By Michael Angier
They say that nature abhors a vacuum. And so
it is with our lives. Everyone is busy—everyone. Ask any retired people you know
and they'll tell you they don't know where the time goes. Their life is full.
And they're RETIRED.
You can't put any more into a full cup. And
when our LIVES are filled to the brim, there's no room for anything else to come
As our lives become more and more frenetic,
we often become stressed, our health suffers, we have less fun, and we feel more
and more powerless. Our lives may feel out of control.
I think the idea of controlling time is a
myth. There's no way to control time. All we can do is attempt to control
EVENTS—and even many of THEM are out of our control.
What we need to do is take charge of the
things over which we DO have control. This takes discipline. And it's not easy.
With a finite amount of time available to us, we need to choose very carefully.
This is our LIFE. It's not a dress rehearsal.
The same virtue of which we may be proud—that
of sticking to something we've started—CAN work against us. Just because we
elected to take something on doesn't mean we have to do it forever. We can make
new choices, negotiate new agreements and still maintain our integrity.
In order to make room for what we want, we
need to get rid of what we DON'T want. This is the principle of vacuum. Our
lives fill up by choice or by default. And we need to choose. This requires a
ruthless evaluation of everything we do and why we do it. We can make more time
for ourselves by delegating, reducing or eliminating things we're now doing that
we either don't like or don't provide the payoff we want.
It may not seem immediately apparent what or
how something can be eliminated, but it can be done. It starts with making a
list of everything you do that you don't like doing and everything that no
longer has real value to you. Don't let the thought of, "But I have to do this,"
get in the way of making the list. Figuring out how you'll get it handled is
another step. Simply make the list and be honest.
Once you've made the list of hate-to-do's and
non- or low-payoff tasks, it's time to start prioritizing. One way is to think
about what you'd do if you became incapacitated. How would these things get
done? WOULD they get done? What would happen if they didn't? Who else might do
it? Be sure to ask yourself what you're getting out of it, and compare it to
other things you could be doing that would produce more or better
Like I said, it's not easy. But you can do
it. Look for at least three things you're now doing that you will stop doing or
have done by someone else. Think of how you'd feel if you were no longer
obligated to do this thing. If it's one of relief, then that's one to go
Wayne Dyer says relationships that operate
from obligation lack integrity. I agree. Your relationship with yourself and
with others should be ones of integrity. We want to eliminate the feeling of
obligation. This is being truly responsible.
Create some vacuum in your life. Make some
room and watch new and better things flow in.
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