We all start the week with a 168 hours – 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week.
Let's say we sleep an average of 7.5 hours a night or 52.5 hours a week. That leaves us with 115.5 hours of waking time, 33 hours on the weekend and 82.5 during the week.
The weekend, 33 hours, constitutes about 29% of our waking hours leaving us with 82.5 hours or 71% of our awake time.
Seventy one percent (71%) of our waking hours is a good amount of time – a good chunk of our life!
Now think about this, when we say "Thank God It's Friday", are we really saying "I can't wait for this 71% of my life to be over." My question – do we really want to spend a 2/3 of our life waiting for the weekend?
I get that we need down time. It is absolutely necessary. So our weekend could be a time to rejuvenate. Great!
My question revolves more around the idea that our weekend is so much better than what we experience during the week. Is the weekend that much better? What if we could enjoy both equally?
If your weekend is that much better than your week I challenge you to look at the possibility of creating more of what you want every day of your life. Your week is 71% of our life! Wouldn't it feel great to look forward to your week as much as you do your weekend?
Here are several questions and fill-in statements to help you visualize a life where you could look forward to every day!
- Am I willing to envision a life that includes enjoying my weeks and weekends equally?
- Could I allow myself to experience those enjoyable feelings right now?
- If I am willing to allow myself to feel those enjoyable feelings, I would describe them as…
- If I was living a life that included feeling like this most or all the time it would include…
- The first steps (big or small) I want to take toward creating what I want in my life are…
- I would do this for myself because…
One of the things that can have a significant impact on our experience of life is our relationship to the world around us. How we relate to others, what we want and need in life, what we do with our time, etc,.
What do we experience when we are not clear on how we fit in, about our contribution and what we want in life? For many of us, if we are not focused on what we want, our primary focus can be on what we don’t want and/or what we don’t like about life or ourselves. And if what we focus on tends to bring more of the same, what can we expect to be our ongoing experience when we focus on what we don’t want?
Over the last five (5) years I have been building my coaching practice. One of the things I noticed during that time is the profound impact on me of periodically stopping to revisit what I want to create and experience in my life.
Most often, after I have revisited what I want to contribute and what I want to experience, I find myself inspired and energized once again quite often to new levels of excitement. I have re-centered on what really matters to me, at the heart level. By stopping like this I have a chance to renew my commitments to what I want to create. At that point I am refocused on what I want to create versus what I don’t want.
Do you remember a time when you or someone you know were really sick or injured? Maybe it was the flu bug, food poisoning, cancer, respiratory infection, etc,. Do you remember what getting really sick felt like? When I have been really sick I don’t have the energy or motivation to do much of anything. If we don’t have the energy we can’t do much. If we feel bad enough our entire attention can be absorbed in that horrible feeling.
In thinking about those examples it’s easy to see the impact of our energy and attention on our lives. When our energy and/or attention is compromised it can make even the easiest of activities seem challenging. In those moments our primary focus can be absorbed in feeling better.
So now imagine yourself getting better. You are back to your normal state of health. A short time later you put yourself into the same situation that got you sick in the first place and you repeat the same cycle, loss of energy and attention. This may sound like a farfetched scenario, but is it?
Take a moment and inventory how you spend your time day to day. Does it include activities that for all practical purposes look harmless but absorb chunks of your time (e.g., surfing the internet, checking your email more than necessary, indulging that internal critic or perfectionist in some long monologue, eating beyond what you know is healthy for you, drinking one glass of wine after another to come down, etc.)? More importantly, they don’t give you energy, they absorb what energy you might have had, maybe even the energy you experienced through doing what you love to do.
In many cases these activities have become addictions. An activity in and of itself is not necessarily an addiction or unhealthy for our wellbeing. It is when we are unconsciously doing them or allowing those activities to become mindlessly repetitive, absorbing chunks of our time with no sustenance value. Do we need down time? Absolutely. It is the value of the downtime that matters.
What we are focusing on here are those activities we do on a regular basis that drain our energy and steal away our attention from the moment. Those activities drain away our energy and our attention leaving us with less to create what we want in our life. When we are sick or injured our energy is used up also. The difference is that when we are sick or hurt the energy is used to heal our bodies.
Do we intentionally spend time being sick? Probably not. A mindless activity may not run us down as much as being sick. On the other hand, is it likely it will increase our energy? Repeated over time, there is a lot at stake. Most activities can be used to check-out on ourselves or drift into unconsciousness. Are we really LIVING at that point or existing?
From day to day, moment to moment we can choose how we spend our time. In my experience, spending my time in the moment, on activities that are in line with my heart rejuvenate me and lift my energy.
Are our activities allowing us to live our biggest life or limiting our ability to create what we want to experience? Are we giving to the world what our unique abilities have to offer? Are we creating a life of joy, prosperity and nourishing relationships?
Do you remember that scene in Forrest Gump when Forrest was running from the kids who were throwing rocks at him? He’s all of 9, 10 years old. He’s standing there talking to the girl of his dreams. Three boys ride up on their bikes and begin throwing rocks at him. “Look out dummy, here we come…we’re going to get you…” Do you remember that look on Forrest face when he took off running? A look of fear and panic! They were throwing stones at him and then started to chase him.
Forrest made a decision to run. He had braces on his legs so his running started out awkward and slow. From what I could tell in watching that scene he was not focused on how those braces might hold him back. He was not focused on the fact that they had bikes to chase him with. He was not focused on how many were behind him. He was focused on running as fast as he could! And he did run clumsily along until the braces on his legs fell away, and then he ran faster!
The beauty of that scene is the impact of that one decision. It shows the power of decision. It also shows the power of our feelings. In this case it was fear (and love?). Our other feelings (passion, excitement, sadness and anger) can also propel us forward in powerful leaps and bounds.
Decision and emotion. Together they can propel us forward much like they did Forrest. And much like with the braces that fell off Forrest legs, when we make a decision backed by the commitment of our feelings, miraculous things can occur.
We start out where we are, and depending on what we have chosen, our progress, our enjoyment of life, our prosperity, our relationships – can all climb to higher and higher levels of satisfaction. The crutches we have used in our life fall away to the momentum of our intention – our decision and commitment at the emotional level.
Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.
by Henry David Thoreau
Regardless of where we are in our journey, we can pursue the life we want to live, we can make that decision, we can commit and we can put our heart on the line.
It’s our life. It’s our decision to make.