Life is a flurry of movement ninety-nine percent of the time. We wake up in the morning to hit the floor running trying to get ready as fast as we can. We have to get dressed, get kids fed and off to school, figure out what we are having for dinner tonight, when we will have time to stop at the cleaners or do the laundry, who we need to call back on the way to work, make sure we have all our crap in our hands, kiss our loved one in a furiously fast flyby and hope to God we remembered to feed the pets and turn off the appliances as we warp speed out the front door! Then we have to race to the gas station, fight traffic to work, hurry up and clock in, dive right in to what can only be described as a ‘to do list’ of someone elses agenda designed to help THEM achieve THEIR dreams. We dedicate 40+ hours a week to making someone we don’t know successful, at least the same amount of time to helping our kids and loved ones achieve their goals and then (more often than not) we spend the remaining time we have in a given week descending into mindless entertainment on television or the internet because, let’s be honest, who has time for anything else after all that?
In all this we get overwhelmed by responsibility, necessity and the unending barrage of unimportant distractions. We have so many people asking us for some many things that we often default to ‘yes’ just to get them to go away and we find ourselves looking at our days, minute by minute, with frightful despair at the lack of time we have remaining. Then, there is the powerful and unrelenting gravity of the media giants we have filled our lives with, not the least of which, social media, tugs at us with the strength of Jupiter. We spend hours a day, often the most important hours – that should be spent in planning and celebrating our days- in the clutches of social media where we analyze our lives by comparing them to the updates of others. We check in, update, comment, and critique. We capture our ‘highlights’, the least common moments of our lives, in videos and photos and wait to see how relevant they are by the number of likes and comments we receive. We are checking into the irrelevant reality that has been built for us but we are checking out the most important moments of the day; the moments we should be investing in ourselves.
As human beings, we are a by nature investors. We invest in homes, financial stability, education and careers. We invest in family members, friends, religion and the pursuit of all things that we believe will bring us happiness. But what many of us are not investing enough in, is ourselves. We are checking in on social media, but we are checking out of our own stories. We are achieving goals that are largely for the benefit of other people but we are not allocating time to the pursuits of ourselves. We are being parents, employees, husbands/wives, friends and helpers but we are not being who we are truly meant to be; free, joyously happy people. We have disconnected from our true purpose in this life, to pursue and experience happiness so that we can conform to the world that has been built for us. We have become intricate parts of other peoples stories, but WE ARE FAILING TO WRITE OUR OWN.
We live in an inclusive universe of abundance; that means that we cannot exclude anything from our experience in life, we can only include what we choose to include. By focusing all our attention on the needs of others and INCLUDING an exclusion of ourselves we are magnifying that exclusion in our lives and moving further away from writing our own story. We must be intentional in our inclusion of ourselves, our dreams and our goals in our daily life if we are to see those become reality. But we are in luck because the only thing necessary for us to invest in ourselves, to inclusively write the story of our lives, is the universal currency we all already have available to us; our time and our intention.
It’s not a hard task to invest in oneself, but it does have to start with a understanding of what it is YOU want in your life. You have to be willing to imagine, to say and to believe it. You have to be able to visualize your story in your mind. As the saying goes, ‘If you can believe it you can achieve it.” And let’s be real here, this is YOUR STORY so don’t be cheap or modest! Dream big or go home! Imagine that life you want and then hold on to that image because it needs to become a part of your everyday life, in those important pivotal moments of the day that will carry enough emotional weight to ingrain it into your heart and your mind.
The first hour of the day, when you are compelled to initiate warp speed in a mindless flurry of repetitious actions, take that moment to be intentional about your day and your story. The mind works really fast so it isn’t like it’s a big investment of your time. Take a few moments, a few minutes at most, and think about everything you need to do that do. Prioritize the activities so that you can focus on the most important, because the truth is that you probably aren’t going to get it ALL done today. What is equally, if not more so, important than prioritizing the mundane tasks of the day is taking a moment to build that mental and emotional bridge between what you MUST do today and how it will get you to the story that are you trying to tell about yourself. That’s the real key, because if you can’t build that bridge of connectivity, it’s going to be real hard to motivate yourself to traverse it with any real passion, isn’t it? These few moments in the morning can really set the tone for the day, help you keep focus on what needs to be done and keep you headed in the direction of the dreams that are part of your story.
The end of the day can be as equally impactful and important as the first hour of the day. Its when the flurry of the day has slowed and the responsibilities your life has dictated to you are done, or at least as done as they can be, that you can (and should) take a moment to reflect on the day. What happened today that you liked? What happened that you didn’t? What could you do better tomorrow, next week, next month, next time? What occurred that you would like to never see a part of your story again? What happened that you would? What should I celebrate about this day? Don’t get sucked into the negativity of ‘this sucked’ and that was ‘crap’ because that’s just subjective labeling of an ambiguous and fleeting emotion. Really dig in and identify the what, why and how so that it can be of real value later.
Of course, there is nothing that says you are tied to the ebb and flow of standard time. There is no ‘circadian rhythm’ to investing in ourselves. Invest where you have moments to invest, but be sure you are actually investing. Time is a tricky thing that will get away from you quickly and you will find yourself running ‘out of time’ if you are not intentional in how you choose to invest it. Yes, all those responsibilities seem really important in the heat of the moment but the most important moments of any day, which collectively become the most important of your life, are the moments you dedicate to yourself and your story. Those moments where YOU INVEST IN YOU to become the person you want to be, to live the life you want to live, to achieve the dreams you have dreamt and to tell the story that YOU CHOOSE for your life. It is the intentional moments that you put aside for you that make everything, and ANYTHING, possible. It is a universal truth that we must CHOOSE to set aside time for the things that we truly want and desire in life and all those wants and desires will coalesce around you when you choose to invest in yourself.
The only limits in your life are the limits you place on yourself by not investing in yourself with your time and your faith.
Note: I’m just a regular guy. I’m not famous, financially wealthy or in any way ‘qualified’ by any means of the social definition to tell anyone else how to live their life. This is just knowledge that has been imparted to me, that has worked and is still WORKING FOR ME an that is universally applicable to anyone who chooses to engage in the process of actively telling their story. Take it for what it is.