Time-Crunched Self-Talk – Day 238 of 365 Days to a Better You

“I’m going to be late. Damn it! I’m always late. There’s just not enough time. I wish I had more time! I just have so much to do.”

This may be an extreme example (minus the explicative), but do you find yourself engaged in time-crunched self-talk? I know I do. I know I get hurried, rushed, and convinced I don’t have enough time to “get it all done.”

Consider slowing down to speed up.

We can all agree that time is valuable and that our human existence is finite. However, our relationship to time, in the modern world, is one of slave and master. It’s destructive and it’s unhealthy. And you thought it was just your charming Type-A personality.

We use words like deadline, due date, drop dead date. We attach adjectives like looming. Our subservience to our time commitments, even at the expense of our well-being, is astonishing.

I have questions for you. Is anyone actually going to die, if your report is a day late? Will your company go out of business? Will it’s stock crash? Ok, yes, there is that .01 percent of the time where that is true. The other 99.99 percent of the time it’s not even close to true. Yet, we break ourselves as if it were.

One of the first questions I always ask when I take on a project, “Is your date a real date…a real business or moral imperative or is it a date someone made up out of thin air?”

Guess what? Most deadlines and due dates really aren’t.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t be a person of your word. I am saying take a breath. I am saying most of the time emergencies in our lives…the ones we self-talk to ourselves at the stoplight you just missed…are total fiction.

Why stress so much? The only person that’s dying when you do, is you.

Power hack: Here are some simple tips you can apply when you feel the time crunch stress and the self-talk starts flowing.

  1. Thought stopping is a fantastic technique to use with any kind of negative self-talk.
  2. Tick-marking is a technique I created many years ago. You literally have have a sheet of paper and a pen. Every time you think a time crunching thought, make a tick mark on the sheet. It’s a great way to notice how often it’s happening and bring more awareness.
  3. Ask for more time. As I mentioned above, few deadlines really are. You’ll be surprised how often the answer will be yes, if you ask.
  4. There’s actually plenty of time. If you stop rushing through life worried there’s not enough time, you’ll find there’s plenty of time. Fill your day up with life not worrying about time.
  5. Make time serve you. Don’t be a slave to time. Make it your tool.
  6. There’s no moral imperative for you to risk your health for imaginary dates.
  7. Lose the time aphorisms. We have a million time aphorisms in our culture telling us why hurry, hurry, hurry is the only way to be. It’s not. That’s just a paradigm.
  8. Regroup. Take a breath. Take a break. Take a walk.

Our time is finite, but we expand it by not stressing over it so much. slow down.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great Saturday!

Ray

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Accentuate The Positive – Day 237 of 365 Days to a Better You

Some 2500 years ago the Buddha, as recorded in the Dhammapada, is said to have articulated the following.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought: we are formed and molded by our thoughts. (Verse 1)

Whatever harm an enemy may do to an enemy, or a hater to a hater, an ill-directed mind inflicts on oneself a greater harm. Neither mother, father, nor any other relative can do one greater good than one’s own well-directed mind. (Verses 42-43)

The Buddha’s meaning is quite clear. He was among the earliest to say something along the lines of, “You become what you think.” Then he goes further. He tells us that no outside force can do us as much harm or good as our own thoughts.

This begs the question, “Who controls your thoughts?”

That ought to be 100 percent of time Y-O-U.

The equation is simple from here. Badly as we might want to shift the blame to other people, God, or society; you control your thinking and your thinking dominates your life. I say dominates rather than controls because there are circumstantial exceptions, but not many.

So, what you’re feeling, what you’re attracting, where you’re stuck all follows a straight line back to your thinking. There’s just no way around it.

This isn’t a blame game. I’m not telling you this so you can feel worse about yourself or become defensive. I’m telling you this because your thinking has led you to where you are as surely as the earth follows the sun. If you want to change your circumstances, you will have to change your thinking.

It’s not a replacement for faith or a support system, but those can only help you when you’re thinking is leading the way forward.

Power hack: Accentuate the positive…eliminate the negative.

You may have heard the old 1940s sing titled Accentuate The Positive. The lyric goes, “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative…” It’s simple, but profound advice.

When you feel down, depressed, beaten, you can get stuck in an eddy of negativity and there seems like no way out. One negative thought follows another and you start buying into all of it.

When you’re feeling that way, you’ve megadose the positive. Force feed it. Flush out the negative with the positive. Let the sunshine dissipate the clouds. Don’t complain about the clouds. Summon the sunshine.

