BUSYNESS MAY BE A SYMPTOM OF SELF-UNAWARENESS
Host: Sheryl Glick R.M.T.
Special Guest: Nan S. Russell
In today’s episode of “Healing From Within” your host Sheryl Glick author of The Living Spirit a tale of awakening to your true soul nature, spiritual communication, healing energy, miracles and intuition today welcomes Nan S. Russell author of It’s Not About Time: How to Thrive and Get the Results You Want at Work and in Life!
Sheryl shares with Nan that listeners of Healing From Within are well aware her guests and Sheryl explore the metaphysical view of life in hopes of truly beginning self-investigation into our true potential as both spiritual energetic soul and physical beings who can learn to manage our emotional landscape our choices and time and find health happiness and purposefulness in our life journey.
Nan S Russell also the author of “The Titleless Leader,” “Trust, Inc.” and “Hitting Your Stride” is known for her practical insights and workplace wisdom grounded in real-world experiences. Nan rose from a minimum wage employee to vice-president of a multibillion dollar company. Today we will look for ways not for better time management but rather, reflective and integrated awareness from the inside- out for self-management and self-growth.
Nan shares with us the difficult experiences of her early childhood, a fire destroying her home, a move to a new place and how those difficulties showed her that she could survive and be OK if she dedicated herself to working hard and being consistent in her behaviors while valuing her good fortune to have opportunities that led to personal fulfillment and engaging activities she enjoyed.
Nan’s hectic adult work life also helped her become interested and more aware of a more spiritual approach to managing and improving life.
Nan gives a quote from Roger Ebert which was an important source for understanding the truly important things in life to value. It is, “We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.” ~Roger Ebert
Nan writes, “Like a treasure unearthed, when I find a quotation that speaks to me, like the one above, I want to savor it frequently. This one was added to my collection after the 2013 death of Pulitzer Prize winner and acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert, whose cancer battle left him unable to speak for the last few years. While reading about his life, I found these words humbling. They were written by Ebert after more than a decade with debilitating and disfiguring health issues. It’s not hard to contribute a bit of joy each day – acknowledging others’ contributions, holding the door, smiling at a stranger, being there for family or friends, helping a neighbor, or telling someone how much we care. Still, we often don’t. We get caught in life’s swirl – our own busyness, drama and troubles – absorbed in our own stuff, spending, not investing, our time. Ebert’s life and words reframed that for me. How many days do we have in life, in the big scheme of things, to contribute joy, to see beyond our little world, to make a difference in someone’s life? Our world needs our contributions of simple joy. Road rage and gotcha-videos are up, common courtesy, and etiquette down. If nothing else, contributing joy offers a counter balance to these growing ills. Yet the reality is that we can’t give even a little joy without increasing our own.”
Nan decided to write a book called” It’s not About Time?” because she felt so many people use time as a way to limit themselves or engage their fears to procrastinate and lose valuable opportunities for self-growth. Nan wrote, “There are thousands of books on time management – this isn’t one of them. If you’re looking for better ways to manage an increasing number of emails, prioritize a to do list, or enhance your organizational skills, you won’t find that here. You also won’t find a time management system that “finds” or “saves” you time, stops procrastination, enhances delegation, helps eliminate unnecessary tasks, or applies the latest technology. If you need these skills, you’ll find great resources elsewhere. But, if you’re tired of having more to do then you can ever accomplish; pulled in too many directions by too many people; exhausted from the busyness that whirls through your days, months, and years without getting you where you want to go; or you feel like you’re constantly fighting to hold back the torrents of work enveloping your personal life or aspirations, then in these pages you’ll find a different path. This book isn’t about managing your time, but reclaiming your life. Achieving what you want at work and in life, and thriving in the process, goes beyond time.
Nan says lack of time is a symptom, busyness is a symptom. If lack of time isn’t the problem many of us have, what is the problem? These are just hints of the growing challenges we face. No wonder we’re feeling frustrated, angry, and out of sorts more often, or struggling to survive when we’d like to thrive, with a career and life we want. Below is a quick glimpse:
69 percent of us say work is a significant source of stress.
Most of us aren’t engaged at work. Every year since 2000, less than one-third of U.S. employees have been engaged in their jobs; worldwide, it’s only 13 percent
Only 50 percent of us think our employer is open and honest with us.
Trust is at historical lows; 67 percent of us distrust each other, believing “you can’t be too careful” when dealing with people.
Author Brigid Schulte in, Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, discusses the growing feeling of being overwhelmed, especially when studies show both men and women “want to Have It All – meaningful career and rich family life and are finding out just how hard that is.”
