Posts

Lessons of Time and Choice

,

losing track of timeAt this point in my life I truly realize that every day is a learning opportunity.  Sometimes I wish the lessons didn’t take so long to get here.

Yesterday I went to the wake of a dear friend’s mom.  We hadn’t physically seen each other in over 20 years.  I think the last time was at our 10 year high school reunion.  We had been the best of friends all through high school, and, if I remember correctly, junior high, too.  We had participated in countless sleepovers and events – and then she moved away to go to college and we lost touch.  Our only connection for these past years has been the holiday cards sent to each other.

Seeing her yesterday at the wake for those few moments made me truly wonder.  Of course, firstly, I wonder where in the world had the time gone???  How could it have been possible that so many years have passed?  Time does go by so fast, and of course every day is filled with priorities.  But, every day we are lucky to have we are also lucky enough to have a new opportunity.

The swift passing of time is not an unfamiliar realization.  I’ve certainly heard people express this same sentiment before.  It is so easy to lose track of time.  Personally, my days are filled to the brim with things that I “have” to do.  In my personal experience, one day just rolls into the next.  The week is gone, the month is gone, the year is gone… you get the idea.

I woke this morning thinking about this and asking myself how she and I could have lost touch and how we allowed so many years to pass in this manner.

So, there it is… the lessons of time and choice. 

With this being said, I think about the saying, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”.  In my book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com) I wrote how I marvel how someone, somewhere had said all these amazing quotes and sayings that have been passed down through the years.  They had “been there and done that”, and gave us all these secrets to have a better life.  There is so much wisdom from the past if we pay attention.

“Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”:  What is something you have wanted to do and/or a person you have wanted to call?

Perhaps today is someday.

I’ve definitely been crossing things off my “bucket list” of things I want to do; but, what about all of those other things that I should do?  We will make time in our busy lives if we really want to make the time.

Truly the days go by so fast.  Don’t let another pass you by without touching someone you “should” call.

If you “should” do it, you probably should actually make it happen.  I know I “should” have.

What do you CHOOSE to do today?  How can you make those things a priority?  And, if your day, like mine, is filled with the what I “have” to do’s, it may be time to reevaluate the “have to” and figure out how to create a schedule that suits life and love and freedom to do those things that we “should” do.

I certainly plan to reevaluate things a little.

After all, it is time to enjoy life.  It is Time to Play!

Love,

Doreen

Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

Get Happy

,

get happyI saw this on Facebook the other day. It is a quick visual that really puts things into perspective, and maybe will encourage a positive action to change our lives.

So many times, I believe, we get “stuck” doing the same old thing. Sometimes whatever it is we are doing in our day becomes drudgery, where we are dreading getting up to go to, or to do, whatever it may be. But, yet, out of habit or obligation we just keep doing or going.

My son is a prime example. He had a job he hated. It pretty much sucked the life-blood out of him, but he went. He dreaded going there, hated being there, and felt devalued as a person after he left. It made for an incredibly unhappy existence, as his whole world pretty much revolved around the distress of his job. To add to the despair, the salary he received was meager, and it was difficult for him to pay his bills. He stayed on with this for over a year, feeling like he was trapped and had no other choices.

And complaining.  He did a lot of complaining.

But, no matter what we told him, or how we encouraged him, or with any suggestions we gave to him, HE decided he was trapped and had no other choices.

One day he happened to go to a place that was hiring. Coincidence or not, he was able to change jobs and his whole demeanor shifted to enable him to better enjoy life. He was no longer a “prisoner” in a situation he facilitated, but had experienced a year of his life unhappy, frustrated and stressed out.

Is this something that you find yourself experiencing?

I have learned through working on the Time to Play project that our emotions are a guide. If we feel upset, uptight, frustrated, unhappy (you get the idea) in a situation or while doing or participating in something, that might just be a trigger that you need to change something.

Even though, as you read this, you might be thinking that it sounds easy but that is not possible to change your situation, you might be able to, at least, begin with a small change that can lead up to a larger change towards your better quality of life.