Easy? No, it’s hard. It sometimes takes every ounce of strength and you may feel oddly attached to your wallowing, but I assure you you can pull yourself out of that ditch when you understand your thoughts don’t just happen.

My wife shared something funny and inspiring today. She follows Rachel Hollis and she now has a tattoo that reads, “Embrace the suck.”

Sometimes we have to do hard things and it sucks. Climbing back to your best self when it’s easier to stay down is hard. But, you are a one-in-a-trillion miracle and totally with that effort.

You’re all the best! Thanks for stopping by and spending your valuable time with me!

Ray

It’s Never Too Late – Day 236 of 365 Days to a Better You

There are many mental traps you can fall into that can limit your pursuit of your dreams. One of the most common and believable is, “It’s too late.” My goal in the rest of this post is to convince you that’s not so!

25 It’s Never Too Late Quotes

    Who told you it was too late? And more importantly, why did you choose to believe them? ~Richelle Goodrich
    So long as you have courage and a sense of humor, it’s never too late to start life afresh. ~Freeman Dyson
    in the end you are the only one who can make yourself happy. More important, …it is never too late to find out how to do it. ~Ruth Reichl
    No star is ever lost we once have seen. We always may be what we might have been. ~Adelaide Ann Proctor
    As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good. ~Maya Angelou
    It’s never too late to give up what you are doing and start doing what you realize you love. ~Hans Rosling
    It’s never too late. Don’t focus on what was taken away. Find something to replace it and acknowledge the blessing you have. ~Drew Barrymore
    You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~C.S. Lewis
    It’s never too late to learn. ~Malcolm Forbes
    It’s never too late to mend your ways. ~American Proverb
    It’s never too late to be great. ~Jordan Burroughs
    Remember that it’s never too late and you’re never too old to get the body you were born to have. ~David Kirsch
    I just want to show the world it’s never too late to get your diploma, and show kids they should stay in school and not wait until you’re old to get it. ~Flavor Flav
    I’m living the dream! I just want to tell actors and writers it’s never too late, and it can happen when you least expect it. ~Geneva Carr
    It’s never too late to take your heart health seriously and make it a priority. ~Jennie Garth
    It’s never too late to reclaim your inner diva and reclaim your inner strength. ~Michelle Visage
    Sometimes too late is just in time. ~C.J. Carlyon
    It’s never too late to take another path. ~David Suzuki
    It’s never too late to give up your prejudices. ~Henry David Thoreau
    It’s never too late to drop your beliefs and let your wounds heal. ~Adam Scythe
    There is nothing better in life than being a late bloomer. Success can happen at any time and at any age. You can have a spiritual awakening and discover a new side of yourself. And best of all, love can happen at any age. ~Salma Hayek
    You’re never too old, never too bad, never too late and never too sick to start from the scratch once again. ~Bikram Choudhury
    Live your life and forget your age. ~Norman Vincent Peale
    Aging is a physical process, but age is a state of mind. ~Ted Smith
    It matters only that you manifest your genius; it doesn’t matter when. It’s never too late or too early. ~Mark Victor Hansen

10 People Who Proved It’s Never Too Late

  1. Satchel Paige – denied his right to be among the elite pitchers in MLB history by the color barrier, Paige threw his first MLB pitch at age 42 and his last at 59.
  2. Laura Ingalls Wilder – the world-famous author of the “Little House” books didn’t have her first book published until she was 65.
  3. Gladys Burrill – competed in her first marathon at 86 and her last at 92.
  4. Susan Boyle – was 47 when she shocked the world on Britain’s Got Talent to become a global singing star.
  5. Peter Mark Roget – retired at 61 and always enjoyed making lists. At age 73, he published one of the most read books in the English language – Roget’s Thesaurus.
  6. Anna Mary Robertson – took up painting at 67 after her husband’s death. When she was 78, an art collector bought all her paintings. They were shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She became known to the world as “Grandma Moses.”
  7. Ronald Reagan – while today we think little of a candidate running for president in their 70s, Ronald Reagan took office in 1981 at the age of 69; considered ancient at the time. He’d run for president twice before and failed. He remains the oldest elected president at 73 Years 249 days and oldest serving president at 77 years 349 days.
  8. Colonel Harland Sanders – at 65, a penniless retired small-time restaurant owner took his “secret recipe” chicken on the the road looking for franchisees. The story goes he was rejected by more than 1000 restaurant owners before he found one in Salt Lake City. Within 10 years, Kentucky Fried Chicken became the world’s largest chicken restaurant chain.
  9. Ray Kroc – worked as a cup and milkshake machine salesman. One of his customers – the McDonald brothers – ran a hamburger joint that impressed him. At 59, he bought the company and turned into the world’s largest franchise before his death.
  10. Harry Bernstein – wrote more than 20 unpublished novels. At the age of 97, his autobiographical novel – The Invisible Wall – was published to critical acclaim. He followed that with two more books.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m fresh out of reasons why it’s too late to pursue my dreams. Let’s get to it!

