Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, if you see it and believe it you will achieve it”
The other day I shared with my Facebook friends an article from the New York Times Sunday Review entitled No Time to Think written by Kate Murphy http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/sunday-review/no-time-to-think.html?_r=4. In the article she reports that most of us stay so busy that we never give ourselves time for personal reflection. The article goes on to suggest that many of us stay busy because it keeps us from having to think beyond our own little world. What scares me is that if too many of us stop looking outwards for answers to today’s major questions the answers will come from those willing to impose their solutions on us all.
I agree that it is not always easy to face up to reality so that we can take action when appropriate; But if we don’t who will? Recently Marcy McKay offered some ideas on how we can do some productive thinking once we decide to do it. Here is some of what she wrote on the Change Blog:
What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do
Many people are on the go 24/7. Overworked, overcommitted, and overstimulated seems to be the norm these days. It’s harder than ever to slow down long enough to connect with ourselves and find the solutions we need.
Write it Out
Okay, okay, I hear the groans, but stay with me. I’m not talking New-Agey mumbo-jumbo here. You don’t have to keep a daily diary. I’m talking about writing to find solutions. Write in order to make your world right. Writing is an excellent tool for finding solutions because it incorporates both our left and right sides of the brain. I’ve been using this process for 18 years. Here’s what you do.
- Butt in chair – Enough said.
- Pick Your Poison – Either write by hand, or type at the computer. If you’re hand writing, don’t use a pretty, little journal. They’re expensive and you feel compelled to only write pretty, little thoughts. You need space to gripe and groan, mumble and moan. I use either a legal pad, or a thick, multi-subject notebooks like from high school. For computers, you can use the word processor available in your program.
- Write on Fire – Once you’ve chosen your method, write out the question/situation troubling you. Next, write as fast as you can without stopping, editing, or criticizing. Don’t censor your thoughts. This is for your eyes only. Turn your brain off and your hands on. Write anything to get started, like: I don’t know what to say. This is stupid. I hate this. It’s not working.
- Eventually, your brain will tire of your whining and start to focus on the problem. List all your negative feelings about the situation: How unfair it is. How angry you are. The sadness it brings up. Get everything out on paper. The more you write, the more the process is working.
- Hello, Fear. I’ve Been Expecting You – It may take pages and pages to vent all your anger, but underneath that rage, don’t be surprised to find good ol’ fashioned Fear. That’s Fear with a capital ‘F.’ Fear of failure. Fear of success. That’s Fear’s job. To keep us small and in our place. Status quo. To not let make positive changes. Write through the Fear.
- How to Get Unstuck – At some point, you’ll want to quit before you’ve reached a resolution. When you want to stop that’s GOOD! It means you’ve struck a nerve and are onto something important for yourself…a possible solution, maybe an idea, or perhaps a change in attitude. When you keep writing even when you don’t want to, you blast through the gripes and groans, then start to discover the answers you need.
- Write Until The End – This isn’t a timed exercise. I wish I could tell you how long it takes to find your answers, but life isn’t that simple. It may take 20 minutes, or it may take you all afternoon. The key is to stick with it until you start to form an action plan.
A problem well stated is a problem half solved.
Sam Cohen, father of 3 and faithful husband for over 40 years, unexpectedly drops dead one day. His lawyer informs his widow that Stu Schwartz, Sam’s best friend since childhood, is to be executor of the will. The day comes to divide Sam’s earthly possessions, over a million dollars’ worth. In front of Sam’s family, Stu reads the will:
“Stu, if you’re reading this, then I must be dead. You’ve were such a good friend for so long, how can I ignore you in this will? On the other hand, there are my beloved Sophie and my children to be looked after. Stu, I know you can make sure my family is taken care of properly. So Stu, give what you want to her and take the rest for yourself.” Stu then looks at the survivors and tells them that, in accordance with Sam’s instructions, Stu will give fifty thousand dollars to Sam’s widow. The rest he is retaining for himself.
The family is beside itself. “This is impossible! Forty years of marriage and then *this*?! It can’t be!” So the family sues. Their day in court arrives, and after testimony from both sides, the judge gives his verdict: “To Stuart Schwartz, I award fifty thousand dollars of the contested money. The remainder shall go to Sophie Cohen, widow of the deceased.”
Needless to say, the family is elated, but Stu is dumbfound. “Your honor, how can you do this? The will made Sam’s wishes quite clear: ‘Give what you want to her and take the rest for yourself!’ I wanted the lion’s share! What gives?”
The judge answered back, “Mr. Schwartz, Sam Cohen knew you his whole life. He wanted to give you something in gratitude. He also wanted to see his family taken care of. So he drew up his will accordingly. But you misread his instructions. You see, Sam knew just what kind of a person you are, so with his family’s interest in mind, he didn’t say, “Give what you want to her and keep the rest for yourself.’ No. What Sam said was, “Give what YOU want to HER; and keep the rest for yourself.”
Sign spotted in a toilet in a London office block:
TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW
Stan was having problems in English class, so his teacher decided to stop by on her way home to speak with his parents. When she rang the bell, Stan answered. “I’d like to talk to your mother or father,” she said.
“Sorry, but they ain’t here.”
“Stan!” she said, “what is it with your grammar?”
“Beats me,” he replied, “but dad sure was mad that they had t’go bail her out again!”
“Although I can accept talking scarecrows, lions and great wizards of emerald cities, I find it hard to believe there is no paperwork involved when your house lands on a witch.”
It seems like every time our piano tuner John comes to our house, he scolds me for waiting too long between tunings. I agree with him that it should be done every six months, but I don’t really think about it until the the piano sounds off-key. The last time he came over, I was on the defensive. “If you would send out a postcard reminder like the dentist,” I declared, “I would make sure to call you for an appointment in a timely fashion.”
Without hesitating, he replied, “From now on, when the dentist sends you a postcard, call me.”
Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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