Your Time Your Choice Your Responsibility
In an experiment, a frog was put in water in a jar that was placed on the stove. The temperature was raised gradually. It was observed that the frog adjusted periodically to the discomfort of the rising temperature. A time came that it could not adjust any more and the temperature became beyond what the frog could tolerate. The frog then died. The conclusion: the frog kept adjusting to the change rather than taking an initiative to jump out. Many people keep criticizing the present situation and keep adjusting like the frog, arriving at the obvious Consequence.
In another experiment, a frog was thrown into boiling water. Guess what did the frog do? Right, it jumped out of the boiling water. Some events of life prove to be similar to what the frog experienced and make us realize that we have potential to do what we may not have imagined till then.
Time impact is not absolute but relative. Each minute is a drag for a night watchman; hours fly during the moments of entertainment. Every minute is too long when you wait for someone; an hour is too short when you need it. The concept called “Time”, irrespective then of definitions, profession, age, position or possessions, is indeed relative.
Why does a clock that measures time move slow for one person and rapidly for another? Are they using different methods of measurement? Absolutely not. We all measure passage of time in the same way. Thus, the essence of Time Management lies not in its measurement but in the attitude and perception we have for Time. How, then, to manage Time? My honest answer is ‘you can’t’. Can you manage a clock? It will tick at its own pace. You can certainly do one thing. You can manage yourself—your attitudes and your perceptions—with reference to the clock that measures Time. So, if you wish to manage your Time better, you have to be prepared to manage yourself better. Believe me, it is not easy. The difficult part is that this requires making a choice to change. You may be aware that we all love change – not in us but in others or circumstances. Most people resist and fear making a voluntary change. They keep adjusting to the change outside them (see the experiment on page 18). To enjoy your life and to have enough time for things close to your heart, remember there is only one way: Take enough Time to have vision and purpose of your living in each area—each dimension of your life. Then prioritize, plan and take actions to travel from wish to fulfilment in order of their importance. Your life will take a new zest; you will add years to your life and life to your years. Just remember, life is too short to enjoy; too long to regret and worry.
Do not wait; the time will never be “just right”. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tool you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. —Napoleon Hill
The greatest power humans are endowed with is that of freedom of making a choice in every moment of living their life. For example, making a choice to take calculated risk against being safe, separates successful people from others, who let the time and opportunities flow.
ABC OF LIVING
As the events of life unfold, you will be concerned about something or the other. The concern may pertain to health, wealth, relationship, family, business, or anything else. Making a right choice to deal with your concern will help you move towards greater success in life. Use of your time depends on it.
The ABC Principle understood and applied can help you get unbelievable results. It can shift your perceptions, transform your attitudes and make your life much more fulfilling, relationships strong and healthy, and career or business growing.
The principle defines the choices you have and the impact of each choice. For any of your concerns, you have a choice to make from A or B or C. For me, A stands for Accountable, B for Blame, and C for Casual. The consequences of making a choice are varied and interesting. Experience yourself.
When you choose “A”, the outcome is your progress; choosing “B” makes you regress; and choice “C” results in apparent stagnation, but is actually a slow regression.
You choose “A” when you say, “I take responsibility to take an initiative in the matter that concerns me”. Though you may not be responsible for the situation that concerns you, you have the power and free will to take responsibility of taking an initiative to deal with the concern. It is being proactive. In this mode, you look for solutions to the problems. You see opportunities that knock your doors rather than crises. You say if it is to be, it is up to me. You bring change in yourself rather than wishing the change in others or circumstances. The language you use in choosing “A” is proactive rather than reactive.
You choose “B” when you blame someone else, circumstance, or yourself for the concern you have. In choosing “B”, you become reactive rather than responsive. Reactive people are easily affected by their physical, psychological, and social environment. Their lives are influenced by conditions and opinions of other people. In making “B” choice, you see problems in solutions; you see difficulties as stumbling blocks and not stepping stones. In choosing “B”, you create an environment of negative energy around you that makes you feel like a victim or helpless person. You lose power and give it to others or circumstances. Quality of your life becomes a function of behaviours of others. The fact of life is that you are unique and full of potential. You are not at all helpless. You have the power and if it comes to that, you can do anything. It is just a matter of making the right choice. From the perspective of time management, blaming others or circumstances, proves to be the greatest time waster. Though by blaming others or circumstances, one can shift the responsibility of poor results to others, be aware that it does not help them get desired results and growth of quality of life. Moreover, by making “B” choice, your relationship is strained and the degree of difficulty in getting desired results increases.
Choosing “C” is taking a casual approach to what concerns you. The choice “C” is the one preferred by people, who have achieved a bit and have become complacent to live in their comfort zone or by such people, who lack courage to take a calculated risk. These people think that they have reached their pinnacle and have no more potential left to explore within them. Some people make “C” choice in the absence of having a clear purpose of living life, though the reality is that one life is too short to become a fulfilled person. People making “C” choice resort to “Chalta-Hai” approach. They keep procrastinating, postponing and delaying the issues of life that are of concern to them. It becomes a way of life for some having this attitude. Time keeps flowing like water in a river and they let the opportunities slip out of their hands. They usually realize quite late that their time is up. A good saying in Hindi fits them well: Ab pachhtaye kya hot jab chidiya chug gayi khet (You get nothing by repenting now when the birds have picked the grains from the field). The question that should continuously hammer the mind is: “Have you achieved and become what YOU desire and deserve to be?” For managing your time better and living a more fulfilling life, make a choice of picking up “A”. Be accountable to yourself by taking an initiative and asking, “What can I do?” Explaining why you can’t do is more of finding excuses to shun your responsibility. Remember you are what you are because of the choices you made in the past. The choices you are making now will determine your future. Take responsibility of what you are today in relation to your time management and take an initiative to improve it. Plan and act to spend the required time to achieve your goals in all areas of your life. You will read more in the pages to come that the life can be compared with a wheel. The journey of life is like the travelling of a Wheel.
The three areas, viz. Body, Mind and Soul are comparable to hub of the wheel. These are the areas over which we have complete control. The other areas of life are Career, Family and Society, comparable with the rim of a wheel.
Living a fulfilling life is by balancing the wheel. Unless you have goals in each area—each dimension—of your life, the fulfilment and balancing will elude you. Once you decide goals and make commitment to achieve these, you will start living a fulfilling life. These goals will need your time, energy and commitment. You will have to plan the time required for each area of your life. This will demand making changes in your schedules. So, taking responsibility that you can make the required changes and making a commitment to go through the uncomfort of making a change will help you realize more of your potential. The quality of life will become better as also the performance in each area of your life. Our attitudes and actions flow out of our perceptions. Through selfawareness, we can examine these and identify as to what choices we make in different situations. Our language is a very good indicator of the choice we are making in a particular situation.
People making “B” choice will say:
I Can’t. I have to do it. What can I do in this situation? It is not my fault.
The examination paper was tough. I wish I had parents who were rich. You irritate me and make me unhappy. I wish I could have studied in a better school. Just know that when you are using “B” language , it becomes a selffulfilling prophesy. If you think you can’t, it will make you so.
People making “A” choice say: I Can; let me try. I will do it. What is that I can do in this situation? What are the alternatives? I was under-prepared for the examination. I commit to do better now. If it has to be, it is upto me. The language of a person making “C” choice is that of a procrastinator or a complacent person.
People making “C” choice say: It is more than enough.
I came with nothing and I have so much now; why to exert? Life is like that. You get nothing more than what is destined. When the right time comes, things will happen automatically. Those who choose “C”, use words like fate, luck and God to absolve themselves of their responsibility.