Stop!

 

Stop! Yeah, I’m talking to you.

The one rushing around like crazy all busy doing stuff.

Slow down there Tiger.

Stop. Just stop.

Deep breathe.

Close your eyes for a second.

OK, are you calm now?  

I have your attention?

You will take a minute to listen to me? Good. I promise this won’t take long, but take a moment and consider what I am about to say.

All this busy, all this rushing, all this frantic, all this last minute, all this go, go, go, all this smoke and noise, do you know what it’s for?

No, really.

Do you know why you’re doing it? Do you know where you are going? Do you know if you’re actually making progress?

Your Crazy Life

You’re studying like crazy, pulling all-nighters, cramming for the test, piling up the sleep debt, earning those credits. That’s great, but do you know why? Do you know how this test connects to the rest of your life?

You’re pulling the long hours at work. You’re coming in early, working through lunch, and staying late. The boss is impressed. You got a great performance review and think you’ll get that raise. One more rung on the ladder! Congratulations! I’m proud of you and I’m impressed. Ambitious, hard-working people aren’t that common, but do you know how that promotion connects to the rest of your life?

Family life is crazy. When you have little kids one minute they’re so adorable you can’t believe how blessed you are and the next minute things are going crazy and you’re not sure you’re even sane any more or if you ever will be again. The laundry hasn’t been done in two weeks and you’re pretty sure the six year old has been wearing the same underwear for at least three days. The dishes from yesterday are still unwashed and you have to work on dinner tonight. You almost dumped the laundry detergent in the spaghetti and you’re wondering if that means you put the noodles in the washer?  Do you know how this meal and clean underwear connects to the rest of your life?

Listen to me.

If you don’t stop and take the time to gain a little perspective this isn’t going to end well.

May Have an Unhappy Ending

You’re going to graduate and earn that degree and find yourself still sleeping on your parent’s couch three years later because you have no idea what to do with it.

You’re going to give everything you have to a company for fifteen years and then get passed over for the next promotion and crash into depression because your entire identity is connected to your title and salary.

All of a sudden the kids are old enough to think about leaving and starting their own families and you realize that these last few years passed in a blur and you never got to take that big family road trip you always talked about and there’s so much you still want to teach them, but there’s really no time for that now.

These aren’t inevitable conclusions.

Lots of people experience lives like this, but that doesn’t mean that you need to follow their bad example.

You can be different. You can be deliberate.

The solution isn’t difficult or complicated, but it takes work and it takes discipline.

You need to pause on a regular basis and regain your perspective.

Take Some Time

Stop for 15 minutes a day. One hour a week. One day every three months. Take one weekend every year and do a quick review of your life.

Ask and answer as best you can the big questions of life. Create or review your big goals in life. Remember and remind yourself about the most important things in your life.

Write down everything you are doing and everything you need to do. Look at each one and decide if it really has to be done and if you really want to do it. Does it connect to what is important and what your goals are? Eliminate what doesn’t measure up anymore. Replace it with the things that are important.

Don’t try to fix everything at once. Start with something small enough to get done and do it. Yes, it’s hard at first, but the more often you do take the time to stop and review your life the easier it will be. You’ll get better at doing it and your life will get better.

Being busy is normal and usually a good thing, but you want to make sure you’re busy with the right stuff.

You want to make a difference in the world? You want to live a different kind of life than everyone else? You want to live a proactive life instead of a reactive life?

Reset

Then you need to stop. You need to think and consider. Reflect and review. Reset, rearrange, and then get moving again.

Got it? You ready?

Then start your review. Your life is waiting.