There are very few things in life that we all have equal amounts of, but one of them is time. Obviously we do not have the same amount of time in our complete lives, but we do for our individual days. Regardless of wealth or status, whether you are rich or poor, we each have 24 hours in a day. How we choose to use our time varies for each of us. For me, in the New Year, I’m trying to be more deliberate with how I use my time. Some might say they do not have the luxury of time, as I once did, but honestly, we all have time in the day for some worthwhile activities. Perhaps some time modifications might make us better humans. I’m giving it a try.
Just this morning, upon getting out of bed,I momentarily decided not to make my bed. Quickly I questioned myself, why would I not take the minute or two to make my bed, there really was no reason not to. So, I made my bed. No big deal but it was one conscious step that I could build upon in order to overcome procrastination. It happened to be a Saturday morning when this thought crossed my mind, nothing too pressing was going on. I certainly could skip making my bed, but you get my point. Do what you can when you can, use your time wisely.
The day goes on. I find it important to have some quiet time. Not just time to catch up on emails, which often leads to endless searches on the internet of who knows what, but spending time in a spiritual sense. This isn’t important to everyone, but it has become more “mainstream” to spend time in different forms of quietness, whether prayer, meditation or even the practice of yoga. This form of exercise at one point was considered a “religion” of sort, but now most of us see the benefit of posturing ourselves in a position of being quiet, focused and even vulnerable. There seems to be a tremendous value in training our minds to be still. Schools are even incorporating yoga into their system with kids who may have attention issues or who made some poor choices. Instead of applying traditional discipline, yoga has become a method of encouraging productive change. The discipline of mediation and yoga can rewire ones brain from confusion to focus, which to me seems like a great option. The more we can control our own thoughts and actions, without the use of chemical substances, the better I think society will be. Taking time to be still can be profitable on many levels.
So two deliberate actions; avoid procrastination and incorporating some sort of quiet time might bring balance to your 24 hours and cause you to feel better about how you approach your day and use your time. Why not take the next step and make mindful decisions to be an influence to those you encounter outside your four walls? With our minds in a good place, we can extend ourselves to attempt to improve the lives of others.
Not everyone has time to volunteer at some amazing non-profit organization since most of us have to earn a living. But I do think each day we can do something of value for those we encounter. It might be just a phone call or text message to a friend, or being considerate of those waiting on line with us at the grocery store. Again, little actions can go a long way to set the pendulum of the clock in motion. If not for you, maybe for a complete stranger.
I have 3 children. In some ways they are very similar and in other ways they are quite different. I want to share a story about my son. It goes something like this.
A guy’s car broke down in front of my son’s house. The guy thought he knew what the problem was with his car, but had no money to make the repair. My son offered to help and he agreed with the stranger’s car-diagnosis. My son drove to a place called “pick and pull”, basically a catch-all for junked cars. He purchased the car-part, and brought it back to his house and together they installed this used part and repaired his car. The guy wasn’t homeless, but for some reason he was down and out. My son didn’t invite him to stay over, but he offered him something to eat, and the use of his bathroom and shower. Now I know I would never do this, but my son really thought nothing of it as he was telling us this story. I was like, you’re kidding me! Anyway, the car was fixed, the guy was clean and off he went, no cost to him and I suspect he gained a lot more than a repaired car. One day, the guy’s mother called my son to thank him and said no one had ever done something so nice for her son. This action, on the part of my son, touched this guy and his mother. It also touched this mother to hear such a generous act of kindness offered to a complete stranger.
I’m not saying we all should do what my son did, he helped someone in ways I would not or could not do. This was his way of giving back because he has been the recipient of help from a total stranger in his time of need. There often are unplanned events that come our way. We can try to make the most of them. We can do something to bring a bit of joy to those that are placed in our path, even if it’s just a kind word or a simple act. We all have time in each day to make a little difference. We have no idea how our smile or willingness to put someone first in a line at the store might just be the trigger someone needs to continue on through the mucky waters of their day.
Let’s try and use the 24 hours of each day to bring or do something good for the occupants of the world. First, try to be good to yourself; procrastinate less, pray more and be kind to those you meet. If we all practice these simple acts, there will be a lot more smiling faces in our midst.