This Attitude is all about time.
Are you someone who often says, ‘I don’t have time for this’? If you are someone who experiences time as a scarce commodity, then you are creating a completely different personal reality from someone who perceives that they have all the time in the world. Your world is likely to be much more stressful. Maybe you have even experienced some of the symptoms of stress such as breathlessness, panic attacks and high blood pressure. Deepak Chopra, the world-famous medical doctor and author, wrote of an Indian master, who explained his remarkably youthful appearance thus: ‘Most people spend their lives either in the past or the future, but my life is supremely concentrated in the present.’ This is because those who live in the past often suffer from guilt and those who worry about the future often suffer from anxiety. Yet, if you live in the now you can focus on enjoying the moment, whatever you are doing, this has a more relaxing impact on the body. When life is concentrated in the present, it is at its most real, because the past and future are not impinging upon it. Only now exists. If you can free yourself from the guilt of the past or anxiety about the future a space is opened for a completely new experience – the moment of now.
This activity is designed to give you a unique experience of ‘now’, something that is most likely completely outside of your normal ‘time-controlled’ way of being. It allows an enjoyment of each moment, likely to be more intense and enjoyable, and at the same time, more calming than your normal experience.
Activity: Living in the now
Choose a day when you are not pursuing your normal activities – maybe at the weekend or when you are away on holiday. Remove your watch and focus on putting all of your attention in the now.
Enjoy every moment
It doesn’t matter what you choose to do – it may be time with the kids, friends or your partner. Equally, you may choose to spend time on your own. Whatever you decide, the important thing is to give that activity, person or people your full attention. Play at 100 per cent.
The really exciting thing to realise is that we can only experience now; never the past or the future. When you think of a childhood memory, you are not experiencing the past – but your perception of the past in the ‘now’. The same goes for the future. If you imagine an event in the future, you are experiencing your perception of that event now. You can’t have a problem with your childhood, as that is past. You can, however, have a problem with your perception of it now. This is exciting for us as we can change our perception of events, past or future, in the ‘now’. This is because we choose our thoughts and so we can decide if we choose to feel miserable or happy about a past event in the now. This is a completely different way of considering time. There is no absolute time or absolute memory. We are dealing with our own perceptions of time and events which can be changed. The attitude you take towards time says something about you. For example, if you live your life constantly putting yourself under huge time pressures, you are more likely to develop health-related problems associated with stress. Even the word ‘deadline’ sounds threatening, as it contains the word ‘dead’. It implies that you’re in real trouble if you don’t deliver on time!
Making the most of now
Why not take control of time before it takes control of you? Truly make the most of every moment and play it at 100 per cent. Let’s use time as if every day is our best day.
Activity: I take the time for me
Making time for YOU is one of the most important changes you can make this year.
- What does it mean to you to invest time in yourself?
- What would it take for you to give yourself permission to regularly take time out just for you?
Make a list of all the things you want to make more time for in your life and how you will create more time for each one. For this activity, the only rule is that they must be things or activities for you alone. For example, you might decide to go and enjoy a quiet coffee at the local coffee house on Saturday mornings while you read the paper, or go for a walk in the countryside on Sunday afternoons. They do not have to be expensive things; in fact, many of the most pleasurable activities can be done for free.
Challenge your personal perception of time. Start focusing on having enough time to do what you want as opposed to never having enough time. Life will immediately become less stressful! Live in the now rather than in the past or the future. Stop wasting your energy on the past or worrying about the future. Do what is important rather than what you perceive to be urgent by setting ‘real’ as opposed to artificial priorities. Create more time for YOU and what you want to do…. now is as good as any a moment to re-evaluate how you utilise time for yourself.
Here’s to your success….
Lindsey Agness is a Master Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming and author of four books on change.
Read some of Lindsey’s other articles