If nothing else, the exercise on the graphic is pretty easy.

Get out that piece of paper. Make a list of things that make you happy. Make a list of things you do every day. Compare the lists. To “adjust accordingly”, make another column with options to begin the process to make the change towards those things. Pick something that is possible for you to begin with to make your change happen.

Just keep in mind that a list is just a list unless you actually cross something off.

Then it is a reality.

Life is short.

Maybe you can take out that piece of paper and make that list today…

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

# # #

Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

Responsibility and Our Own Actions

, , , , , ,
Be the change you want to see in the world - Ghandi

Be the change

With the risk of making people angry at me, I felt compelled to write this article.  It’s not intended to insult anyone but to make people THINK on their own and to stop casting blame.  Guess what?  WE are part of every situation and the outcome of every situation.  The fault is not just of one person, but all of ours.  Again, my intention here is to plant a seed and to make you think.

I felt especially compelled to write this article today, the day of the funeral of fallen police officer Ramos.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi

WE are powerful people.  When we are silent, things occur that may not be pleasing to us.  This is evident in EVERY area of our lives.  But, yet we don’t necessarily take responsibility for the outcomes and then we BLAME others when things don’t work out the way we prefer.  What do I mean?  Let’s look at some examples that may occur in our everyday lives.

Relationships:  This can be a love relationship, work relationship, a relative, or a friend.  Sometimes we don’t like the behavior of someone.  What do we do?  Do we sit down and have an intelligent conversation and “lay it all out on the table”?  Let’s be truthful… I would bet that, in the majority of instances, we don’t.  Instead, we complain.  Perhaps we go behind their back and do “stuff” that only exacerbates a situation to “get them”.  Just our own talking about whatever “it” is makes us more angry and frustrated.  A better way would be to talk about it TOGETHER and figure out the next step.

Maybe the person causing your issue isn’t aware of what they are doing?  Think about your boss.  They “make” you do stuff, or give you bad hours, or “take advantage”.  My own children complain about this type of situation.  The key word here is complain.  Complaining does not get you anywhere.  So, what do you do?  Perhaps your supervisor or manager is overwhelmed in their own situation or the pressures of their position.  Bringing them an awareness of what is troubling you or a hardship that is created may alleviate issues for you both.  I’m sure they would appreciate it much more than the hostility, hard feelings and antagonistic behaviors that result when these type of feelings are held inside. My oldest son recently had been completely overwhelmed with his hours at work and his workload at college.  Did he mention it to his manager?  Nope.  Would he have been better off if he had?  Absolutely.

Again, we can apply this to every situation in our lives. A relationship with a relative or a spouse would definitely benefit from sitting down and working things out.  Look at the ramifications of not doing this – the hostility, hurt, and the alienation that result when we don’t.  This is evident in situations with relatives in my own family – who doesn’t like who, who doesn’t talk to who.  And, how many people know someone going through a divorce?  It is an amicable parting or are they trying to “screw” the other?  Or, who knows people in a marriage that is “failing”?  I truly believe there is a way to work things out.  Talking about the feelings being harbored inside is definitely, in my opinion, the first step.  Human beings are not mind readers and there is no way we can assume another party knows that they are troubling us or causing a hardship.  Bullying comes to mind here, as well.  Just “food for thought”, but at what point do we stand up for what is right?  History repeats itself if we let it (I’ll explain this statement in a moment).  We know there are issues, but do we continue to be enablers?

Another important thing to consider is that we have to let the person bringing us a situation the opportunity to speak. Instead, do we get defensive?  I know I have been guilty of this myself… we justify our actions because, after all, we’re right, aren’t we?  It’s important to listen to what the person coming to you is speaking about.  Sometimes it makes sense to see what we don’t consciously see; even when something we did or said was not intended in the way it was perceived.  But, here’s the beauty of this.  We have the ability to work out whatever was the situation in a kind and amicable way.  Perhaps we can even start over with a fresh perspective to make things better for all parties.

