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Self Imposed Limitations

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follow your dreams

Follow your dreams

I’ve been saying for years now, “Learn what you need to know so you can enjoy life”, and although I’ve been a huge advocate for learning, I’ve also been struggling with this HUGE concept.

Throughout my journey developing the idea behind the Time to Play concept, truly believing that everyone deserves to enjoy life, I have encountered obstacles. I have met many people who I relied on and became incredibly disappointed in.  I “waited” for things to happen, for promises that didn’t materialize.  I became amazingly frustrated, and had given up numerous times.  Sound familiar?

“Can’t” even sometimes snuck itself in there…

I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences.

Thankfully, I have been provided with amazing friends and teachers like Rebecca L. Norrington.  She has slipped in words of wisdom and empowerment to me at some of my most critical moments.  She may not even realize the power behind what she gives.  One important thing I’ve learned from her is that no one can make you “feel” a certain way… only YOU can make you feel.  Implementing this mindset takes practice. Trust me.

So, here’s the scoop on today’s revelation that I would like to share.  Hopefully I won’t lose you as I try to explain it.  Please stay with me…

I would like to share something I have realized in order to keep myself on track, and I hope it can also help you to avoid discouragement.  I have realized that ideas and a change in our thinking, no matter how ideas and concepts are presented, or how many times you hear something, are not necessarily immediate. This goes for anything… including things like “tips” for healthy eating or “pointers” or ideas for happiness or for success.  Anyone can “tell” us stuff, but it’s up to us to “get it”.

Remember how hard it may have been for us to learn how to solve a math problem?  How we tried, maybe we even had gone for extra help?  And then you “got it”, and it was easier to complete the assignments?  Like that.   I believe this is how it is for many of us to adopt a new way.  It sometimes may take time, even years, for ideas and concepts to evolve in order for us to see things more clearly and to understand.  Research shows it takes 21 days to adopt a new habit.  I think that it takes a lot longer – it takes until we are ready to adopt a different way of thinking.

Today I have realized something that I’ve known all along, but a concept that I really “got” this morning – the idea behind self imposed limitations.  I have recognized that it takes years to unlearn what we have decided to believe about ourselves.  The lack of self confidence, that we don’t belong, the belief we cannot “be” or “do”, which result in our creation of frustration and unhappiness in our lives.  I wrote about these concepts in our book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now”, (www.IfIKnewthenBook.com) writing in chapter 2 about my belief that we are “tortured souls” that live in self-imposed prisons (chapter 2).  There’s a sample read here, where you can read the beginning of this idea.

Today those concepts have become even clearer to me.  I challenge you to look around and see how many people accept life in that manner.

Today, with a belief that is even stronger than ever, I know each of us has amazing potential.  I also know that potential is just inside every one of us, waiting for the time when we are ready to use it.

How many of us believe we can’t do something?  That we can’t achieve success in an endeavor?  That we don’t deserve ”IT”? That we are destined to be sick, poor, or suffer hardships?  That we’re “unlucky”?

I have been thinking of these questions, as well, since the podcast John Jurkiewicz, another of our Time to Play team, and I did last Wednesday.  Part of the discussion was how many of us fight our success gene.  I believe that’s totally true. I believe part of our fighting is involuntary because we act as we were taught. (If you would like, you can listen to the podcast here.)

Today, even though I’ve heard it a million times, I had an “AHA” moment.  I know that we each have, within us, the power to achieve.  But we achieve what we believe.

And, I know that it takes a long time for us to unlearn what we believe and to see things differently.

Ask yourself what you prefer to believe — that the sky is the limit or that you are here to suffer through life?

Every day is a new and beautiful opportunity.

What is your dream?

Perhaps today is YOUR day to seize it… to start on your path of making your dreams happen.

Perhaps it’s your time to stop looking back and stop thinking “can’t”.

“Talk is cheap”, someone once said.  “Someday I’m going to… “ is another famous phrase.

Do it. Don’t give up. Keep your eye on your dream.