Keep believing in a Better You and a better world, my friends.

Ray

A Nice Challenge – Day 235 of 365 Days to a Better You

Nice. Kind. Generous. Selfless. You get the idea. I challenge you to give back today in big ways or small as you see fit. When you’ve given a little back, do something nice for you.

Here’s the mission; should you choose to accept. Be the ambassador of all things kind today.

  1. Do something nice for someone you love.
  2. Do something nice for a friend.
  3. Do something nice for a stranger.
  4. Do something nice for someone who deserves it.
  5. Do something nice for someone who doesn’t deserve it.
  6. Do something nice for someone online.
  7. Do something nice for someone not able to do anything for you.
  8. Do something nice for yourself.

Let’s, you and me, create a ripple of nice in the world today. I’d say it needs it, wouldn’t you? If not us, who? If not now, when?

When you’re done, I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.

Have a day, that at the end, you’ll be able to say, “Nicely done.”

Ray

Five Steps to Constant Motivation – Day 234 of 365 Days to a Better You

You often hear sportscasters talk about a team getting “Big Mo” on their side. In that context, they’re referring to momentum. I’m talking about the other “Big Mo” – motivation. If you have the latter, I can practically guarantee you’ll have the the former.

What is Motivation?

It’s an internalized drive that pulls your powers of heart, mind, and body in a purposeful direction. It pushes you toward action and achievement and away from stagnation and procrastination. It’s something within that lights your fire, drives ambition, gives you a zest for life, and provides a reason for getting up in the morning.

Where Does It Come From?

Inspiration. Many use motivation and inspiration interchangeably. They’re similar concepts, but their source is different. While motivation is the internal fire, inspiration is the external spark that lights it. Ate you looking for motivation? The good news is its inspiration can come from a million places – a movie, a book, an experience, a sudden insight, a conversation with a friend. There’s no end to the constant sparks around you ready, as soon as you’re willing, to light that fire inside.

How to Make Motivation Work for You

Great! Now you know what motivation is and where you can dip your candle to get the flame going. How do you use it and keep it burning?

  1. Purpose – undirected motivation is a fire that soon flickers out. You must have a compelling goal that keeps feeding the fire.
  2. Action – stationary motivation quickly fizzles. Once you have a purpose, start moving toward it. Don’t wait. Procrastination is water on your fire.
  3. Goals – your purpose is a big, all encompassing target. Have small, achievable goals along the way towards it. Nothing feeds the fire like success.
  4. Celebrate – celebrate those little successes along the way. This adds incentive to keep acting in the direction of your goals and purpose.
  5. Dream – dream big, colorful dreams that employ as many of your senses as possible. The more senses that are involved the more real the dream. While goals are the intellectual objectives, dreaming is the emotional engine that keeps the whole train moving down the track. It sucks in the inspiration from all around you and keeps pushing you to act.

If you do these five things, rinse, and repeat, you’ll never be unmotivated in your life again.

Have a beautiful and MOTIVATED day!

Ray

Monday Monday: Make Monday Count – Day 233 of 365 Days to a Better You

The Mamas and The Papas had a major hit song in the 60s by this title. One of the lyrics reads, “Monday Monday, can’t trust that day.”

Many people in the world feel Monday physically, mentally, and spiritually. Hung over from the relative freedom of the weekend, Monday represents a return the grind of the modern work week. That alone makes it depressing for many. This is compounded by the fact many people are doing something they just stomach for the paycheck.

Here’s the thing. If you can get past all that drama, you can put yourself ahead of the pack. People’s distaste for Monday causes them to write it off or cruise through it. This means many salespeople, writers, business people, and others start their week behind the curve. By pushing on Monday, can give you a bigger advantage over the competition than in any other day because the competition, unless they love what they do, is falling behind all day Monday.

Monday, as we’ve discussed before, is one-seventh of out lives. If you can make it yours, it can become your secret weapon rather than a scourge.

Lean for the tape today, my friends!

Ray