Just a thought...: Using one of life’s time outs


Take a deep breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Go ahead and do it a second time. And now one more time just to make sure you’ve got the idea.

Now close your eyes for a minute. Listen and absorb the sounds around you. Count slowly to 25. Think of something you are grateful for. You have a long list to choose from.

You deserve a “time out” from life now and then. Like in any sporting event, if you don’t use your time outs, you lose them.

Now that you have gathered “your wits,” go ahead and open your eyes, lift your head up, look around, and let’s get back into the flow of life.

There are others out there who are counting on you. Make sure you take care of yourself first, but do so to equip yourself so you can come through for the others who need you.

Mohandas Gandhi said “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

Life has a way of keeping us busy. Its pace is often a challenge to keep up with. As is the case with a fast moving river, there are times we go under for a period of time trying to save the world for others and sometimes we get lost in the shuffle.

It’s the guy who says he wanted to figure out why his life was so busy, but he couldn’t find the time! Sometimes we just accept the fact that if you put too much on your plate, something is going to fall off.

We start a day with a busy schedule and then something happens that distracts us. Then another thing happens that distracts us from our first distraction. Sometimes that is okay and sometimes it is not. It’s the challenge of life.

Most of life is beyond our control. We can control ourselves as we navigate life, but the spot where we wake up on any given morning is often controlled by others. Our job is to do the best with external events beyond our control by how we respond with what we can control.

Being selfish with a break in your busy routine is competing with accomplishing what you must accomplish.

Nothing great has ever been accomplished except by a tired person. But it’s a tricky balance between accomplishing what you have been called to do and taking time to relax and recharge yourself. At the end of the day are you doing a good job of balancing these two?

Is your busyness of life taking joy from your world? Do you need to trade your busy life for a full one? Do you need to say no to keep from overextending? It is easier to take back a “no” than to take back a “yes.”

Busyness can allow us to accomplish great things. It also can replace what is important in the big picture with what pops up right in front of us. Being busy doesn’t mean we’re taking care of the priorities in our life.

I think of the guy who, while driving his family, looked over his shoulder and said, “We’re lost, but we’re making good time.” Does it really mean anything to be moving at a high rate of speed if you are going the wrong direction?

Peter Drucker said, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done.” Will Rogers shared, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

While there are some out there who need to get off their rears and get their hands dirty, my guess is that most of you reading this are at the other end of the spectrum and need to tap your brake from time to time.

Most of the history of mankind we did not have time savers like washing machines or microwaves. Why is it that we have so many amenities today that have never existed before, yet we are busier than mankind has ever been?

At the end of the day, it is each one of us that chooses to be busy. We live life a couple of steps ahead of ourselves while trying to get caught up. When we say “I’m too busy to do such and such,” what we are really saying is “It’s not a priority to me.” That’s alright, I’m just saying busyness is a choice we make.

You have taken time from your busy schedule to read these thoughts and comments.

Why don’t you take another few deep breaths, close your eyes again, remind yourself of what you’re grateful for, and reset your world view? You can do it.

My challenge to you is to be proactive, not reactive. Life causes us to be reactive regardless of what we do, but, as the Earl of Chesterfeld said. “Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.” You can win a rat race, but once you cross the finish line you are still a rat.

So, begin with the end in mind. Figure out how to maneuver to get there. If you keep the big things in front of you, the small things will line up to move you in the right direction. Make time for your priorities. But there must be some time outs on the journey.

Time is one resource you have that cannot be replaced. We spend it and it’s gone, never to return again. Spend it wisely, but in your day to day journey, don’t forget to stop from time to time and take a deep breath, remind yourself it’s going to be okay, and to reset your attitude.

Just a thought...

Rick Kraft is a motivational speaker, a syndicated columnist, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to rkraft@kraftlawfirm.org or write to P.O. Box 850, Roswell, New Mexico, 88202 - 0850.


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