It’s time to enjoy YOUR life.  It’s time to play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive working in healthcare for the past 28 years. She has seen the “sick and sad” and knows there has to be a better way.  She is also a certified professional life coach and the founder of Time to Play, a website dedicated to life enjoyment.  The Time to Play Foundation is a 501c3 not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of ENJOYING LIFE!  Short version … inspiring EVERYONE to enjoy life.  Contact us at 631-331-2675 or email info@timetoplay.com | www.TimetoPlay.com

Fight for Our Own Empowerment

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Empowerment

Empowerment

This article was sparked by our unexpected trip through Gettysburg, Pennsylvania yesterday. We actually were in Pennsylvania “playing” at the York Fairgrounds Jeep show and passed a sign for Gettysburg National Park and Cemetery. Jim thought it would be a great opportunity to visit Gettysburg, as we were so close, so we went.

For anyone who does not know about Gettysburg, it is a place of tremendous honor. It is a place where thousands of soldiers died fighting to support what they believed to be right. For me, it was a place where I felt a tremendous sadness; I had many thoughts running through my mind while we were there. The Civil War divided our great Nation and families within. In five years of fighting there are estimates that 620,000 soldiers died in the Civil War, with new estimates of that bring the number of dead closer to 820,000. This number of loss was staggering to me, especially as it was our families fighting ourselves.

In reality, this article really is not about war, at all, but about a concept. This article is not about slavery nor does it have anything to do with the civil rights movement or movements of other people who fought for their rights throughout history – or about those in other countries still fighting for what they believe is the right way to live.

It is more about how I can’t understand how one person feels it is appropriate to gain power over another. This is a struggle that is apparent throughout history and continues today from what may be a simple relationship to, perhaps, a leader of a group, to, perhaps a leader of a country. The concept is more that of oppression and the creation of fear.

I, certainly, am not one who has any ability to figure out why anyone would think they are better than another, why people think certain groups, for example, women (as I am one of them), are not equal – even in today’s world. However, it is not up to me to determine how a person could feel superior to another and how they can feel good about themselves to do whatever is in their power to create obstacles to assure they stay that way. I believe people are people – living and breathing — and that everyone has the same right to enjoy life. I believe in people helping people and collaboration = success; that we can get so much further working together to make things better for us all.

With that hopefully explained, this really has more to do with concepts, awareness, and OUR OWN feelings, inside of OURSELVES, which hold us back. It is about tolerating our current situation or becoming aware to change our own environment, to the best of our ability. It is intended to spark an idea that could re-empower ourselves to move forward in life, and to stop being prisoners in our own lives. To begin an awareness to find and to learn what we, ourselves, need so we can enjoy life.

History repeats itself if we let it. This concept is more fully discussed in our book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com). I believe there are no “these people” or “those people”. I believe we are all people. I believe that if you are currently in a situation where you feel violated, abused or bad, you have to find a way to make a change to make your life better. I’m speaking about any situation here – whether a living situation, a health situation, a work situation, a financial situation, a friendship, a family relationship – anything that makes you feel bad or inferior. The first step is awareness. The next is to come up with ideas or ways that you can make the situation change – to weigh your options, to seek assistance, to make things better.

It pains me that there are situations out there where the benefit of the few creates negative situations for the many. I was going to go into some examples, but I thought it would become too political, and that is absolutely not where I wanted to go here. It is more about individual capabilities and individual choice. NO ONE says we have to stay in whatever present situation where we currently are. I believe we can choose to let things happen to us, or we can, individually, create the living situation(s) we desire. No one says implementing a change is going to be easy, but I hold to the belief that it is possible. We might start and fail, but we can try again. If we think it is impossible to make anything change, we are holding our own selves back.

 If you don’t think “it’s time” to do so, ask yourself, “If not now, when”? Life is short. Every day that passes is a potential missed opportunity. After all, I believe it is time to enjoy life. I believe it is “time to play”. 

www.TimetoPlay.com = Resources for a Better Life.  It’s Time to be Happy, Healthy, Have Money and a Work Life Balance.  It’s Time to Enjoy Life.

 

GOT PLANS?

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Hourglass

An_Hourglass____by_MPtribe 

Every day I’m reminded how short life is and how we have to take advantage of every moment we have.  This article is not intended to be morbid in any way, but, perhaps, a “wake up” call. 

I know the concept of life is short is a hard one to grasp.  I know, for myself, that we believe we are immortal, that we have endless time and endless possibilities.  But, alas, that is not fact.  There is inevitability in every person, animal, plant, and thing on this Earth.  Everything has a life cycle.  Sure, we may know the average life cycles for each species, but there are no guarantees for anything that exists. 

