Time isn’t infinite. We have just a moment to do what we need to do in this life and as we all know it goes by too fast. Knowing that, why do so many of us fritter our time in ways that have no effect. No, you don’t have to be goal driven so frequently that you lose the ability to find joy in the simplicity of doing nothing on a Saturday afternoon, but you do have to have vision into what you want your time in life to mean.
The questions that have been driving me lately are:
Am I living by my principals?
I have a friend and coleuge that is the driving force in this thought. He will often ask if the message we are sending, the project we are planning or the development we are doing part of our overall principal? In other words, are we undermining what we really want to gain with something less than that isn’t aligned with our vision of our future.
This is powerful stuff. When I started to really think about that for my own life it really started to effect my communication style, the career choices I was making and even my day to day activities around my own home. Now, don’t get me wrong. I fail and I fail hard, but I am working towards living up to the expectations that I have for myself. As a atheist humanist I don’t have a book or other ruling guideline, which some who do, might think it is impossible to navigate these waters, but what I have found is that it makes me ever more sure that what I am setting out to do is deeply felt and understood. I’m not winging this, folks.
Is my word matching my vision of how I want to be perceived?
Communication skills may be one of the areas that I see people fail at most often. Even in the best of circumstances people aren’t feeling like they are understood even though they think they are trying their very best. I know that I am, personally, working on tone, body language and listening. What’s that old joke? We have two ears and one mouth so should the two beat the one at the communicating game? Listening is probably one of the harder skills that we learn as people. It means not being right. It means not sharing your story. It means just hearing what someone else is saying without an agenda towards yourself. That practice alone, which I am just a beginner at, is humbling to the experience of communication.
Do my actions mirror my vision of myself?
Do I do what I say I am going to do? If I am honest with myself I would say that I am about a 85% at this right now. I have great intention, but sometimes my follow through isn’t as perfect as it could be. This isn’t usually in client work, it is more in personal and relationship nurturing areas… because as we all know sometimes those are the areas that get the least attention. Bringing my A game on this at all times would be my ultimate goal to feel like I have shown my mission, not just talked about it.
Is this overwhelming?
Sure, living like this on a daily basis can seem overwhelming. Hell, I just want to goof off too sometimes and not worry about the big stuff, but as I reached my 40’s, with all of my immediate family deceased, I have a deep understanding that this is all you get. Use it wisely. Figure out how you want to swim in the river with all the other fish; not getting caught in a net that you didn’t navigate, see or understand.
Not sure where to start? Think about the fact that this is your life and you can craft it anyway you want. Even if you have a shitty job and a mortgage you can barely afford; you know, obligations. You can meet those with a smile or a frown. You can arrange your days in a way that further your future. You can align yourself with people who matter. You can decide your days.