A classic morning:
It’s cold and dark outside. The first thing we do after opening our eyes is grab our phones for a quick glance at the emails and texts that arrived overnight. Then our bodies beg us for coffee, pronto.
One button and presto! Coffee is ready. Who has time to boil water or wait four minutes for anything to steep? There goes the oatmeal in the microwave. Ding! Two minutes later and breakfast is served.
We cancelled the daily newspaper delivery years ago. No time to sit down and read it anyways. Our phone is our breakfast companion. Typing frantically as the coffee kicks in, wildly swiping back and forth. Downloading, checking, counting likes, unfriending.
Already our brains are firing a hundred thoughts per minute. We open our productivity app and stare at the to-do list that seems to have become a living giant python, ready to swallow us whole.
And we haven’t even made it to work yet.
Oh yes, we are being mindful! Look, it’s right here on the to-do list alongside quasi plans for meditation, workouts, trips, relaxation, spending time with friends and family, thinking time, me time, cooking classes…
No wonder so many of us have a hard time liking ourselves or our lives. If all we do is this mad rush from the minute we wake up to the moment we close our eyes, how can we actually be real leaders in our own lives?
The routine has taken over. The inexplicable need to check our electronics every few minutes and reply to messages immediately has driven us to shortcut our lives. It has gotten to the point where we are living lives of bullet points. (We were so wrong to call it multitasking.)
We all want to make this year the best one yet. But do you feel slightly discouraged already? The market is down, another bubble is set to burst, another slide in the economy. We wonder if any of those candidates has the skills to lead us to the American Dream that is supposed to come to those who work hard.
Like you, my thoughts that are all over the place. Add the emotional rollercoaster of menopause (gasp! I said it!) and the physical changes we all face as we grow wiser, and I am feeling a little undone. I wondered this morning if the circle of business life means the middle-aged hand over their expertise and ideas to the inventive Millennials. If so, Baby Boomers are stepping into advisory roles and hopefully taking time to enjoy their lives more.
Different results can only be expected when you do something differently. So today, I want you to change ONE thing about your routine. If you want a different result—be it the way you look, eat, work out, or play—start with one change today.
The reason I encourage you to do this is because I am concerned the overflow and urgency of EVERYTHING has caused us to lose focus on what matters most.
YOU. And how you ENJOY your life.
We can start with that tiny bit of mindfulness right now. Let’s do it together, shall we?
What will you change? The opening sequence of your day? To be more present when you make phone calls? To have an electronic-free evening or (another gasp) entire day? It’s all part of the art of letting go.
I’ll go first. I have noticed that when I work late my mind doesn’t seem to shut off. The thoughts keep coming even when I lie down to sleep. I will change this one thing: no more work after 7 p.m. and no more social media after 8 p.m. (some of the best posting times are between 7-8).
Really, shouldn’t we enjoy our time off? Where will you start today?