It is a clear challenge that as the world progresses and races at a rapid speed, that TIME is of the essence. What we do with our time has never become more important. In our role as parents, professionals, children to ageing parents and individuals with a list of goals and dreams we want to accomplish, we are constantly racing against the clock, conflicted by how we spend our time. The enemy is not time, the enemy is our lack of respect for time, our acceptance that we will always have the same opportunities and taking that for granted.
This lesson has become more prominent in recent times. There are some things in life that no matter how much time you have, you just never get back. Like moments with your children, listening to their excitement as they talk about their day, sharing their goals and dreams and being energized by their passion for life. Like ageing parents that are grateful to see another sunrise, experience another day to share a meal with you, listening to your plans with eagerness, knowing that they may not be around to see them materialize, Like spending time being kind to ourselves, exercising, resting and appreciating the value of our health. As you get older, you realize that your will and your energy is not always aligned.
This has made me more conscious of the time that is passing by so swiftly, so silently and yet so quickly. People often say to me that they don’t have time. “I can’t exercise, I have no time:” “I’ve been trying to study but I just don’t have the time”,” “My job consumes me”, I am too tired to do anything”.
Reflecting on all of these has made me eager to share some of my observations and insights:
You see, I realize that in order to create balance in your life, you need to create context of what is important. When we create context of what is important, we treat those things differently. For example, you wouldn’t leave your most previous jewelry lying around, unguarded, unprotected and uninsured. That’s because you have context for it and that context has created value for it. What context do you have for your life? What value have you placed on your life, your children, your parents, your health and your own development and future?
“The future is sustainable only to those who value its present context”
That means appreciating the value of presence. Balance is not about splitting your time equally between work and home. In a world where costs are escalating, we are expected to work to ensure that we are able to provide for our responsibilities and ourselves. Splitting your time equally between work and home is neither practical nor realistic. However, you don’t have to forsake one for the other. What it does require is context and presence. I mean giving 100% of yourself when you are work and equally 100% of yourself when you are at home. It means being present, listening, hearing, noticing, paying attention to special occasions, and taking time out to do important things. Prioritizing that which has context in your life. When you are connected at a personal level, your professional life becomes more rewarding, more fulfilling. A coach once said to me that your job is like the fuel at the petrol station, you use it to fill up your vehicle so that you can run all your errands. The fuel is only a small but necessary part without which you will not be able to get to where you want. The fuel, like your job, allows you the opportunity to fill up your life so that you can create a better future for yourself and your loved ones, it does not replace your time with them.
I don’t know about you but I want to eat out of a glass bowl for as long as I can and not be too frail to be allowed only plastic. I want to walk my dog as much as I can and not be too frail to experience only my bed. I want to eat as much of everything I love without having to live only on liquids. I want to travel the world as much as I can without having to worry about my health. How can I live with balance if I have no self-power? Self- power comes from knowing what has context and value in my life and living my life in a way, every day, that does not lose sight of that context.
So if balance is power, how do I create it?
Recognizing that your health is the most important aspect of your being. Without which, nothing else is possible – make time to exercise, eat, sleep and pray – RISE EARLY TO STRETCH TIME
Knowledge is key to keeping us relevant and valuable so that we can continue to rely on ourselves to generate income to secure our livelihood. –learn something new every day – SET ASIDE A POWER HOUR TO REJUVENATE YOURSELF
Living in the house you bought and knowing and loving every part of that place you call home – take time to appreciate your home, host lunches, dinners. LIVE IT, APPRECIATE IT
Being present with your kids so you connect to their heart and minds. That time will never come back and that moment will never repeat itself – take time to get to know your kids, what’s important to them. VALUE YOUR LOVED ONES
Setting the dinner table and preparing the meal, no matter how simple it may be. It’s not the frills that matter, it’s the spirit with which it is made and served. How many more meals will you have together? – take the time to cook something special, sit together, talk about your day. BE TUNED IN
Appreciating your parents, they have been on your journey, you need to give them some comfort through theirs.- take time to pay that visit, make that cup of tea, sacrifice a day just for them, they sacrificed their life for you. BE GRACIOUS
Giving your best professionally without sacrificing personally – make time to understand your own context, define what’s of value and work tirelessly to protect that value. WORK FUELS LIFE; IT DOES NOT REPLACE IT!
As we embrace the festive season, lets us be mindful of all that has context in our lives.
Thank you for sharing