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Why your attitude to the passing of time will either keep you stuck, or propel you forward

Mar 28, 2022

Age is but a number…

As this Blog goes live, it will be my Birthday. I am one year off half a century. Does this concern me? No. A friend treated me to a Birthday lunch last week and asked if I was bothered that I’m hitting a big milestone next year. I replied: ‘Not at all.’ She couldn’t understand it. She had enough trouble dealing with turning 40 and to be honest, I still don’t think she’s got over it! ‘How come you don’t mind being 50?!’ she asked in total disbelief. ‘Because’ I said, ‘the passing of time is a lighthouse– I cannot do anything about it, so turning 50 is going to come around come what may, therefore, if I’m not happy about it, I can choose to moan about it or, intelligently navigate my thinking around it.’ Personally, I don’t see the point in focusing negative thoughts on how old I am. There’s no point donating time and negative energy to something I cannot change i.e. Father Time.

Those that know me, know that I LOVE Birthdays, and I promise not just my own. I love celebrating others and helping them to feel special. When it’s my big day, as well as cards, cake and presents, it’s also an opportunity to take stock, and to reflect on the past year- all that I have achieved, perhaps dreams not yet fulfilled, goals to set and the steps to put in place to achieve.

Eight days a week

I recently spoke at a conference and to check everyone was with me, present and listening – because this mindset stuff is important, I asked if they could give me a quick guestimate of how many days there are in the average lifetime (in the Western world, we are told this is approximately 80 years), so it was time for some quick Math. The PowerPoint presentation flashed up the following options:

30,000                  100,000

50,000                  150,000

75,000                  200,000

The audience were shocked to learn that in 80 years, we get just 30,000 days. That’s just 4,000 weekends. A stark reminder of how time flies.

For those of you who’ve attended a Winning Edge programme, it will be of no surprise to you that I followed this up with the days of the week.

If we go by the Bible’s three score years and 10 – i.e. 70 years – and allocate a day of the week to each decade, which day would you be on?

Monday               0 - 10 years                        Friday                   41 – 50 years

Tuesday               11 - 20 years                      Saturday             51 - 60 years

Wednesday         21 – 30 years                     Sunday                 61 – 70 years

Thursday             31 – 40 years                     Bank Holiday Monday…!

This is an illustration which really brings home how quickly time passes. My message to the audience: to live life more consciously and how important it is to know what they want in life and to go for it. To embrace change. To see the possibility and opportunities in change.

My Dad, Richard Jackson MBE – founder and co-architect of The Winning Edge programme is 78 this year. He laughs that he’s approaching the Queen’s Jubilee weekend! He therefore lives life with intention, squeezing every drop out.

The big wheel keeps on turning but is it a mill stone or is it a Ferris Wheel?

It’s so easy to go through the motions every day. As Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ellen Goodman once said:

"Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it."

So, are you making a living or designing a life?

Recently spotted on a motorhome bumper sticker: ‘Adventure before dementia’. What a fabulous fabulous ethos! That’s people taking the bull by the horns right there. And surely that’s the attitude to take in life– to live life to the full before we shuffle off this mortal coil.

But change can be scary can’t it? We bob along in life, a curve ball might be thrown and we deal with it best we can but we don’t want to be the cause of any change– we want to stay in our comfort zone. What if the change leads to worse circumstances? What if change means we’re worse off than we were before?

Life is risky, I’ll tell you how risky it is – we don’t get out of it alive!

What stops us from pursuing our goals in life? Is it inertia– we just can’t be bothered to challenge the status quo– we perhaps think it takes up too much thought and energy? Maybe it’s fear of failure holding us back– ultimately our self-limiting beliefs.

Change your thoughts, change your life

Maybe you don’t give any thought to changing anything in your life. You’re comfortable. Days come and go and life ebbs and flows. You don’t particularly hanker after anything you haven’t got; you don’t seek new experiences or interactions with others. All good, as long as you know you’ve consciously made that choice. Why change? No reason to. Unless, it is fear of failure or fear of change which you are allowing to prevent you doing something different. Work out what it is you want to change by thinking about your values. Maybe more adventure is what you crave. Possibly some self-development or maybe it’s about helping others.

Maybe you want more for you and your loved ones. Perhaps you feel you want to achieve more, maybe a better level of financial security for the future, perhaps you’d like more money so you can enjoy the nicer things in life. You want to be better and you want better.

Change can be good; change can give you access to things you could never have imagined you’d find yourself doing. Change can be the gateway to exciting options that you might never have realised if you’d kept your imagination small – if you’d kept yourself small. Challenging yourself enables you to learn and grow, it enriches your life.

The benefits of living life more consciously

This is not a rehearsal, this is it. One life. So, rather than shuffle off at the end and wonder where it all went and what you wished you’d have done, why not embrace change, embrace challenge, embrace the new and move forward and live your life- this one life. Where you can be great and awesome and brilliant.

There are multiple benefits to living life consciously:

- Life seems longer
- You generally enjoy better health
- You notice when the roses come out
- You notice when your loved ones do something different
- You feel more in control of the now and the part you play
- You’re in the moment
- You’ll feel a peace of mind
- You know why you’re doing what you’re doing
- You feel empowered and liberated

Does stuff happen in life which we do not choose? Yes. Do we turn around sometimes and wonder how on earth we are in the circumstance we find ourselves in- that it feels like things have crept up on us- yes. I am not for one moment suggesting that you slap a smile on and get over it. Not for one minute. But, over time, you get to recalibrate. Over time, you get to choose the next path. I work on this mindset stuff daily- it’s not something I turn to when things are tough. 15 minutes a day I check in on my mindset, what my dominant thoughts are- whether I’m worrying about stuff or feeling hopeful and positive. I watch my self-talk to ensure it is supporting me. I visualise a positive outcome for the challenging situations I face, and my assumptive affirmations are another tool to bolster it all.

That’s what gets me through the times in life when my resilience is really tested. And there are times. So that’s why each Birthday I not only ensure I have plans going forward to make the most of those 30,000 days, but I also remind myself of all that I have faced and overcome.

As next year’s Birthday is a milestone one, it deserves a little more attention and as my husband will also be celebrating his 50th, we’re planning a massive shindig. Squeezing the juice my friends, squeezing the juice.

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Does life seem to pass you by? Do you turn around and wonder where the past 12 months went? Perhaps you yearn to figure out what you want out of life.

Would you like to feel more in control of the nature of your thoughts, to take your life in the direction you want to take it?

The Mindset Coaching Membership can help you understand the tools and strategies needed. With Masterclass Teachings + Coaching + Accountability, we will help you to create the future you want. Find out more here.

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