Sheryl says…Obviously wanting and what we need for our spiritual growth which is the real reason we are having this physical life at all are very different and people have wrong attitudes, morals expectations and have lost sight of the real values of love service compassion and working cooperatively for the good of many not just Me Me Me-ness
Consider these realities: Work and its challenges will always be there in one form or another even if you change jobs, bosses, or environments.
There will never be enough time to get everything done that needs doing, you want to do, or would like to do.
Life is no longer compartmentalized into “work” and “home” – it’s blended.
Self-managing skills are now table stakes for entry to the best positions, organizations, and career futures.
Ultimately, life is a DIY (do it yourself) project. And you’re in charge of yours. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR HAPPINESS AND HEALTH
Most of us live our lives from the outside in, bouncing like a buoy responding to life’s weather, waves, and currents. We’re connected, interrupted, plugged-in, reactive
Sheryl says it is a lack of self-investigation self-awareness and understanding of our energetic contribution to our life force and not knowing that our thoughts actions and deeds determine the quality and success happiness and health we have or don’t have. A lack of understanding that karma may also create either loving or unloving attitudes and behaviors may impede our progress. We actually do become what we think and expend energy on and in regard to this in my book The Living Spirit Sheryl wrote, “Regardless of what other people expect of you or challenge you with, you might remember the two simple words uttered thousands of year ago which continue to provide us with guidance: “Know thy-self.” Numerous sages such as Pythagoras and Socrates proclaimed that self-awareness is the most valuable of all human qualities because it informs our life choices and decisions in education, careers, and relationships. It is the defining force of a life worth living.”
Nan has also been on a mission to help people stop thinking about managing their time and start managing themselves. Realizing who we are and how we wish to move through time and daily life becomes about Who and / or what is driving the choices you make? People who thrive and get the results they want choose to drive, not be a passenger, in their own lives. They view time as life’s non-renewable currency, and carefully decide how to spend, invest, and enjoy it. By self-managing from the inside out, these drivers allocate their time carefully, understanding their life as a reflection of their choices Sheryl says ” They begin to pay attention to their intuition or inner awareness of their life purpose and needs.” They make time for the people they love, the passions they have, and work that uses their uniqueness. They focus on the results, goals, and life-dreams they desire, rather than accepting what comes their way. They do, while others talk of doing. They plan their day, while others let their day plan them. And they motivate themselves, while others wait for someone to motivate them. For people who choose to be drivers, it’s not about the time they have; it’s about the choices they make in how to use it. They view time as life’s non-renewable currency, and carefully decide how to spend, invest, and enjoy it.
The differences between time managing and self-managing what our time use says what we collectively value:
1. 80 percent of us value social media more than health, spending on average 4.5 hours a week tweeting, pinning, Facebooking, and less than the recommended 2.5 hours a week exercising.
2. If we have a smart phone and children, we spend less time with our children, which averages 1.5 hours a day per parent.
3. Apps average 2 hours per day; “productivity apps capture just 2% of our time” with games “stealing the most of our attention.”
4. We value our TV, averaging 4 hours and 28 minutes a day
5. More than preparing what we eat, where we invest 30 minutes a day for all meals combined. Perhaps an unintended consequence of this time-value equation is reflected in the 35 percent of us who are obese as prepackaged foods and take-out replace more healthy preparation, and mobile devices increase TV viewing
All tasks are not equal. All commitments are not equal. All responsibilities are not equal. All clients are not equal. All people of personal importance in your life are not equal. Yet many of us sleep-walk, operating as if they were. You can robotically do 50 things today and get little, if any, results for having done them. Or you can do one or two that bring a big return, be it emotional, financial, physical, spiritual, or psychological. People who self-manage know the difference and operate accordingly.
There are many ways to see self-managing in action. Olympic swimmer and author Sarah Connor captures the essence in her words: “Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.” That’s what those who choose a life of self-managing know, too. The results they want for themselves don’t come from wishing and hoping, but acting and doing.