“Wow, Doreen… what a way to ruin a party!”  I hope you will continue reading, as I can hear you thinking this right about now.  But, let’s put things into perspective.

Over these last few weeks I have had so many “messages” and realized I needed to pay more attention to the day-to-day and make sure that what I am doing is not wasting my own precious time.  One lovely friend had a fire at her business that caused significant changes to her long term plans.  One gentleman I know lost his job of 9 years.  Another wonderful person I know suddenly experienced a life-altering illness.  These are examples of life events that we have no control over but tremendously change our plans from what we expect to “do tomorrow”.  In an unexpected, life-altering situation we have two choices.  We can either allow the event to cause a downward spiral and spark self-destructive behavior, or we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and adopt a mindset that the event that occurred was a blessing in disguise. 

What would / do you do?  Would you become stagnant and wallow in despair, or would you create a plan and evaluate options for what you can do to move forward? 

Neither choice is easy.  Events that are not planned are extremely stressful for everyone involved, and many times our decisions on what to do involve many others including our family.  I, for one, know firsthand what it is like to lose a job at a most inopportune time.  I acknowledge that a first impulse may be to scramble in a “survival of the fittest” response.  However, after many years, and a ton of self-help books and research, I realize that if you look at an occurrence as an opportunity to move forward and make your life even better, you have an opportunity to get further, faster.  Most things that happen that we consider a “negative” occurrence can be turned around if we take a moment to stop and reevaluate things.

OK… now for an even more serious discussion.  In the past few weeks I have been informed of three deaths of people who I knew and one I did not know.  One lovely woman was preparing to retire and travel.  She was 61.  One was a person we worked with for a short period of time; he was in his late 40’s.  One was a volunteer firefighter in his early 30’s, and one was a friend’s childhood friend in his 40’s, as well.  With today’s average life expectancy, we could say that these people passed way too early; however, as we know, death does not discriminate. You can be one hour old, one day old, or 100+ years old.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), none of us is stamped with an expiration date. 

Why am I discussing this?  It is my intention to create a spark in each of us.  What are you doing in your life right now that does not make you happy?  What do you dread doing?  What can you do to make a change?

By now I hope you got what I’m trying to convey – the discussion that life is short.  But, just in case, I’ve taken the liberty to go a little further in my explanation.

I came up with an analogy knowing that, sometimes, people understand things that are more visual.  Take a $1 bill out of your pocket or wallet.  I know you feel silly, but please do it….

Most of us value every dollar we have and the possibilities of what we can use that money for, don’t we?  In this example, the $1 you are holding will signify this very second of your life.  To further explain, for our purposes, you just (symbolically) paid $1 for this very second and for each and every second thereafter as long as you are alive.  Oh, one more thing… there is NO return policy.  You can’t get a refund or a do-over.

Take another look at the dollar.  Was it worth it?  Did you find value?  Did you CHOOSE to be doing what you want to be doing in that 1 second time period?  Of course, in this case, you found great worth because you are reading this eloquently written, amazingly informative article! 

Seriously, though, I want you to take a few moments to reflect on your days, in general. 

Look at that $1 bill.  Are your precious seconds worth what you are paying for them… every second of your day? 

Let’s still go a little further.  If you are pleased with the majority of your day, then that is excellent.  Keep on spending those dollars the way you are.  However, if you find you are spending them being sad or being angry, or if you spend them in a job you hate, or if you spend them in a relationship that is abusive or not progressing, I want you to ask yourself if you are spending your dollars (seconds of life) the way you should.  Are you spending your dollar being fearful, resentful, or unforgiving?  Are you healthy and able to physically do all you would like to?  Or, even further… perhaps you are experiencing depression or using alcohol or substances to dull your pain.  In some of these instances it may be necessary, if you have not yet done so, to look into counseling to help you alleviate your negative feelings.  Perhaps you can begin to make a change towards moving forward. 

Life is short. How do you want to spend your dollar?

A quick disclaimer:  I am a very practical person.  I know we may set ourselves up for disappointment if we believe EVERY second is going to make us overwhelmingly happy.  We are emotional beings and I don’t want to apply extra pressure to any one of us.  However, I do request that you consider the example as a motivation to evaluate your life and determine if a change is necessary so you can create the best life possible. 

