Consciousness is the panacea to effective living.
This week we have talked about stress and the various ways to reduce or eliminate some acute stresses.
But how did you get so stressed in the first place?
For some, it’s an event – but for most, it relates to a lack of attention to our lives. The effect of not paying attention is felt through overwhelming stress levels. Like a crack in the foundation of a house, eventually, the crack leads to a leak and a leak leads to flooding and that leads to major overhaul and repair. What if the crack had been properly attended to in the first place? A lot of time, energy and money would have been saved. It’s the same with your life in general – we don’t pay attention to the cracks until we are fully engulfed.
You have one life and time is a one-way street – there’s no going back and there’s no going faster into the future – NOW is all there is – ever! How are you managing your “nows”?
What to do with the time you have?
Pay attention. It’s your life!
How? How do you start?
Take a calendar with days across the top and hours down the left hand side. Now book yourself in.
HUH? What do you mean – “book myself in”?
It’s your life. One shot to get what you want out of your life. Schedule yourself first. That’s how you start reducing your stress and living your life.
Is it easy? If you have thought about other people first your whole life, no, it’s not easy because it means re-programming yourself to always, always schedule your needs first and everyone else’s second.
For instance, let’s say you’re saving to buy your first home. Your job is important and even getting a second job might be in the cards for a while until you save enough money for a down payment.
To get the down payment, you need two jobs with regular hours. That’s one of your needs – your job – schedule in your commuting time and the time you spend working. Can you see what would happen if your boss constantly wanted you to work unpaid overtime? You can’t have that second job. Is that what you want? If not, find another job and have a talk with your boss because YOU are NOW important to you – you cannot fulfill your boss’ needs for unpaid overtime while holding down a second job in order to save for that down payment.
You need to stay healthy. If you’re not healthy, you can’t have a job and can’t save for the down payment. This means taking good care of your body and mind. Schedule in exercise, shopping for fresh healthy food and preparing good, healthy meals day in and day out and time for complete relaxation and hobbies. It takes time or you’ll pay at the other end with illness. And, of course, you want to look good so schedule in time for proper grooming – getting your hair done, your nails manicured, etc.
Let’s say that your friend is constantly calling you and talking to you for hours about her problems. Those hours are taken away from you. It’s great to help your friend but you have a life to lead and things to do. She’ll have more respect for you if you minimize the calls and help her when you can. If she can’t respect you and your time, why do you have her as a friend?
You also need to stay emotionally healthy which includes having healthy relationships with friends and family. How much time do you need and what will you do?
Let’s say that your brother is a drain on your psyche. He is always getting into trouble, your parents call you to “rescue” the family and nothing has changed in a long time. You keep running to everyone’s rescue meanwhile it’s chewing up valuable time away from your healthy relationships. Is that what you want? It will drain you and you know it – often, you fall in bed exhausted from dealing with your brother’s issue. Take back control. Lay down boundaries and stick to it. You can’t live other people’s lives for them.
There are physical needs – cleaning your home and your car, tracking your finances, scheduling holiday time, and a host of other aspects to your life which need regular maintenance. It makes you feel good to have everything in order and working for you. But, being pulled away from those tasks consistently, you know what happens? A mess and you are pulled away from tracking your dreams.
Do you have any time left over?
What have you done? You’ve made choices — choices which fit with your aspirations. The more you concentrate on fulfilling your needs and your dreams, the more time, ironically enough, you’ll have for everything else.
The Next Step
Stay conscious. It’s fun to write all this down. Now, it’s staying conscious and on target. Will you have stress in your life? Of course – you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. But, you can see that knowing where you’re spending your time, and why you’re choosing what you are goes a long way to relaxing your mind. A relaxed mind helps to relax the body. Make sense?
Put automatic recurring events in your computer calendar to keep reminding you to stay on target with what you have set out to do – at home and at work -work your plans every day – adjusting to fit the ever-changing landscape of your life – life is not static – your dreams and needs change at every stage of your life.
I wish a great life – stay conscious – it’s the only way!