Nan describes an entire chapter to myths and truths about time. One myth is that we’re working longer hours than ever before. That is a myth. Nan writes, “Carpeting the forests, hills, and meadows in northwestern Montana, plants burst through the thick, muddy, spring snow-melt as if determined to reach full potential before the short growing season ends. Sometimes we act like those plants look – accelerating like a time-lapse video. I find myself doing it at times, feeling pressure not just about what needs to happen today but tomorrow, next week, month, and year. What causes some of us to push time, to focus more on tomorrow than today, leapfrogging from the now to a future with focused frenzy? Not everyone pushes time forward of course; some stay locked in the past or mesmerized by the present. Our perspectives about time – past, present, and future – differ. These differences influence our actions, well-being, and decisions. This chapter considers those differences, along with myths and truths about time. It’s intended to spark awareness of our time relationship and the growing challenge of busy-busy-busy. We have a time problem, but not the one we think. We want to manage it, control it, spend it, waste it, make it, measure it, and invest it. We even complain we don’t have enough of it. It’s as if “being busy” is a badge of importance and the “busiest” person wins. We have biases about time, even living in different time zones. Not the ones traversing our country and planet, but those operating in our minds. Learned in childhood and reinforced by cultural influences and beliefs, our personal time perspectives influence time-use decisions, affecting everything from the relationships we build to the risks we take.
Stanford professors Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd identified three orientations or “time perspectives,” The Time Paradox this way:
1. “Present-orientation can be Hedonistic, focused on pleasure, risk taking, and sensation seeking; or it can be Fatalistic, focused on not taking control of situations because of a belief that life is fated to play out a certain way, no matter what one does.”
2. “Past-orientation is divided between Positive focus on memories of good old days, family, and tradition; or a Negative focus that recalls abuse, failures, and regrets over missed opportunities.”
3. Future-orientation can entail working for goals, meeting deadlines, and achieving objectives; or it can entail a Transcendental Future in which spiritual life after death of the body is what matters most.
The myth of balance is interesting. We complain our employers don’t enforce work-family balance, government doesn’t do enough, or time is devoured by others without regard to our well-being. But, bottom line: no matter the policies, benefits, perks, and programs implemented, you can’t have work life balance without your own support. No one can give you balance. For those who view their “work” as separate from their “life,” instead of part of it, balance remains elusive. Self-managing people approach well-being and life balance differently. They don’t expect others to draw a line for them. They draw it for themselves. After all, it’s their life. For some, work and play are the same; for others, definitely not.
Another interesting time myths is that more equates to better. This is the myth of choice: that more equates to better. Nan writes, “ After an hour I stopped trying to find the right kids’ app to put on my phone for my granddaughters’ visit. Researching and evaluating several dozen options required a greater time investment than I wanted for a little surprise. That same week I searched multiple shelves at a big box store to find the best shampoo for my hair color, texture, and style. It took a frustrating 15 minutes.
In the process of personalization and high stakes marketing, how much time do you spend wading through options – everything from snacks to backpacks and phone cases to flavored water? Is this deluge of choices better? Easier? Helpful? Bottom line: more isn’t a synonym for better. More choices means more time, more stress, more junk, more trash, more unused stuff filling more space, and more environmental impact. We’re reaching a tipping point; sometimes more is just more – but not the kind of more most of us want. In this age of busy, there’s a difference between having choices and having too many choices. Those who self-manage look for less, not more; simpler, not increased complexity; faster, not more time-consuming. They find wisdom in the words of 20thcentury author Laura Ingalls Wilder, “I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”
There are several skills Nan talks about that self-managing people use. One of those skills is something you call “nibbling.” Personally, I don’t know where I’d be without nibbling. As the Chinese proverb reminds: “The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
What nibbling looks like : Nibbling. \ verb. \ 1. A highly effective way to make things happen utilizing very small time allotments. 2. An incremental progress strategy for moving things forward – small tasks to big aspirations. 3. A way to prevent or respond to procrastination, or increase personal motivation by getting things done. 4. A skill enabling parallel and competing tasks, obligations, and responsibilities to occur without ball-dropping. 5. An essential skill used by self-managers to realize their potential, actualize their dreams, and attain what matters to them. Normally, I wouldn’t choose to write a non-fiction book, run two customer oriented businesses, and move to a different state at the same time. But opportunities don’t happen only if we have non-competing timelines. So, I’m nibbling my way through these time-deprived months of atypical obligations. Nibbling is not a linear process. One of its benefits is using its concepts in parallel for unrelated multiple tasks. When you nibble, you make a task or project disappear bitsy-bit in small chewable portions
Sheryl tells Nan that she has been using this practice all her life but never knew she was nibbling away at helping herself accomplish her goals. Sheryl and Nan share a good laugh.
Sheryl says that to make this process even better…. Prioritize Stay calm and Focused…Breathe Use whatever Spiritual Practice is available…yoga, meditation, listening to music to relax, being in nature… Then refocus regenerate and as my Mother always told me, “Just do the best you can and it will be enough.”
Nan offers dozens of tips on how to make your day week year more productive that are not the typical ones we hear about. She uses the term ,”Sharpen your saw” by developing your strengths, enhancing your skills, and growing your knowledge. There are a variety of ways to do that:
1. Enable your words
Words affect behaviors; they can assist or hamper, empower or disempower. produce positive behavioral changes.”
