If you took a picture of time, what would you see?
Does time really exist?
We think it does.
What would our world be like if we had no clocks, no watches, no time machines of any kind?
For quite a while now, I have not worn a watch except for certain events. I have no idea what time it is often. I have a sense of clock time based on the position of the sun or by watching what people are doing. If I want to be certain, I find a clock and look at it but generally I don’t know how much time has passed while I’m performing tasks.
I notice more now without a watch or a clock.
People with watches get very upset if they are waiting for someone to show up at a certain time and that someone doesn’t show.
People become anxious as they see the work pile up on their desk and check the time.
People get frantic watching time tic away as they are stuck in traffic and need to get somewhere else in a hurry.
If someone were to take away all the clocks, what would happen? Would people be less anxious, less angry, less in a hurry?
Not regularly wearing a watch, I found that:
I enjoy people more because the clock is not dictating how long to spend with that person. When the visit has run it’s course, we just both know it. We’ve enjoyed each other and time measurement had not thing to do with it.
I’m more creative because I set no deadlines yet I get things done much faster.
I’m more relaxed and get a lot more done day to day.
Meals are more pleasurable – the clock is not telling me when to cook or when to eat – I do it as I feel like it.
My body tells me when it wants to exercise and for how long. It’s amazing how so much more pleasurable exercising is when there is not a time slot.
The pressure is off and life is so much more enjoyable.
Can I do it every day? No. There are promises to keep. And that is what causes us to seek ways and means of managing our time – promises to keep – the hours we promised to work at our job, promises to meet with someone, promising to complete tasks by a certain date and time, etc. Could it be that if we made less promises, we’d enjoy ourselves much more?
Try It – You Might Like It . . .
Try it – take your watch off, turn off your cell phone and avoid clocks as much as possible. If you’re outside your home, it’s much easier since there aren’t many clocks around any more. Do it for half a day or a full day – notice what you feel and sense.
The world is a less harried and crazy place and much more beautiful when we focus on something other than the clock. There’s a special connection with nature and people when we are not concerned about time – an ebb and a flow comes about more naturally than that forced by a timepiece.
It could very well be that we don’t need to manage our time machine as much as we think we do. Maybe all we have to do is let go of trying to control the illusive and take more pleasure in living and enjoying every single moment engrossed in whatever we’re doing. Putting less “bars” around our time may actually free us!
Yet for all that time is not, we try to manage it – the moments we experience awake. That’s all they are – moments of space we occupy awake in which we are either running away or towards something or both.
At the Kentucky Derby, only the jockey looks behind to see how far away the competition lies. The horse just keeps looking ahead and running – forward – no looking back.
Imagine if the horse kept looking back at the competition – the horse’s attention would be split between what’s happening behind him and what’s happening ahead. Do you think the horse looking forward or the horse looking back is likely to win the race? Intuitively, we know the answer – the horse looking forward and focusing on the win!
Poor self-esteem is much like being the horse who is constantly looking back generating second guessing and poor focus.
It robs you of time you could be spending accomplishing your goals – that’s if you ever believed you could accomplish goals and set some. Oh, yes, setting goals can also be a problem because you just never know when someone will tell you that your goal is silly, unattainable, or some such story and you’ll drop it like a hot potato no matter how much you wanted it. . Poor self-esteem robs you of the full joy of accomplishment because, heck, you can find tons of example of people doing more, better, faster or get the accolades. If someone is not noticing your accomplishments, you think they aren’t worthwhile.
Relationships are difficult too – someone with low self-esteem is needy – always looking for validation through someone else. People haven’t got that kind of time and energy to support someone so needy – they’re trying to keep their own heads above water! And the people attracted to your energy also bring with them their own negativity further compounding the issues you face. You want help but you can’t. They want to help but they don’t know how and it makes them feel very uncomfortable to be in the presence of someone so fragile.
It’s up to you – only you — and that’s one heck of a responsibility – only you can do it for you – since you don’t know what self-esteem even feels like – what do you do? How do you get there?
What is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is simply how you feel about yourself – in a good way, that is – you have confidence and everything about you feels good to you.