Responsibility — In today’s society there is so much thrown at us. So much news, so many opinions, so much stuff telling us how to think and what we should think.

Unfortunately, it is evident that this way is not productive.  We can see the ramifications when people are caught up in the fervor.  It’s the “lynch mobs” of yesteryear, the riots, like the time in our society of the Salem witch hunt.  A few sentences ago I noted the statement of “history will repeat itself if we let it”.  I wrote that in our book, If I Knew then What I Know Now (www.IfIKnewthenBook.com). Unfortunately, we continue to let it.

The Salem witch hunt, to me, was such a sad time in our nation’s history.  We can see situations in our society’s history, again and again, of how fast people just “jump on the bandwagon”.  It perplexes me how this can be.  Perhaps an excuse for the actions of our people in the 1600’s was ignorance and lack of education.  But, in the year 2014 (and almost 2015) it is hard to imagine that this can be an excuse. I believe many of us now run on political agendas and “blame”.

Maybe it’s time to stop and figure out what is the next best step to bring unity to our people.  Look at the hardship and sadness that result from how we’re currently operating.  Look at the negative feelings that are building and building in our society.  Look at the instances where our politicians have forgotten who they work for an their harmful actions that cause irreparable damage.  Again, it’s the year 2014.  When will this madness stop?  Why is it always “us” against “them”?

It’s time for each of us to take responsibility for our own actions, to sit down, to act like intelligent people and to make the best choices for the whole.

That’s really the means to a simple solution.

But, unfortunately, when we are silent – and I’m not talking about the noise being made by the angry mobs roaming the streets of our cities, as I believe these are extremely unproductive – we get nowhere.

What is the next best step?  Where do we go from here?

Anger, frustration, hate, and fear are all unproductive.

Let’s figure out what is the best way for US to proceed forward at this time.  The key word here is FORWARD, instead of progressively moving backwards.  All we have to do is look at all the options and choose the best one – TOGETHER.  Let’s take responsibility for our actions, alone and together.  The alternative is just not acceptable.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi

A statement worth repeating again and again; only WE, together, can effectively create that change.

RESPECT – We all want it

, , , , ,
Respect Time to Play

Respect

I woke this morning with the word “RESPECT” running through my mind.  I realized that getting respect and being respected is a huge priority in my life.  I also believe others feel being respected is necessary in theirs.  I choose to write this article to provide an opportunity to bring awareness to unconscious actions we may have – to spark a change that will eliminate frustration and create more happiness in our lives and in the lives of others.

Let’s look at some ways we may be disrespected and you can see that I may be on to something here…

Let’s look at our family.  Do your family members respect you?  Do they arrive on time* to dinner or show up when they promise to be there (or do you wait frustrated for them to show up or call)?  Do they jump to conclusions without giving you the benefit of the doubt in a situation?  Do they speak with you the way you would like to be spoken to (and vice versa)?  Do they leave things on the floor or not clean up after themselves? The clean up part — we can excuse this behavior as “lazy”, but I believe it really is a respect thing, especially if there was communication to explain expectations.  Did you ever stop to think WHO has to clean up behind us when we don’t do it ourselves?  (This is valid inside and outside of our homes in public places like parks, restaurants, parking lots, public restrooms, etc.).

Let’s look at work.  We spend the majority of our day at work.  Feeling satisfaction and appreciation are most important in the workplace.  These feelings can be synonymous with feelings of respect.  Do you feel taken advantage of or not recognized for your knowledge or abilities?  I think this is all connected… we are emotional beings, after all.  I believe being recognized for your accomplishments and feeling good about being in your workplace are major parts of having job satisfaction.  This could also include fair pay for your service.  Knowing there may be economic hardships in today’s workplace, I know of situations, and have personally experienced, where staff “goes to bat” and actually takes cuts in pay to keep an organization together.  The basis for such an event would have to come from a feeling of respect and satisfaction – or else, truly, they’d “bail out” instead of staying during a turbulent time.