“watching your language;” change have to want is one example. So is using “won’t” instead of “can’t.” It’s a slight, but powerful, shift.
2. Cultivate daily awe
In this age of narcissism, selfies, and self-branded Instagram feeds, young people today are more anxious than 40 years ago. By cultivating a bit of daily awe and wonder, ego-attachment can shift to be more ego-less. Something happens when you notice the vibrant colors of a sunset or hold a sleeping baby; gaze at a sky filled with stars or drive a country road brimming with flowers. “It clears away inner turmoil with a wave of outer immensity,” Dr. Leahy says. Simple feelings of awe unconsciously remind us, even for a moment, of something bigger; something beyond ourselves as “awe expands people’s notion of available time, which in turn increases their well-being.”
3. Do more of what you want
I’m a quote lover. Consider these: The only way to do great work is to love what you do. ~ Steve Jobs Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. ~ Harvey Mackay Whatever is good for your soul – do that. ~ Anonymous
Self-managers do a good job at whatever job they have, whether they like it or not; whether they’re well paid or not. How they do their work is a self-reflection, so they do it very well, “and then some.” That in turn creates opportunities for them, that people who don’t do that, never receive.
Nan’s Rules for Doing More of What You Want at Work
Rule #1: The more you do – the more you want to do
Rule #2: The more you want to do – the more you can do
Rule #3: The more you can do – the more you get to do
Rule #4: The more you get to do – the more you are able to do
Rule #5: The more you are able to do – the more you get to do what you want to do
Saw sharpening goes beyond operating with a life-long learning philosophy. We can try a lot, do a lot, and learn a lot, but still stumble in this changing world. That’s because too many of us, when we do saw-sharpen, do it within the sphere of what we already know, are interested in, think we need, or are comfortable with. We may keep learning, but are we learning the right things to enable long-term career and life wellbeing? Self-managing people understand the need to go beyond their comfort areas to stay fresh, relevant, and thriving, as well as to build genuine relationships and gain thoughtful perspective. Young or old, our tendency is to stay in the zones we know. But if you do, your saw will never be sharp enough. Staying relevant enables your engagement with an ever changing world and the people in it. Staying thoughtful.
What do you let into your life? People, experiences, and views that challenge you? Or those that validate and reinforce your thinking? If we associate only with people who think like us, look like us, have similar backgrounds and interests to us, there’s little saw sharpening going on.
Sheryl loved the story that expressed what one would do with more time It is apparent in the story of Alice in Wonderland.
One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked.
“Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know.” Alice answered, “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.” These words by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland can be interpreted two ways. First, if you don’t know where you want to go, the road you take doesn’t matter. Second, a more practical interpretation – if you don’t know which road to take, both will lead you somewhere. So, decide and move along. If you’re strolling with no destination in mind, any fork brings discovery. If you
don’t like the view, take a different one further along. But when it comes to the big road decisions – college or no college; marry or not marry and to whom; children or no
children; how and where to earn a living; or other lifestyle endeavors – there’s more at stake.
Nan S Russell shares with readers a look at ways to truly value yourself life and the time given to us in a world filled with possibilities for either procrastination or for making choices and experiencing all of life without judgment, using skills to empower and enhance our abilities to manage our time our talents, and live a purposeful and prosperous life In summarizing today’s episode of Healing From Within we have taken Time out of our busy schedule to illuminate that light within us that hopes and seeks the goodness of ourselves and life in order to make choices to pursue what delights and engages our mind body and soul.
Nan wrote….”We fool ourselves into believing that not pursuing our dreams or what we “want” is about time – we don’t have enough – when it’s really about choice and grit. We need grit no matter which life-forks we take. Angela Duckworth, Professor of Psychology at University of Pennsylvania, studies grit and defines it as: “Passion and perseverance for long-term goals. It’s what keeps us going when everything else makes it seem easier to give up.
If you had more time Would your dreams happen if you had more time? If you had an extra three hours a week, what would you do with it? How would you invest your newly found 156 hours a year, almost four full-time weeks?
Nan and I would have you reflect on your own needs not the expectations of others or the beliefs of your childhood, many of which are no longer relevant to life as we are living today. Discover a sense of Self and your needs, not wants and begin to proceed to enjoy more of what is beneficial to your inner sense of spiritual growth, and that will go out into the world bringing greater fulfillment to you and others. You can and will be using the gift of life and time, as it is, precious and moment by moment.
Guest: Nan S. Russell