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Reflections for meetup: Are YOU Having the Time of Your Life?

From: Janardhan
Sent on: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 4:13 PM

Are YOU Having the Time of Your Life?

There is nothing more elusive, and therefore mysterious, than time.�� You can���t capture it, stop it, save it or lose it.�� Because time is not a thing, it���s not an ���it���!�� And yet we act as if it���s a commodity, a resource, a ���something��� that can be accumulated, saved and spent.�� Some days we look at our watch more often than other people.�� We will talk of being ���pushed for time��� and even confess that we don���t know where we will ���find the time���.�� But time is not found.�� It is.��

In some parts of the world there is famine.�� But it���s not a shortage of food.�� It���s a shortage of time.�� You can tell people are starving when they keep saying, ���I don���t have enough time��� or���I have too much to do���.or ���.I���m just too busy���.�� Time pressure comes when we try to do more in less time than it would take if we did not create the idea that we ���need to hurry���!�� Time pressure comes when we perceive there is too much to do in a given time.�� But it���s just a perception.�� The feeling of time pressure is always entirely the result of our own perception.�� As soon as we admit and accept that all cannot be done in the time that has been allocated the pressure is gone.

���Time famine��� usually occurs in the so-called ���developed��� countries where speed is now God.�� And that���s why by far the most popular workshop/course/seminar in those countries is... yes, you guessed, Time Management!�� But few realise that time management is an oxymoron.�� Time cannot be managed.�� Time shows up only to pass by.�� Time passes and never stops passing.�� The one thing in this world that never stops, and can never be stopped, is the flow of time.�� Unlike a river it cannot be blocked, drained or diverted.�� So how did we start creating all these illusions about time in the first place?

Once upon a time, sometime in the past, there was a young and brilliant carpenter.�� One day he built the most exquisite box.�� On the box he painted the most beautiful face and two perfect arms.�� That night, at around midnight, he went into the forests, high the mountains, and he whispered to TIME saying,�� ���If you enter this box I promise you that you will control almost all human beings on this earth���.�� After a moments hesitation TIME replied, ���Are you sure?����� To which the carpenter replied, ���Absolutely certain.�� They will think they are controlling you, but it will be you that controls them.�� That���s a guarantee���.���� And so TIME accepted his offer and entered the box.�� The young carpenter returned down the mountain to his home and placed the box in the middle of high shelf so that all could see its face.�� And he called that box a clock!�� . It would not be long before the clock was mistaken for TIME itself and everyone would look to the face of the clock to guide their life.��

Every time we think about time we tend to look at a clock somewhere.�� We organise our life around periods of ���clock time��� and synchronise our movements according to the positions of the little hand and the big hand!���� We don���t realise we look only at a machine, that we are surrendering to a false concept of time.�� The clock is not time, it is simply our way of attempting to measure our experience of the space between two events.�� Events are the punctuation marks that give meaning to our life, which is like a long and unending sentence ���in time���.�� Clock time is what we use to estimate the space of our experience between here and there.���� It is how we measure our experience of the gap between then and now.�� You cannot measure or manage time itself because it does not exist in any form that can be managed or measured.�� Time has no independent existence.�� Everything that exists ���in time��� is an event, and that means time management is really event management.

So off we go on our event management workshop disguised as a time management workshop, and because ���management��� implies control the first question is how do we control events?�� It���s not long before the realisation dawns that you don���t!���� In fact you cannot control anything more than three and half feet away from you!�� And besides, most events are other people!�� And that is the one thing you can never control���. ever.�� Unfortunately many, if not most of us, will beg to differ as we learn to believe we can control events and other people.�� We may even live most of our lives believing, albeit subconsciously, that we can control what we cannot control.�� Little do we realise that this is where most of our stress will come from.��

When you do realise that your stress is coming from your attempts to control what you cannot control, you realise that event management is really stress management.�� Actually stress management is another of those oxymorons.�� Whenever you are stressed you are not managing anything, the stress is managing you.�� And that simply means your emotions are managing you!�� If, by good fortune, you encounter a good stress management teacher in a world now saturated with stress management teachers, you will learn a) there is no such thing as positive stress and b) all your stress is entirely self-created, always!�� Which means stress management is really self management.�� It���s not the other person or the event that causes your stress, it���s your ���response��� that contains the stress.�� This can be a life changing insight for most people, as it appears that around 99% of us have been taught the opposite i.e. that we are victims of other people and/or the circumstances we find ourselves in.

Slowly, if not suddenly, it dawns that prevention and freedom from stress requires deep changes to the way you respond to life as it happens around you.�� That means self management is really change management.�� Not changing anyone else, or anything else, except your self.�� And that means challenging your beliefs so that you can choose different perceptions in order to change your thinking, as all stress at a mental level is just negative thinking.�� Which means that any workshop on change management is not something that you attend ���out there��� in a comfortable seminar room, but something that you create and attend almost entirely within your own consciousness until you realise you cannot control any change in the world, influence perhaps, but never control.�� All you can change is your self.

And yet, even when you realise the need to change your responses, and the inner work you need to do, there will be one final, and sometimes fatal, barrier to you attending your own inner workshop.�� And it���s that voice, sometimes faint, sometimes loud, that says, ���But I just don���t have the time!����� This is the voice of ���urgent avoidance���.�� Behind the voice is the fear of facing what becomes the obvious next step, which is to change/shift/alter something deep within your self.�� Why? Because in truth you are likely to be quite relaxed about your stress!�� You have come to believe it must be natural to be stressed, everyone does stress, so it���s just normal.�� Until the stress becomes so painful you are forced to look at it and do something about it.

And so we come full circle.�� Time management IS event management IS stress management IS self management IS change management IS life management IS lifetime management.�� All of which leads us to the conclusion that time management is everything else but time management! And yet, whatever approach to do decide to take to the management of your time, self, events, stress, change etc. it will always take some time!�� Unless of course you learn to live outside of time, and then you don���t need to change anything at all, because outside of time nothing changes!�� Then you truly have ���all the time in the world���!�� Unfortunately it���s unlikely to be ���this world��� !

Question:�� Why do you think so many people find it so difficult to understand and manage their time?

Reflection:�� Time is life and life is time and you have a lifetime.�� But are you having the time of your life or is someone else having the time of YOUR life?�� If so why?

Action:�� Write down the ten most important things in your life.�� Prioritise them. Then decide what you will do to affirm their ���relative��� importance.

�� Mike George 2009




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