One thing that is, perhaps, my biggest pet peeve is people who don’t return calls or follow-up as they said.  This is a huge phenomenon in business – there seems to be a “game” that people play that all parties may not agree to prior to the beginning of a relationship.  Any sales person can understand what I’m talking about.  Personally, I always go out of my way for others.  I drop anything at hand to help out, and I always see the big picture, perhaps sometimes bigger than the person who I’m meeting with can see.  There’s so much potential in everything that we do – every project we start, every vision we have, every book we write, every story we share.  I see the end, the possibilities, perhaps to a flaw.  I see the dreams people have and what they can offer to another, and I want to make their dreams happen. 

I can give tons of examples where a person will call in distress.  Jim (my husband) and I will usually drop everything to accommodate a meeting, always coming armed with research and suggestions.  How many times have you gone on a sales call or attended to a customer or a client, work really hard to accommodate their needs, and they don’t return calls back?  They’ve apparently fallen off the face of the earth.  My sister, who has been in sales for her whole career, says this is the story of her life.  She works really hard for a prospect, gets them all the info they need, and never hears from them again despite fruitless attempts for follow-up. 

Or, how about when you go on a date –

Why do we have to “hurry up and wait” and guess what the other person’s thinking or doing.  We eventually get the message that they’re not interested in a work or personal relationship; but, OUT OF RESPECT, a quick call or follow-up email should be made.  I do my best to do this.  I, personally, know how bad one feels waiting for a call that may never come.  There are terms to support this, for example, “poker face”, or “games people play”.  I just believe, in consideration of the feelings of another, these games are unnecessary and create significant hard feelings and tremendous frustration in the one waiting.  Sometimes people are on timetables or have things they need to accomplish and they are really waiting on that phone call or email.  I believe respect and consideration for another go a long way.

AND… here’s another one.  Did someone say they were going to do something and then not do it?  Respect comes into play with this, too.  No one likes to wait for something that a person promises that never materializes. 

This is something that causes hard feelings and frustration that is super easy to eliminate. 

I know that sometimes people may “bite off more than they can chew” and become inundated with responsibilities to a point where they cannot physically accomplish what they said they would do.  In that case, just a quick phone call or email to follow up to the other person who is waiting for the “something” would be most welcome.  I NEVER promise someone something and do not follow-up.  NEVER.  That is a super priority of mine; one of integrity and conscious.  You need me, I’m there. I’ll go out of my way to support another and their endeavors.  Think of yourself, think of your actions, think of the actions of others.  If we all consider and respect another, this world would be such a less frustrating place.

I can recall countless situations where I felt I was slighted in my past, and I know I took these actions personally and wound up with terribly hurt feelings.  Still, to this day, I wait for people who say they are going to do something and the “something” may not ever materialize.  The most important recent growth factor I can acknowledge in myself is that now something may bother me – when it happens – and then I will realize it and, within a few minutes, re-rationalize it and let it go.  I work on this every day and am far from perfect.  I try not to take things personally and rationalize that it’s not necessarily an intentional situation of disrespect purposefully done TO me, but perhaps unintentional on the behalf of the other party.  They may not even realize they did something to hurt my feelings or hold back a project I’m working on.

My goal, every day, is and always has been, to take into consideration how other people feel.  To know what my actions will do to them, to realize what I should do or how I should approach something to make someone feel good about themselves.  Am I perfect? Absolutely not; but my intentions are true and I do my best to be aware of how my actions affect others.

I believe respect and consideration go a long way to make amazing relationships… personal and business.  Acting without respect and consideration causes significant hard feelings and conflict.  I believe it may be, truly, one of the largest priorities that should be considered prior to our actions throughout the day.  Perhaps we can try to preface our thoughts or actions with questions like, “If I do ________, then _________ will happen”, “If I do ________ then that will make this person will feel like ________”, “If I do __________ that will make someone feel good”, “I will be taking advantage of _________ if I do _________”. 