If you feel good about yourself and have confidence in your own counsel, then you plan and forge ahead with your plans regardless of what others have to say. You may adjust your course of action based on new learning from different sources, but the path is always forward.
Lacking self-esteem, on the other hand, has a person looking back constantly. What does it mean? It means that you are never really sure of what to do next and it stops you in your tracks. Why? Because you listen to this person and that person and the tv and the internet – you get lost.
There’s never really a path followed. The worst part – because there is no path to follow because of indecision, you feel worse and worse and worse about yourself. You may be working very hard – likely harder than anyone else around you. You may be spending thousands and thousands of dollars on education, courses and counseling. The results are less than stellar.
Why? Because the reasons for working hard or spending all that time and money aren’t defined. You’re trying to please everyone and, in the end, you please no one, not even yourself. Your life is a wreck! You look around one day, time has elapsed and your world is empty.
What Can Be Done?
No matter what age you are, it’s never, ever too late to finally please yourself.
Yes, it’s true – it’s not easy to undo a pattern of not listening to yourself.
The good news is that, the longer you are lacking self-esteem, the readier you are to change.
You know what you’ve been doing hasn’t worked despite the enormous amount of money, time and energy you’ve spent chasing this and that and that and that – all based on what others told you – not on what you wanted.
Of course, the sad truth is you always knew what you wanted but you thought others knew better what you “should” want.
Build Every Day
And Learn To Listen to No One Except Your Inner Voice – even if you think that inner voice is nuts!
First, make sure you connect with birds, trees, grass and flowers – go outside a lot – a lot – be with yourself and take pen and pad with you.
Second, while outside, rain or shine, feel good – that’s all you have to do – learn to feel good. It’s a tough slog for someone who has lived with poor self-esteem for a long time. The mind’s tendency is always to look at what’s bad which makes you feel bad.
Write down what feeling good feels like.
Think of yourself and feel good.
How? Think of something you like about yourself – say, your hair. Think about all the things you love about your hair – write them all down – love it – love your hair – wallow in the feeling of loving your hair. If you feel like it, continue with other things you like about yourself but don’t let that little “gremlin” pop up in your mind to say things to you like, “Who are you kidding?”, “What difference will this ever make?”, “Yes, but think of these things wrong with you?” . . . . Stop the gremlin in its tracks – stay focused on the good things about yourself.
There’s a reason you have poor self-esteem – you think poorly of yourself! Everything about you is bad, awful, terrible, worthless, etc. etc. etc. though you hope and dream it could be different.
You look for feeling good about yourself in someone else. No one can give you that feeling – you’re the only one that has that power!
Why? Because you’ve been programming yourself for years to think of yourself as defective, undeserving, rotten to the core! The voices of all those people who have entered your life’s path telling you to change that, correct this, learn that, you can’t do it, etc.
Isn’t it logical to reverse poor self-esteem and think well of yourself, you need to focus on your particular individual strengths, abilities, capabilities, qualities, nature, and a whole host of other positives.
Believe me, there are hundreds more positive things about yourself than there are negative. Accept the negative but focus on the positive – use your time and energy to augment the positive – period! To help you visualize this – think of a baby – does a baby cry? Yes. But a baby also smiles, laughs and makes other people good about themselves because a baby feels so good about being just who they are – they don’t know any different! They haven’t been programmed by the world around them yet!
What you’ll find is that people will start smiling at you for no reason – there’s a different energy emanating from you – not overnight but eventually. You’ll be saying no when before you would have said yes and hated every minute of fulfilling your promise. Slowly, people will come into your life who support you – total strangers who have a special message for you to receive – your life – your whole life will change – ever so slowly – ever so deliberately as you continue to focus on the positives – every single life on earth has positives even the worst of the worst.
Third, start small. Think of a recipe you’d like to cook or a class you’d like to take. Do it. Relish each and every step of the accomplishment – if it’s a class, savor the fun of registering for the class, attending the first session, meeting new people and learning something you’ve always wanted to learn. When the class is over, savor the experience. So it is with absolutely everything you do every single day.
Fourth, start a journal. For those who have never had a journal, it seems goofy. I know. I felt that way too – writing to yourself. It’s a good conversation and believe me when I say, eventually, you’ll look forward to it every day. Don’t go cheap either – buy yourself a beautiful journal – beautiful! It’s a symbolic reminder that you value yourself.
