your time to live life filled with happiness and peace while adding value to those around you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those are personal questions only you can answer.

Time to Change

I will never have the opportunity to learn the art of frying chicken from my favorite chef. Life dealt a difficult lesson, but it taught me to revere the clock.  Value your time and the time of others. Remember, it’s a limited commodity.

 

Thanks for reading. Please leave your comments. I love hearing from you!

Five Rules of Giving

 

I don’t always get it right. That was pretty obvious yesterday when I opened a “thank you” email. Although happy to be the recipient of some gratitude, I felt a twinge of shame. You see, in the spirit of giving, I extended a stranger a profession courtesy, no charge, no strings attached, just to be helpful and practice kindness. I like doing that. Later I grumbled in my head for at least 48 hours about the silence. Where was a gracious show of appreciation? I wanted something in return. Nothing much, just a thank you.

My “Aha” Moment

After receiving the email I realized the need to make some changes.  Obviously, due to my desire for gratitude, my act of kindness had a string attached.  A true and sincere giver expects nothing in return. Not only did I want a “thanks a lot,” I wanted it in my defined time frame. Like NOW! When I didn’t get it, I indulged in negative thoughts about allowing others to take advantage of me.

As this wasn’t the first time I found my  face red over fake selfless acts, I decided to teach myself a lesson and immediately  and began plotting to overcome my desire for give and take.

The result of my self-assigned homework, is my “List of Five.” Yep…five life rules I’m putting into action.

 

Rule Number One

If you’ve ever been to a second grader’s softball game, you may have noticed no one keeps score. Based on that philosophy, number one on my list of corrective action items is, “Throw away the scoreboard.”  That’s right. No more quid pro quo. No longer will I use a mental clipboard to keep score.

Passing On a Good Deed

Coupling my new rule with a familiar phrase and philosophy I penned, “Pay it forward,” as number two on my list. We’ve all been the recipient of kind acts. Passing on a random act of kindness makes our world a little brighter. My new mantra was kindness, whenever possible. As I considering it for a moment, I underlined it…TWICE!

One Way Giving

Often my expectations run high. Had I given freely, with no agenda, the thank you email would have been a sweet surprise making number three on my list, “Set no expectations.” 

Abundant Kindness

Reviewing my list, I smiled. Then another thought occurred to me. There is no such thing as too much kindness. Quickly I penned my number four, “Give, give and give some more.” 

 

Be My Best Self

Five seemed like the right number so the last thing I wrote is directed at being my best self. Any success I’ve experienced in my career was because I took my job seriously. Got it! My fifth and final rule is, “It is my job to be kind.”

This week I’m determined to put my big five into practice. Thanks for reading this post. I’d love to hear about your top five.

Overcoming a Lack of Motivation

Ever find yourself in a motivational slump? Last week as I viewed large pockets of free time on my calendar I was practically doing back flips thinking of the precious hours I could spend advancing on my goals. Turns out, it didn’t happen that way. What happened was a total lack of motivation, followed by frittering the hours away, ending in a period of zero progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Determined not to let this happen again, I resorted to research. Needing stimulation beyond my own self coaching  I scanned through some motivational blogs and came up short. Everything read like the same old blah, blah, blah that ran through my head. Nothing signaled a brain spark until I noticed a post by Olympic athlete, Inga Stasiulionyte.

Now I was onto something. If anyone could help me carve a path out of this listless do-nothing fog, a javelin thrower turned executive coach had a chance. Obviously anyone who followed her dream all the way to the Beijing Olympic Games knows something about victory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I studied her approach to success, it all boiled down to one common theme. Discipline. Okay, nothing new, we all know it takes commitment and focus to get to the goal line, however, in this simple sentence Inga offered up a key to get me back on track. “Build a no-matter what mindset.” Aha! You see all week long I gave myself permission goof-off. I decided if I could permit a lax attitude, I could also create a no-matter what mindset.

While testing it out the next day I encountered some resistance. After working on my top priority for twenty minutes, I found myself cleaning out a desk drawer. Obviously my brain preferring to operate on auto-pilot wasn’t buying into this new mindset thing. Faced with the choice of rearranging my desk or returning to work I vacillated for a moment. As I surveyed the objects in the drawer I spied a big black marker.  Grabbing the fat pen and a sheet of paper I wrote in large black letters “no matter what” and stuck it on the wall in front of me. Eyeing that powerful phrase was exactly what I needed to kick me back into action.

This new mindset worked again the next day. You see, I live in the desert and was late getting out for my power walk. Feeling like the heat was getting to me I considered cutting my trek short. Taking a deep breath I looked up at the sun and proclaimed (yep…you guessed it) no matter what! It was all I needed to suck it up and finish my walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s face it. Human beings fall into slumps that thwart progress. When the doldrums take over, search out a role model who didn’t give up. Grab on to a motivational mantra and push yourself forward. Although I cannot correctly  pronounce Inga’s last name, I assure you I will never forget her for inspiring a “no-matter what” mindset. Game on!