No one likes being taken advantage of or feeling badly.  Our actions can easily cause that to happen.  If we’re aware of the ramifications of our actions, we can totally change the course of the day, week, or life of another.

*A quick disclaimer to all my family who read this:  I’m always running a little late.  It’s not a respect thing or done in any way maliciously, but caused by continuously trying to fit 25 hours into a 24 hour day.  It’s something I’m aware of and working on, which is a step towards change.  Hey – I’ve got lots of things I want to do!

# # #

Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of Time to Play:  www.TimetoPlay.com = Resources for a Better Life.  It’s Time to Enjoy YOUR Life!

Jumping to Conclusions

, , , , ,

No matter how much I read, am educated, or grow older, I find myself continuing to do this.  How many of us jump to conclusions because something “seems” like _____________ — you fill in the blank.

“She does not like me”, “My boss picks on me”, “The store clerk did this on purpose”….. you get the idea.

Guess what. Have you ever heard this saying, “Sometimes things aren’t always what they seem” – unknown  

Yes, this is true.  The trick is for us to remind ourselves of this fact when our mind starts fabricating the “what if’s” or jumping to conclusions.

The key, I believe, is to ASK the person what they mean, their intention behind their behavior, etc. versus jumping to our own conclusions because, in my experience, I continuously find that what I think is the exact opposite of what is actually occurring.

Our homework for today – reach out.  Maybe your mom or your friend hasn’t called not because she’s mad at you but because she’s just busy. Maybe your boss gave a responsibility to someone else not because he “hates” you or is going to fire you but because there is something more important you will need to do for the organization where you work. 

Let’s look at the positive instead of the negative.  Let’s find out motives behind actions instead of jumping to conclusions.  I believe it is much healthier that way.

Just to be fair, when I was looking for who said, “sometimes things aren’t always what they seem” I did find an additional part that someone wrote.  I found it to be both encouraging and discouraging and I thought I’d include it and discuss it.  You’ve heard the saying “life isn’t always a bed of roses”, right? Sometimes we need to deal with things that happen and move on.

Here is what I had found:  “Sometimes things aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes people who you trust the most in the world will stab you in the back, your best friend betrays you, and the person you thought would never hurt you..will. Life is full of disappointments, but life itself isn’t a disappointment. Life is hard, and would be easier if things were just easy and nobody ever hurt us, but things don’t work that way. Life is a mountain waited to be climbed, with help…or alone. And it’s not impossible, i mean…someone climbed Everest…didn’t they?” – Unknown

So, what is this saying to us?  Sometimes things don’t go as we planned. Sometimes “sh**” happens.  The author of this definitely had a disappointment. Sometimes we each have something that does not go our way, but we need to move forward. We need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and find a way around the “obstacle” to move forward.  We recently published a book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life. (www.IfIknewThenBook.com), which talks about just that.  We all have undesirable experiences, but we have a choice of how we act / react. We either stay where we are and wallow in self-despair, or we move forward. We can use our experience to be sad and depressed and waste our days, years, and lives, or we can become stronger and move mountains.  

In the end, each minute, hour, and day, it is up to us on how we act and react. It is up to us whether we let things stand in our way or achieve.

I know it is hard to not jump to conclusions, but the trick is to stop and evaluate and then act. We are all smart. We just have to apply our smartness sometimes. Not sure if smartness is a word, but you get what I mean.

I’d love to hear from you. Email me anytime at doreen@timetoplay.com or call our office, 631-331-2675 if you have suggestions, something you want to see on Time to Play, or something you can add to www.TimetoPlay.com.  My goal? To bring resources together to help each of us learn what we need to know so we can enjoy life. Together we can do amazing things.

The Time to Play Philosophy:  You have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work / life balance to have quality of life.  Learn what you need to know so you can enjoy life.  www.TimetoPlay.com = Resources for a better life.  It’s time to Enjoy YOUR Life!

Love, 

Doreen