Fifth, begin other types of daily journals.
A gratitude journal – write everything you are grateful for that day
An accomplishment journal – what did you accomplish today which has made you proud? These are earth shattering accomplishments – maybe you cleaned out a drawer you’ve been wanting to do for a long time and organized it or you got up on time and felt relaxed the rest of the day or you finally wrote an email you’ve been wanting to write for a while. Some accomplishments will be small, some not so small and some downright huge – they are all important!
Successes – how did you feel success today? Every single day, we all have success in our lives. People with poor self-esteem have learned over the years to focus only the bad and the ugly – the mistakes they’ve made, the poor results of a task performed, the person who screamed at them or the faux pas they at a meeting. To reverse that trend, get into a new habit – focus only on the successes. How does that feel? You’ll see the feeling will be awkward at first and your brain’s tendency will want to revert back to the “terribles” – just get back on track to your successes.
Every day – it’s every day for the rest of your life – concentrate on the positives of the you that came to this earth to share your wonderful talents and gifts – just you is enough – for anyone.
Lastly – two little words – repeat them to yourself all day long, every day – I AM – two words – – I AM – no adjectives – no add on – feel how good that feels!
Lorraine Arams – Ask about my workshops – see http://www.onconctractonly.com and find my books on Kindle – http://www.wizetime.com http://www.oncontractonly.com
Recently, I’ve returned to a lot of volunteering in bigger organizations. I’ve always volunteered in one form or another but coming to work with bigger organizations has been positive. Larger organizations are quite different in scope and carry a totally different energy than smaller endeavors.
However, no matter where I volunteer, everyone has an open heart – they are volunteering. Their language is different, their approach is much softer and, despite the fact that many if not most use it as an opportunity to “sell themselves”, there is a difference how people connect in a volunteer setting.
Volunteer for Organizations You Like and Respect
I volunteer for organizations whose work I respect. I believe it’s important because if I can’t respect them, what am I doing volunteering?
The authentic volunteers can easily be separated from those volunteers who are in it for the “appearance or prestige”. Being strategic for career development by volunteering is a smart thing to do but I believe enjoying the experience is also equally important otherwise the time and energy invested may have some poor returns if you are not loving the experience.
The benefits are tremendous personally and professionally:
a) It’s a good feeling giving of my time to help support the efforts of the organization engaged to support a need in the community.
b) I meet tremendous people from all walks of life. We can see each other at our best – we are, after all, in the same boat – giving our time, talents and energy for no financial reward! We’re here to play albeit with a serious note.
c) Conversations begin spontaneously and with great grace since most volunteers treat one another very well.
d) We all have so much fun even if we are working very hard and as tired as a toddler who has run all day! We keep going until the job is done and we laugh about it!
e) Opportunities arise to practice conflict resolution, appeasing unhappy customers, and soothing frazzled nerves. We need to think on our feet and run like mad sometimes or help where we can only do our best under the circumstances.
f) If there are skills I want to acquire, I can find occasions to learn them or practice those I love. Right now, I’m volunteering as a presenter for Vantage and using my knowledge and skills to help organizations and individuals involved in the non-profit world to make their lives and contributions easier with tools and information. It helps me to hone my skills as a presenter – you’re forgiven a lot of missteps when you’re volunteering! What a great learning opportunity.
g) I make some new acquaintances and develop some new friends.
h) I learn about new things and experiences which I may have never otherwise known. Amazing the collective brain of human kind!
i) It feels good – that’s the bottom line – it feels good or I don’t do it. At least, volunteering, I don’t “have” to do anything – it’s a pure choice. What a sense of freedom!
I hope you will consider volunteering very soon if you’re not already. Look around. There are many opportunities to volunteer — sports, the performing arts, the visual arts, fundraising events of all description, disease research, disabled – tons of opportunities – have fun!
You’ll only have that birthday, whichever one it is, once. Once. You may have a lot of birthdays (or not), but the one you are having next will only happen once.
Imagine that! ONCE!
Have you ever thought about it?
I’m one of those pain in the neck people who insists that, no matter what else is happening the day of someone’s birthday, we’re celebrating it! No ifs, ands, or maybes – celebration!
