Give Yourself the Time of Your Life
When we get right down to it, we must draw one inescapable conclusion: time is our most important asset. And like most assets, there never seems to be enough of it. There are always so many things to do, so many pressures, so many things to keep track of. Our lives seem to whiz by, and where has our time gone? If time is our most important asset, why do we know so little about it? Why do we stay so busy yet accomplish so little? Are our accomplishments all that important in the overall scheme of our lives? In a sense, when we simplify our lives and become aware of the rhythms of life that occur internally, we can cultivate our sense of time – and we gain self-knowledge that generally escapes us within the bustle of our daily lives.
The Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
It’s a good thing that almost all of us worry. Think of worry as a built-in alarm device. When it is used wisely, it alerts us to danger and prompts us to navigate our way through a maze of solutions to life’s various problems. We need to think through our options when we are faced with problems, weighing the benefits and pitfalls of each alternative, and then come up with the best solution. From there we take action which, we hope, solves the problem. Worry is helpful when it is used at the right time and at the right level for resolving our difficulties. Like many things in life, however, too little worry, or too much of it, can be harmful.
Almost every relationship has been affected by procrastination at one time or another–when one or both partners put responsibilities off to another day or time, only to endlessly delay completing the task at hand. For some people it is a persistent problem, while for others it happens only in certain areas of their lives such as their relationship.
It can cause suffering in a committed relationship, when one partner delays or avoids keeping promises or agreements, putting the relationship at risk. And relationships outside the home also requiring teamwork such as friendships; at work and in the community, can suffer. Being unreliable can jeopardize one’s personal reputation, making a partner, friend or coworker lose trust in the procrastinator. There are better ways of dealing with the demands of our everyday lives with needs of our partner, friends and coworkers, once we accept that we are a procrastinator and make a commitment to change.
For many of us, life as we know it is or soon will be gone, be it socially, professionally or personally. Being aware of and expressing our thoughts and feelings during this crisis is important to our mental and emotional health.
When we make a commitment to our partner, our usual expectation is that our relationship will last for life and that our love will see us through the inevitable hard times. Yet, when reality sinks in, we have to acknowledge that while love is one of the components of a relationship’s longevity, it really takes more to make it through the long haul. It takes skills that many of us haven’t learned. We don’t know how to negotiate our way through relationship difficulties to build a lasting connection, but we can learn.
Are You Working Hard or Hardly Working? (Or Both?)
The atmosphere of the workplace has changed dramatically in recent times. Ever since the exploitative practices of the industrial revolution were removed through legislation, work has been defined as a place where a person could find fulfillment through a job which was rewarding and paid a fair wage. But this definition has reverted in recent years to one in which the needs of the employee have become less important. Finding personal fulfillment through our work has become more of a challenge.
Have you ever heard yourself say, “I’m a nice person. I’m a polite person. I’d never intentionally do anything to hurt anybody. So why don’t other people give me the respect I deserve?” The problem could well be due to a difficulty with assertion. Maybe you aren’t showing your nice, polite, and respectful qualities to other people. Unless they can see who you truly are, underneath it all, other people might not know how you expect to be treated. And this can lead to some unhappy experiences.
Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States and most Westernized countries. If you are overweight, you are hardly alone, as you can see by looking around you. About two-thirds of Americans are overweight and the statistics climb by the year.
Even children now are heavier than they have ever been – and this is happening during a time in our history when the thin look is defined as the ideal. Type II diabetes and hypertension (or high blood pressure) are two diseases associated with obesity, and the rates of these diseases have been increasing steadily over the years. Obesity is also linked to heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.
When we commit ourselves to a relationship with another person, we rightly expect to experience a sense of fulfillment that we didn’t have before. Humans, as social beings, seem to have a universal desire to find a partner. Sexual attraction often serves as the motivator for making initial contact with the other person, and this is usually replaced over time with a deeper sense of commitment and intimacy.
It comes as a terrible disappointment to some people when the sexual phase of their relationship fails to lead in time to something deeper. The task, then, is to understand the forces which block the development of a deeper sense of intimacy – and to do something about it. Fortunately, with some work – and it’s often hard work – couples can learn to move into the stage of deeper sharing and more fulfillment in their relationships.
Active Communication Requires One Person to Talk and the Other to Listen … and Both to Do Their Parts Well
Listening is the other half of communication. Our first thought, when we think about communication, may be to consider the speaker’s ability to convey ideas effectively. What we often forget is that without a listener the speaker may as well be talking to the wind. Just as effective speaking is an acquired skill, so is good listening. Some do it better than others. But all of us can learn to enrich our own listening skills.