If I take my relationships for granted (certainty) am I dooming them to the trash heap? I often am asked for marital advice and the only thing I can offer is ” that we work hard every day so we can live happily ever after”. It doesn’t happen organically or by accident. We need to intentionally focus on the needs of the other and how our actions create consequences for them. We make mistakes and take missteps and sometimes seemingly stop caring but quickly recognise the disruption and consciously make an effort to serve the relationship’s needs. I can’t offer suggestions as to what that would look like for you because each couple is unique and their requirements are unique.
It may look like spending time together – not just in the same space but sharing an experience together (probably not TV or a movie). Maybe it requires a small token; a gift of a special meal, a poem, a small significant personal item. It may mean that one or both need to share their deep affection for each other – maybe many times a day. Saying “I love you” with passion and sincerity can start a different trajectory. Follow the new direction and see where it takes you. Maybe someone needs to say ” I’m sorry. I didn’t think about how my words or actions might be heard or seen” I obviously need to say it more often because I can be blinded by my own stuff and oblivious to others.
The above paragraph isn’t meant to suggest that there is a quick fix. It is a continuous learning experience and like life a generative dynamic process. What was important 2 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 minutes ago might not have the same urgency tomorrow. Continuing to work and talk about the work, especially if that is counter to your tendencies doesn’t ensure success but not working and discussing significantly reduces the likelihood of the happily ever after fairy tale.
While I am not trying to convince you or unconvince you of anything, I contend that the most significant relationship in your life should be the highest priority in your life. Don’t wait until you are financially secure, established in your career, or less busy with children to make a loving commitment to each other, today. When your time on the planet comes to an end you won’t think ” I wish I had spent more time at work, running madly in all directions, piling up more stuff” You might feel ” I should have spent more time and energy with my partner” and you would probably be right.
Make Today Remarkable by saying yes to your relationship,
Tomorrow you get a fresh 168. I know some of you will disagree and say that the new week starts on Monday but for the purposes of this post, please humour me. Starting at midnight tonight you have 10,080 minutes to use as you want, need, could, should. At 11:59:59 next Saturday, the clock ticks over and they are all gone regardless of how you wanted to, needed to, promised to, hoped to, should have, could have used them. Next Saturday night, they are gone. You don’t get to carry them over. There isn’t any interest paid on the moments you didn’t really use but let slip away.
168 hours, 10,080 minutes, 604,800 seconds ahead of you in the next 7 days and yet the refrain I hear most often is I don’t have time. How did you use the week that is ending tonight? Do you know what you did with the minutes? Did you fritter some of them away like I did? Do you have no memory of great chunks like I do? Did you sleep enough? too much? If you are like me, you don’t know where the week went. Maybe it is time to keep track.
Would you join me in capturing your week in 30 minute blocks? Start tomorrow morning, when you get up – I will be up at 5am so I will record that 10 30 minute segments were at rest. My routine is such that I can predict that the next 2 segments will be learning and the following 2 will be exercise. After that it often seems like a free-for-all but I will hand record my day and my week so I can see where it is going. I am not asking you to change anything (not yet) just capture the 336 segments so that you can review your activities.
Are you in? I will commit to begin disclosing my week starting with my Monday post, just to keep me accountable.
Make Your Time Remarkable,
Sometimes it feels like my world is spinning out of control. Busyness captures me and I resort to tried and true rituals rather than exploring remarkable opportunities. In this place, in this time, with these people we should expect miracles but often seemed mired in mediocrity quicksand. Multitasking my way to bounded rationality where “I have too much to do” has been my refrain and excuse for not shipping my very best. My best intentions don’t seem to produce my best work. Only when I focus and deepen my efforts do I see the quality and results I am known to achieve.
Practice makes perfect – not likely. Poor practice delivers poor results.
My battle with mediocrity is the same one I have with procrastination. My important priorities don’t receive attention because I can always create something urgent (often more fun or easier) that looks important. The gravity pulls me to do something else, almost anything else – the laundry, checking Facebook, … When I set priorities for each day (I started with 3) and don’t just tick boxes but rather complete them deeply, fully and to the best of my ability, I celebrate.
Mark Twain said ‘Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.’ I try get the most difficult task done first and when I succeed the Twain adage is true. I can feel myself pulling away from mediocrity towards miraculous. I feel better, lighter, readier. I am strengthened by the effort. After years of practice, this hasn’t become habitual and I need to remain vigilant or mediocrity invites me back.
Remarkable people use their strengths to strengthen themselves and others. When I am mired in the quicksand, up to my knees in averageness, I am not strong. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow I am committed to being strengthened and breaking away from the pull. How about you, what miracle could you create in three days?
Make Today, Tomorrow and the Next Remarkable,
Edit – just received notice that the master of productivity David Allen is hosting GTD Fundamentals next month for those who are serious about getting out of the quicksand.