This morning is nearly identical to the one before and the one that comes after.
We can’t change anything about the one before; we cannot reliably predict the one ahead.
Therefore, the only thing that matters and our sole focus is today – because everything else is a distraction from the present about past and future events we have no control over today, in which case the day would be about review and forecasting.
What gets left out when we spend too much time reviewing and forecasting is that we don’t get much done here, in the present, other than another list of things to postpone, put over and delay.
Just for today, for one day, make everything you do be about this day in your life; yours alone, to spend, invest or waste.
You can’t save any of it; you can push work and tasks into the future, but you can’t take a minute of today with you. Whether you use this day wisely or wastefully is a verdict made by a jury of one – you. Make it worthy of you.
Go into this day with this thought: each time I speak with someone today, or write or call – each time, I can make it quick, impersonal and routine. I can make it short, simple, efficient and effective.
I can make it the best interaction for the other party; I can make it the best call, voice message, text or email they get all day; I can chat with people and leave them with a smile or a chuckle. I can share a ‘well wish’ for them in my words conveying thoughts with some personal attention, not engagement necessarily. Still, so the person I’m talking to (or writing to them) doesn’t get something hastily prepared, generic or a ‘copy of something sent to everyone’ feeling from what I’m sending their way, thinking a moment is all it takes – the imagine receiving the message, to make it what we want to have sent.
For best results, this action deserves a few seconds of pause; read it aloud, and then hit send – in the same we might pause in a conversation to read someone’s body language, make eye contact and give ourselves the best chance to get it right; not so we look good or feel good, but so they see we paid them respect and attention they deserve (just as we crave that ourselves in our interactions,) and if we need a litmus test for this, to imagine if we are the one on the end of this teeter-totter, to wonder whether we would enjoy being treated that way…
Sure, there is always some tension or mill-grist with some folks we work with, as there is among friends and family members too, but if I take a few seconds of thinking and then a few keystrokes of deliberateness, I can make someone’s day better because I took the time to do so.
Now, you might wonder – if, for instance, I have 60 interactions in a day and I take one minute extra on each one of those, that’s 60 minutes; yikes, where will I get that hour?
Easy, use one of the ones you know you are wasting and don’t waste it.
We all do this to a certain extent, but in my experience the desire to “fix” rather than listen is definitely stronger in men. For me, telling a story to an attentive listener is often all that is needed—just an empathetic ear; no power tools required. It’s a bit like letting the steam out of a pressure cooker—a noisy release of energy resulting in sufficient calm to see the problem clearly and to put it in perspective, HM, Calgary, AB
Listening? … “I asked my wife what women really want. She said, “a tent of lovers.” Or, perhaps, it was attentive lovers – I wasn’t really listening. – unknown, GB, Calgary, AB