Five Ways to Not Miss Out On Life 

Have you ever had to get up and leave during a critical part of a movie or show?

I recently saw ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ with my brother-in-law and son. I’m pretty sure you’ll agree that it was awesome. Less than halfway through the movie, I had to leave the theater; let’s just say too much soda. While I was gone, I felt panicky and rushed, knowing I was missing so much. I was imagining another epic fight scene, a pivotal line that wrapped the whole plot together, an amazing screen shot… So, as quickly as was humanly possible, I rushed back into the theater. I insisted on being filled in at once.

Can you relate?

I don’t just mean badly-timed bathroom breaks. I mean the feeling of missing out on the precious moments of life. This is what anxiety and stress do to our lives: it distracts us from capturing life’s fullness. Then, these moments are lost in the past forever without being fully experienced. When you think about the consequences of letting anxiety and stress take what’s precious from us… well, let’s be frank: that sucks.

Again, I ask: can you relate?

I recall times in my past being consumed by the anxieties of life. I’d go through entire days of family fun or meeting with great friends but, at the end of the day, I’d be hard-pressed to tell about all the great memories we had just created and shared. Preoccupation with anxiety, concern or stress steals away your happiness.

Don’t allow yourself to be ripped away from experiencing joy in life!

Here’s reality, the hard part: This is easier said than done.

Easier said than done for all of us, even those who teach this important lesson! When was the last time you missed a priceless moment because you were too consumed with work or stress? For me, it was yesterday.

I missed out on playing catch with my 4 year old daughter because I was too preoccupied with other things. The truth is, she asked me to play about five times and I said yes, in a little bit…in a little bit… 30 minutes later …ya, we will play in a little bit, OK? Next thing I knew, she was sleeping for the night. The day was done.

Such precious and little time we have…. Try not to waste it. Do it for you and for those you love.

Here are five tips to help you stay in the moment, maximize on your time and not allow stress to steal away your joy:

  1. Carve out a little instead of a lot. When busy and easily-distracted from responsibilities, still give of yourself.   If you can’t afford to give all day, give what you can. Yes, I was busy that day and a bit stressed when my daughter asked me to spend quality time with her. I easily could havegiven her 10 minutes and she would have been overjoyed. Sometimes, a little can go a long way.
  2. Control the chapters of your day.  Days should be broken up and planned into categories, as naturallyas possible, so that more things get accomplished. For instance, production time is when I work. Private time is when I take care of bills or work out. Family time is when I am at peace with my family and connecting. Having these slots in my day helps me to leave anxiety or concern from lingering into the experiences that need my attention.
  3. Use gratitude and prayer to help calm your heart.Let peace give you focus. Nothing is as good as centering yourself, spiritually, to help you be placed back in the moment. Memorize an inspirational quote, scripture passage or prayer to repeat to yourself the next time you catch yourself being distracted and off in la-la-land.
  4. Do what you do well.Don’t waste time on things you don’t enjoy or don’t do well. When I try to tackle a project that I know I can’t accomplish well, I tend to get frustrated knowing that time is being wasted and I could be using my time elsewhere more productively. This doesn’t mean I won’t paint a picture during craft time with my kids: Though I know it won’t turn out well, the quality time is irreplaceable.  It does mean, however, that I’ll let Mr. Fix-It install my patio door instead of spending a frustrating day doing a mediocre job.  It just makes sense.
  5. Know where you’re going.Indecision is such a time sucker. Do you ever pace or wander about the house or office, wondering what you should do next? Big decisions or small, I tend toward this bad habit.  When I fall into dazed pacing, it leads to a lack of accomplishment which leads to frustration.  It’s like trying to put a 1000-piece puzzle together without a picture to guide you: for heaven’s sake, someone give me the picture! Make sure you can see your goal before you move forward.

If you follow these tips, you’ll notice your life will be more controlled and at peace.  You will not have the regrets of missing out on precious, important moments of life. You’ll be training yourself to stay focused and in the moment, to make the most of the limited time you have and to put stress on the backburner as you live in fulfillment, peace and joy.

Go and Grow!

P.S. Have you got it all figured out? You know, the no stress, more time and more money goals? Do you want to take your leadership skills to the next level?

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