Thursday, September 21, 2017

Permission to Catch Your Breath


Pressure to perform better, accomplish more, work harder, pushes us to the point where we need a time-out.  The time-out allows us to catch our breath.  We are driving ourselves crazy to please others, meet our goals, and fulfill our dreams.  When we run at break-neck pace, we lose sight of “why we’re doing what we’re doing.”  Taking a serious moment to revisit our life choices is both important and necessary.  
Here’s the catch. I look at my blog website and see a wealth of information written for your benefit. Then I realize there’s too much information and too little encouragement.  You need to know you are doing a great job. 
The fact that you are interested in improving your financial circumstances is commendable.  You are reading and at the very least are attempting to understand and implement better money practices into your day-to-day life so you are prepared for retirement, emergencies, and accomplishing your heart’s desires.


Too much information weighs us down.  When we’re advised to do this, that, and the other thing, our heads spin. Examining what is best for us and meets our needs guarantees a successful outcome.  Too much information will spill out of our minds like  an over-filled hopper of barley will spill onto the ground. When we determine our purpose, reason, and desire for wanting to do “things” then we go in search of the information.  Knowing what you want helps you accomplish what you want.  This advice applies to a number of possibilities:  reducing your spending, saving money for your retirement, or effectively transitioning the family business to your children.


Maria Robinson so wisely said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

What may have been devised as the best plan in the past might no longer be the best plan going forward into the future.  When we take a time-out to breathe, we have an opportunity to reflect and ask whether our goals and dreams will serve our needs going forward.  Your family dynamics may have changes; your health may have declined; or your job may be different.  Any alterations in your life are reasons to reflect on whether your present financial plan needs to be altered.


Reflection also serves as an opportunity to recharge your enthusiasm for pursuing your commitments to your goals and dreams.  When you recognize and celebrate your accomplishments to-date, you are fueling your motivation for the future.

Charles Duhigg, in his book Smarter, Faster, Better, offers two ground-breaking facts about motivation.

q Motivation becomes easier when we transform a chore into a choice.  Doing so gives us a sense of control. 

q Self-motivation becomes easier when we see our choices as affirmations of our deeper values and goals.

Charles’ fact-finding discovery came from his research of General Charles Krulak’s Marine Corp. Charles applied this new found knowledge to motivate him to write his book.  He simply said, “Motivation is triggered by making choices that demonstrate (to ourselves) that we are in control – and that we are moving toward goals that are meaningful.  It’s that feeling of self-determination that gets us going.”

So if you are the slightest bit demotivated about accomplishing your goals and dreams, ask yourself, “Why are you doing what you are doing?”  The Marine Corps recruits did just that.

“Why are you climbing this mountain?”  “Why are you missing the birth of your daughter?” “Why are you cleaning a mess hall, or doing push-ups, or running onto a battlefield when there are safe easier ways to live?” Forcing ourselves to explain why we are doing some thing helps us remember that this chore is a step along a longer path, and that by choosing to take that journey, we are getting closer to more meaningful objectives.


When you walk through the steps: Rest, Review, Reflect and Recharge, you will feel Refreshed.  A short-lived time-out can be amazing without be extravagant. 
Simple things like playing your favorite song, making a list of the important people/things in your life, having a telephone conversation with a friend, setting aside prayer time, or relaxing with a cup of coffee in your favorite chair can rejuvenate you.  These mini-holidays clear your mind of clutter to help you think more clearly about your life choices.  Make that appointment with yourself the first chance you have.  You have permission to catch your breath.


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