You Have Plenty of Time — Part I


Plenty of time? Unless you have done some time in a Zen monastery, you probably have a hard time believing that. Our culture is steeped in the belief that time is scarce. We race around from thing to thing to thing, barely catching our breath, constantly frustrated that we can’t seem to fit everything in. “If only there were more than 24 hours in a day!” we lament. So, in the name of efficiency, we multi-task rather than focus, fill every available moment, try to do it all, have it all, and we fail. In this mode, our day or week – dare I say, our LIFE? – goes by in a blur.

There’s a sense of barely contained panic in it all. To break this cycle, you need to change your outlook and habits. Today I’ll focus on outlook, and next blog will focus on habits. So here’s the deal: Take the long view. Recognize that if you want to “have it all,” you have to pace yourself. So … you want a satisfying career, a happy relationship, adventure, children, and personal growth? Go for it, but understand that life unfolds in chapters, each with different themes. A fulfilling life happens over time*, and the balance is always shifting, never static. This may sound like I’m telling you to defer your dreams, but I am not. Rather, I am suggesting that you live fully this chapter of your dream life – whatever it may be – with passion, intensity, and focus, not trying to get everything done but devoting yourself to what is. Know that your life is a long tale with many chapters of dreams yet to unfold. You may find, as I did, that letting go of the need to do it all right now is a huge relief ….

[*I have Barbara Sher’s book, “I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was” to thank for crystalizing this realization for me.]