In a previous article, I proposed to “settle” into this lock-down experience, as a proverbial “Step 1” of a personal walk to better your quality of life. By focusing on yourself in a positive way, you can overcome the feeling of restriction social distancing brings, by being as still and creative as possible and and making concrete plans now to bring more quality into your life “tomorrow”. Ready to get off the bench of this park to continue on your walk with me?
If you’re already on this path, well done! I hope you may find further inspiration in the sentences that follow.
Step 2 – PARADIGM SHIFT: A SENSE OF ABUNDANCE VS A SENSE OF LACK
ABUNDANCE OF TIME
Time is the most important gift we have: the natural resource we cannot buy, not really save nor reproduce in the laboratory. This unpredictable global pause gives us more of this resource we miss so sorely in our daily lives, and a good opportunity to discover and appreciate its width. The ancient Greeks had two words for time, χρονος (Kronos) and καιρος (Kairòs). The first refers to logical and sequential time, the second means a “time in the middle”, a moment of an indeterminate period of time in which “something” special happens. Appreciate the opportunity.
TRUST YOUR INNER SENSE OF TIMING
During this pause, take away the watch from your wrist for an entire day and you will be surprised to see that you will always do on time that what is really needed. Dr. Michael Breus, in his book “The power of when”, associates four ‘chronotypes’ i.e. ways in which a person’s sleep and energy are distributed during the day. He likens this behaviour to that of four animals: dolphins, lions, wolves and bears. Google it and profile yourself!
AN AWARENESS OF QUALITY TIME
It is good to plan by priorities and value and not by urgency. What is your approach to quality time? Having in mind the present moment or a standard one in your life, note all the activities you perform in a day. Associate to each one the duration and the emotion you felt doing it. Is something fulfilling missing? What do you feel drains your energy the most? What is just time consuming at the end of the day?
What can you do to enrich your daily or weekly routine with positive emotions? Who are the ones who really deserve your time and attention? What can you streamline or effectively delegate, in life or in business? Review your list to write down your perfect day agenda, by priorities and values, estimate a maximum duration and integrate what you really want to be part of your days, today and – even more – “tomorrow”
What differentiates happy, successful people from others is the ability to see opportunities through difficulty and finding alternative ways to succeed. They remain self-confident, while being open to consider even unexpected paths that life may present in support of personal realisation.
Be mindful of the way you express your thoughts when you speak to yourself . The brain takes your words as instructions literally. In order to generate a path, it strengthens them until they become beliefs. Denial and negativity included. So, what happens every time you say to yourself: I’m not able to….I cannot make it…..I don’t have enough…, I mess up with …etc..? The same applies when you speak to others. Judge less and stop comparing. Whatever you want to undertake, be sure to constantly feed your brain with positive words focusing on how you want to feel with regards to a situation. Instead of using the prefix “don’t”, rephrase it with a similar concept framed in a positive, affirmative way. Start this review now to improve your quality of life , and to kickstart a better quality life “tomorrow”.
ABUNDANCE OF YOU
Looking back, what do you celebrate? Recall the enthusiasm these achievements gave you. What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you? Recall your happiest memory. What makes you special? What do you do best? Profit of this “time in the middle”, to congratulate yourself for who you are, for your accomplishments, for making other’s lives more enjoyable.
Also think about how long you struggled with an issue but didn’t give up? How many alternative solutions did you unexpectedly find? The last improvement you introduced in your life? What do you want in your job, apart from money? How do you express your creativity? Who are the supportive ones? How would your friends describe your strengths? When was the last time you felt truly inspired by someone? These are lots of examples to nurture your mind with new insights.
When was the last time you did anything for the first time?
THE BEST OF TOMORROW
Think big and envision your desired future, blossoming from your desire, dreams, hopes and aspirations. Visualise yourself as you want to be, as you want to feel at the end of the day. Then, choose an item and design your roadmap. List according to priority the steps you need to take and identify the available resources at your disposal. Then ask, who can assist you? Who are the ones you want around you to celebrate your next success? What would you like to create, experience, do, enjoy, change, teach, learn, offer, move forward, improve on, in your life? Which relationships do you want to strengthen?
Maybe you can take some actions right now to pave the way to your desired outcome tomorrow. Take note of it and make the change today.
THE WINNER IS YOU
Congratulations! You just found your own treasure. By being more self-aware and asking loads of new questions you normally overlook, you create a deeper awareness of the present moment as an opportunity and discover more about yourself. It does not only make you stay active during this “time in the middle”, it generates a healthier , better quality life in the future. Keep what you know is good, but question new possibility – for the best is yet to come.