Category Archives: Reaching Your Optimum Potential

Coming Home

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Like many Americans I am returning back from a Memorial Day vacation. This time, as I returned to the daily routine of my day I have chosen a more mindful approach when enacting the activities of my day. Taking a personal inventory to ask questions such as “What did I truly miss while I was away or who did I miss when I was away?” are important questions to ask. Of course everyone has things in her or his daily routine that may not be enjoyable per say, however one can agree that if the activities improve the life experience overall, it is worth keeping such actives in the daily routine. For example, doing dishes and laundry,  or taking coursework in a subject that is not one’s strength, are activities that person may not want to return to however, she realizes that they need to be done.  Especially if that person enjoys eating off of clean plates and having clean clothes to wear.

The important part is not to mindlessly return to a routine after vacation. Ask if the typical actions of the day are producing the results that bring feelings of progress, fulfillment, satisfaction, and yes JOY! This life we have is so short and precious if it has become constant drudgery and compromise, instead of being fun and interesting most of the time, than something is out of balance and needs to be addressed.

So As you return from vacation or the stay-cation of a three day weekend I invite you to mindfully reenter your routine and make it a more satisfying one in order for you to have a happy life.

What are you doing? Manage your time, manage your life.

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Have you ever stopped to ask yourself  “What am I doing?”  Why are you doing a specific action at a particular time?

It’s interesting to break-down how people use time.  What is the difference in actions between the way a transient person uses time and a billionaire? The way a stay-at-home parent uses time and how a corporate executive uses time? How a celebrity uses time and how an office worker uses time?  The way we use our time ultimately defines what kind of life we have to look back on, when we reflect on the life created by these consecutive moments, how time is used can have a major impact in the arena of material success, how a person uses their time is a fundamental  factor in a person’s chances of success.

In the poem I Was Going to Live My Dream But… I illustrate the many little time takers a person encounters in their day. This is written from the point of view of  a wife and mother, however it’s easily transferable to any life and the specific fill-in-the-blanks tasks that make up a  day’s worth of time.

Time is a precious commodity. As we get older time practically vaporizes before us, and once in awhile a moment will happen that causes a person to take note of just how many years have flown by. Those years, all made up of tiny moments, are reflected on, and the question inevitably comes “What did I do with that time?”

So what’s the point? What is the point of the tasks that take up a day? What goals do these actions make happen? What results come from these actions? Is it what you want? Are you happy? It’s  good  to be mindful of questions like these as the day goes by to make sure you are getting the most of every moment. Especially in today’s world of technology with literally thousands of methods of distraction available to us in an instant a person can lose a lot of time without a satisfying return on investment from how that time was spent.  It takes discipline, discipline  in thought and action in order to have satisfying experience of life.  Discipline becomes at the same time the most difficult thing to do and the most important thing to do when achieving goals to live a satisfying life.

Discipline has a negative connotation, as if something is being taken away– Freedom stolen.  This is not the case. Discipline is simply a path, like digging a canal that flows to the life a person wants, time can be much like water. Water can cause a lot of damage when it’s not channeled through a canal, at best it lazily floods and makes a big mess, at its worst it can be highly destructive, but all of that can be avoided with proper channeling of the water flow. Once water is channeled within a canal, it can irrigate a field, or serve as a water source, even create power if attached to a hydro-electric device.  Channeling the water makes it productive and the same is true with time. Daily schedules help combat distraction, and when teamed with a reasonable to-do list which is  marked by priority, a day’s worth of time begins to take shape. Much like a canal,  the schedule gives a path to time that causes something to be produced with it. Consulting  schedules and to-do lists  lends  guidance to decide what activity should be going on in a particular moment in order to reach a goal and feel satisfied at the end of the day.

These are merely guidelines of course,  as the day unfolds its undoubted that the schedule and list will go through alterations,  however there is still a course that can be returned to and priority tasks can be completed.

Make a list of all the time stealers in your schedule. Which stealers can be removed from your schedule by either delegating them, deleting them or managing them more effectively. For example social media like Facebook and Twitter can steal a lot of time if you let it, but with a timer beeping when allotted time is over, and by limiting access to it by only checking at designated times of day (this can apply to email as well), one can have more time for productive work with a good return on time invested.

It is important to make not only financial or material goals but also personal and social goals as well. Spending time with family, having fun, self improvement and care time are included in the list of what must be done. With the guide of a schedule and to-do list and with discipline to channel the use of time, one’s daily actions can produce a very happy and satisfying life.

You must be whole on your own to be in a complete relationship

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I would like to address a myth of the modern world that I feel is prevalent. With fairy tales and romantic comedies there is this assumption that once you are in a committed relationship you will never be alone. Yet in today’s world of business travel, long work hours and transfers to other places for work it is rare that a couple be together all the time. Those who attempt to be in a relationship in order to fill a need that they are not able to fill independently of their partner have a great chance to set themselves up for disappointment.

It is interesting to think about military families in history. Men would go to war sometimes four or more years without seeing their family. There are the modern warriors, not just the military but the business warriors that are away from their families on the road around the globe getting the deal done.

Entertainers, athletes, and others are constantly on the move on tour or promoting their work and their partners need to be strong and complete on their own. This allows a person to be able to enjoy the time they have with the one they love instead of feeling they must be punished in some way for not being present to fulfill the needs of the other.

In order to live a fulfilling and satisfying life one must have a parallel path to the one they love. There are great times when the paths intertwine and are in harmony. Yet, inevitably there will be times when paths become parallel but separate for any number of reasons. That’s why the key to happiness inevitably comes back to self.

Before a person can become a part of a strong relationship, they must first be strong as an individual. They must have an independent sense of place, of self, be able to provide for themselves should that become necessary. This ability changes the dynamic of a relationship from needing to be together, to wanting to be together. Something that often adds the spark and confidence people crave from the dating phase of a relationship. That is a very powerful distinction.

Relationships are a lot like running a three-legged race. The person not only needs to be capable of running quickly on their own, they must also be able to run tied to another which involves communication and team work. When both partners know they can count on the other to hold up their end of the team and keep moving forward together the more successful the couple will be in staying together throughout the journey of life.