Illusion


It seems to me that we are stubborn students of life.

Life seems to tell us; here is a situation you need to face for your own developpement, and yet, most of the time, we will try to avoid the lesson. Why? Because it’s too damned hard! The curious thing about this is: the lesson we try to avoid seems to come back to us in many unexpected ways. Somehow, we can’t escape it. We have to meet the challenge.

An example?

I know some people (actually quite a lot of them) who move from relationship to relationship only to discover after a while the same problems they were experiencing in the previous relationship. It seems to me that what they are trying to avoid comes back to them in another form and with a new label.

Personally, I start too many new projects and I don’t finish all of them. I know it, I’m aware of this but somehow, it doesn’t seem  to change. I have to admit I can’t do  it alone. When I face this kind of situation, I try to find a coach, a mentor or a personal trainer to make sure I am accountable to someone.

When we focus on the moment and accept to face what we have to, it can be difficult, but it is one of the best ways to grow, to outgrow the challenge.

What does this post have to do with time?

If we do what WE MUST do when WE HAVE TO do it, the day will come when we will do what WE WANT to do WHEN WE WANT TO do it.

The sooner we understand this concept and we put it in practice, the more time we will save to do other activities that we really enjoy.

Will you try it?

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Some of us live under the influence of alcohol.

The influence is good as long as we are under the influence. The next morning, the influence can be quite different.

Some of us live under the influence of shopping, and the influence is good until as we receive the credit card statement…

Some of us live under the influence of gambling, and the influence is good until as we realize that the house wins most of the time.

Some of us live under the influence of buying expensive toys to impress others who don’t care at all. This influence is gone when we realize that we become a slave of this habit.

Some of us are under the influence of a new religion, and the influence seems to disappear when that special God of ours doesn’t answer our requests.

Some of us indulge in sexual escapism, and the influence is gone when the temporary thrill is over.

Some of us will study philosophy and believe that they have found the Way, only to wake up later and realize that their particular philosophy can fail them.

Some of us will swear by the world of reason and science, only to discover the actual limitations of our understanding. At least at this point in our evolution.

Some of us will invest in the joy of parenthood only to realize later that our kids will be entitled to their own lives.

Some of us will want to earn a lot of money until they realize that money can’t buy love.

And while most of us live under one kind of influence or another, Time goes by.

Under what influence are you living ?

Is this the kind of influence that you enjoy?

It’s up to you!

“I have a new philosophy. I’m only going to dread one day at the time.”

Charles Schulz, Peanuts, cartoon

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A while ago, a lady went to a restaurant in downtown Montreal to celebrate her birthday with her husband , as they entered the restaurant, apparently they asked the hostess for a seat near the window to get access to a better view…

This is an excerpt of the Montreal Gazette July 17, 2009

“MONTREAL – One minute Thursday night, a couple was quietly celebrating a birthday inside the Mikasa Sushi Bar on Peel St.; the next minute, a concrete slab crashed through the glass skylight above them, killing the 33-year-old woman instantly.

Her husband of two years, also 33, lay next to her lifeless body screaming, “Ma femme! Ma femme! Stay with me!”

He pleaded for help, but other diners and staff were paralyzed with shock. Minutes later, sobbing and screaming, the man was loaded into an ambulance, his right hand wrapped in a blood-soaked napkin, two single tracks of blood running down his cheek.

“Her birthday was Monday, that’s what they were celebrating,” said the nurse, who spoke on condition that her name not be published. The concrete panel from the 18th floor of the Marriott Residence Inn crashed through the sloping glass ceiling of the restaurant, which lies directly below at street level, and hit the woman “directly” – while she was seated at her table, said Montreal police Constable Olivier Lapointe.”

The last thing this couple was expecting on that evening was a piece of concrete to fall on the woman’s head…  33 years old.   (12 045 days)

The reason why I bring up this story today is to show that when we have regrets about the past or worries about the future, we waste precious time and energy. We must focus on the present.

This is where our attention should be because this is where we have a little more control over what happens to us. This lady didn’t have much control over what happened to her that night.

Today, try to focus your attention on what you can influence and the rest will take care of itself.

I agree with the creator of Peanuts; we should only “dread one day at a time”

How many days to you “dread” in advance?

“Life, as it is called, is for most of us one long postponement.”

 
Henry Miller

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When I can drive a car…

When I get my degree…

When I find Mister Right or Miss Perfect…

When I have kids…

When I have a better job or salary…

When the kids leave home…

When I retire…

When… fill your own excuse here ______________________

When… when…when will you stop making excusessss?

“Time is like money, the less we have of it to spare the further we make it go.”

Josh Billings

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When I was 5 years old, I couldn’t care less about time.

When I was 15 years old, it seemed to me that everything was always taking too long to happen.

When I was 25 years old, it seemed like I was always so busy and running out of time.

When I was 35 years old, with a wife and children, a business to run, and bills to pay, I really had less and less time.

Now at almost 45 years old, I know that we never have enough time to do everything but we always have time to do the most important.

The more pressure we have with time, the more productive we seem to become.

Are you making the most of the time you have?

“There are very few men – and they are the exceptions – who are able to think and feel beyond the present moment”.
 
 Carl Von Clausewitz 1780-1831
 
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One of the most difficult things to practice in our lives is to delay gratification and to take a long term perspective with our projects. Our consumer society doesn’t help us when it encourages us to BUY NOW and PAY LATER. Many times, we buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people who don’t care. We should always try to make the difference between an expense and an investment. We should try to avoid instant gratification. It’s a big challenge because it goes against every major trend in our society.
 
It applies to other areas in our lives as well;
 
The Olympic athlete has to make a lot of sacrifices to reach his/her goal. The medical student has to concentrate on his/her classes in order to get the diploma. The investor has to learn patience if he or she wants to earn dividends.
 
It is difficult because we should enjoy every day like if it is the last and at the same time invest our efforts and our resources for the future. The challenge for us is to find the balance between these two concepts.
 
Do you have the right balance between your daily activities and your long term projects?
 

 

We have control over our choices, but we don’ t have any control over the consequences of our choices.

What this means is that we don’t always know how things will turn out.

What it means is that we can’t always predict how people will respond to our decisions.

That is why we should be aware of our choices as much as possible if we want to improve our quality of life.

Sometimes our decisions can result in big mistakes that will be costly in time.

From the moment that we know clearly what we want, it becomes easier to make the best possible choices for ourselves. These decisions are unique for each one of us.

Do you ever think of the big difference between your choices and the consequences of your choices?

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