Got Plans?  We all do.  But we need to also determine what will make our current situation and current day the best that it can be.  Maybe it’s time to ask yourself:  Isn’t it time to enjoy YOUR life?  Isn’t it “Time to Play”?

 

JOIN US!  Did you know we do a weekly FREE podcast called Empower Half Hour?  Click here http://www.blogtalkradio.com/timetoplay for further information and our weekly schedule.  It is recorded live on Wednesdays from 9:30 am to 10 am EST (and available to listen any time after if you can’t join in at that time of the day).  As of 3/31/2014 we will be moving the podcast to 5 pm on Mondays with a one hour group life coaching session afterward (you can also participate via telephone or skype).  See www.clubtimetoplay.com for more information about the group coaching sessions or contact me at 631-331-2675 or email me at doreen@timetoplay.com for more information. 

P.S.:  A cheap “plug”:  Our book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life”, is full of powerful stories of obstacles and life situations we have experienced but have overcome.  The book is intended to help a reader learn from our experiences.  More information and reviews:  www.IfIKnewThenBook.com

What is a Life Coach and Why Would I Pursue Such Education?

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In today’s society I’ve personally noticed a decline in happiness amongst many people, both young and old.  Today I saw an article that my brother Jonathan referenced about a poll that showed 2/3 of Americans are not “very happy”. This is quite disturbing to me.  After all, I am a person who truly believes we live in the most amazing country and we should all have an opportunity to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance — the Time to Play Philosophy.

I am a research junkie, which you can read further about in Jonathan’s chapter in our newly published book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life (seewww.IfIKnewThenBook.com for more info). Jonathan’s chapter is about his experience with the tabu topic of depression and suicide.  I honestly did not know how significant a problem this was, and was horrified when I read statistics published by  the National Institute of Health: “Suicide is a major, preventable public health problem. In 2007, it was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 34,598 deaths. The overall rate was 11.3 suicide deaths per 100,000 people.  An estimated 11 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death(1).  Additionally, it was noted that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in young people ages 15 – 24, which really upset me.  After all, life is just beginning for these young people. I also foundthat mental illness affects approximately 20% of our population, which may create a higher suicidal ideation in some component of our population(2).

I became further interested in learning about the statistics of suicide after a discussion I had with my daughter Jacquelyn, who is 18.  She recently spoke to me about many of her friends who felt lost or who have given up and had a “what’s the use” attitude.  Additionally, my 21 year old son, a Psychology Major at Baruch College in New York City, spoke of the same when I asked his opinion of Jacquelyn’s statements.  So, I started to investigate this topic and found the incredible numbers of suicide and depression that affect our people.  Even in today’s society, while it is more visible, it is my opinion that the topic of suicide and depression is still quite tabu and hidden.  The pains of the great numbers of our society are truly something that the general population needs to be aware of in order to make changes. 

It pains me that such a young person could feel so lost.  While other situations may come into play, the discussion with my children brought to light that, with the troubled economy, the kids may feel their future is questionable regarding getting a job or “making it”.  Perhaps they’ve lost the American Dream feeling, where anything in our Country is possible if you put your mind to it.  Instead, maybe, they have become poisoned by news reports and feel that they have a questionable future, that the middle class is shrinking, that they have to deal with college debt, and that it will be difficult to find a job to survive.  These are not just my opinions, but opinions of college students I asked as a result of the conversations sparked by my children.

So… I decided to continue my education to learn more so I can help more.  I believe education is power. I chose to become a life coach to guide people in their discovery of how to live a life of passion and to help people identify what they want in life.  Life coaches help people that may be lost in their life path to identify and create goals and set strategies so they could develop a successful vision, relationships, values, time management, or to identify whatever else is obscuring their future happiness and success.  It is important to emphasize that Life Coaches are not therapists. 

Perhaps helping people identify their passion, develop a vision, and create life goals will help others live a fulfilled life.  A Life Coach may enable them to see past what they perceive to be negative odds.  When we, as a people, put our mind to something, nothing is impossible.  It is my hope that, with the proper direction, they will find a path and not give up.

That is what drove me to obtain this education.  So I can be better prepared to help guide others in their path of discovery.  To have insight that may enable me to provide just what a person needs to see past negative thinking and be able to live a fulfilled life to achieve happiness.  After all, in the end, don’t we all just want to be happy? 

References:

  1. National Institute of Health
  2. National Alliance on Mental Illness