It’s your day – the only day!
As a Manager, I would celebrate people’s birthdays at work with cake, flowers, candles and a card signed by everyone. Everyone loved it! And no one ever forgot – even the people who grumbled at first. Soon, they loved the idea of having the attention on them for the day. I encouraged people to take the day off work. Some didn’t want to do it – it was their choice.
Personally, I never miss my birthday – it’s a day on which I do anything I want. I usually book off work that day – it’s my day and I want to do what I want to do that one day a year no matter what! I usually never book anything the day before or after. The day before, I make sure that I clean my apartment exactly the way I want it and make preparations. The day of, I wake up and love the day!
How will you celebrate your next birthday?
Plan it out now – today — who will you share it with? Share it with the people you enjoy most – save the other people for another day. There’s nothing wrong with 3-day birthdays or week long birthdays. One person I know books the entire week of her birthday and each day is different than the other. She really treasures her birthday. All her friends love how she loves her birthday and they make sure to get in on the fun!
Next time you’re inclined to work late or ignore your birthday, STOP yourself.
Love yourself enough to enjoy the day of your birth – it was a special day for your parents when you were born and your grandparents and likely a host of other people. Even if your household was dysfunctional, the birth of a child awes everyone!
There’s Only One You!!!!
There is only one you – there will never be another you – all your talents, strengths, frailties, faults and joys – there’s no one like you – celebrate that distinctive combination of traits that makes you you. What an incredible adventure life is – you never know what’s around the corner – good or bad – it’s all part of the adventure.
Celebrating your birthday is greatest expression of your self-love and self-respect.
Will you be celebrating your next birthday? Plan it out today – and put it in your calendar – take the day off – and do only what you want to do that day – try it – you might like it!
Essentially, the term “procrastination” is applied to an action that a person thinks they “should” do but don’t.
The key word here is “should”. Should implies:
“have to or must”
“I’m forced to”
“it’s necessary for me to do this”
“someone else wants me to do its”
“I’m a people pleaser so I promised to do it”
“If I don’t do it, I’ll really hear about it”
What Does It Mean?
You noticed a key word missing – “WANT”.
The other not so obvious message here is that there is a payoff for procrastinating. Often people don’t think about the word payoff when they are avoiding taking a particular action. They can be payoffs such as:
adding to poor self-esteem because when you feel bad about not getting something done, it adds another notch to the self-deprecating voices in your head
controlling others by delaying actions which impact other people’s time and ability to finish their part of the project
sensing power from the very act of “doing it when you feel like it”
feeling the rush of getting the job done just under the wire
and there are many more payoffs for people.
Can We Stop Procrastinating?
Naturally! Put yourself in charge of your time and your life.
1. Don’t agree to doing anything unless you want to do it. WANT. It’s a habit just like the habit you have now agreeing to taking actions when you really don’t want to do it in the first place.
Accepting that there are things you simply don’t want to do and saying no sets you free. It takes some practice getting to that point. An easy way to start is by saying no to everything – everything for a week, even the things you might want to do. Slowly, start adding back the yes into your vocabulary – selectively – say yes to ONLY the things you WANT to do within the time you have available.
2. Payoff – what’s the payoff? It’s important to realize and accept that there is a payoff in everything we do. We want love, acceptance, money, security, kudos, recognition and a whole host of other things derived from the actions we take. As indicated in the previous paragraphs, the payoffs can also be negative.
What’s the payoff? Do you want it? If so, then accept it. If you want the negative results, then procrastinate and wallow in the joy of procrastination. If you don’t, then do one of two things:
tell the person who made the request that you longer want or can take the action as promised
do it – now and move on!
Once you feel the discomfort of telling someone you aren’t going to do something after all, you’ll never want to put yourself in that position again.
And if you do complete the action even if you don’t want to, feel how it feels – pay attention. It’s not pleasant – remember the feeling next time you are inclined to say yes quickly.
It’s simple to overcome procrastination if you really want to. The challenge is in your head more than in the “thing to be done”. If you can talk to yourself and are willing to see the reality behind the procrastination, the next step will be easy – do it or not – but get it off your list!