during each day, you need to pause to think, you need to clear your mind so that the answers come through. there are 3 key times during every 24 hours when you can find the answers to all of your thoughts and all of your questions. these 3 times are – when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep – when you exercise, preferably running or walking – and in the shower. during these times, you take your focus off the daily routine – off the daily work – off the daily troubles. your mind becomes clear and void of the usual thoughts – and you can let your mind wander through all of the daily questions that you have about what is going on in your life. you can solve problems, you can solve issues, you can discover new ideas and new approaches to your problems. these 3 times are put into your life to help you listen to your thoughts more clearly – you move past the daily noise. it is a relief and revelation to know that these times exist every day so that you can evolve and progress through life – so that you can ease your mind and know that everything is going to be alright. look forward to these times with joy, relief and excitement – just like you do for every other important event of your daily life. the beauty of the 3 times is if you don’t figure things out the 1st or 2nd time – you can get it solved in the 3rd time. think about this and use these times to solve your problems.
night time awake phases
as we get older, we wake up more in the middle of the night. this can be from worry, from light sleeping, from going to the bathroom. what happens next is trying to go back to sleep. this is when your original tiredness is gone and you now find it harder to go to sleep at 2,3,4,5am. you also start to think more and you start to worry about things in your life. this syncs with the feeling of uncertainty that happens very often in night time. night time is when the demons come out and prey on your usual insecurities. you sense of insecurity is heightened during night time. so when you wake up in the middle of the night and you can’t go back to sleep – this is phase 1 of going back to sleep. phase 1 is when your mind is racing and your insecurities are at a daily high level – much more than during the daytime. during phase 1, you are in a fight with yourself, with your insecurities, and with the clock. phase 2 kicks in after the 1st hour of being awake and this is a kinder phase – where you actually start to think about solutions to your problems. phase 3 is when your mind is getting tired again and try to go back to sleep. the 3 phases usually take 2 hours or less. what is key is that you recognize these 3 phases and you accept each phase as it comes to you in the middle of the night. if you understand these 3 phases and accept them, then you can actually wake up with some answers to your daily problems. remember – phase 1 – let your mind run and don’t get too discouraged with the insecurity onslaught. once you reach phase 2 – you are in the clear and can actually solve problems. for phase 3 – just settle back in and let your body disconnect from your mind – you will eventually fall asleep. i am still struggling with grasping these 3 phases but you can make progress and make the most out of these night time awakening scenarios – where they become more of an awakening in the metaphorical sense rather than a troubling experience of actually being awake in the middle of the night.
fight of your life
Life is exciting, life is exhilarating, life is a fight – especially when you are down and out – when the biggest recession of any lifetime has hit you hard – has hit everyone hard. Like millions everywhere – you have been laid off due to the covid virus recession – you are down to you last paycheck, you are waiting for unemployment payment relief, you have a limited supply of cash, you switch your healthcare to your spouse’s company because she still has a job (fingers crossed). Your debt is rising, you have cut costs the best you can – you haven’t told the kids so they don’t freak out. You are in the fight of your life – the biggest fight that you have ever been in – more than the great recession – more than all the various issues that you have fought through over your life and over the 20+ years of your marriage. You just want to survive for now – you need to find a way to push through – to find work – to reinvent yourself – to do whatever it takes to make it through this fight. You can do it – you have to do it – you can preserve the life that you have achieved – you can still hit your goals for the future. This is what life is all about – fighting through these times to make it to the other side – intact and maybe even better than before. You must wake up every day with a positive attitude – you must know that you are going to be OK – you must feel good about the future even though everything is crumbling around you. You must get through this fight of your life – you will get through this fight of your life – this is the big one that has been waiting for you. You will survive – you will thrive – you will be alive to look back and see that you won this fight. You want that feeling in the future – so you must get out of bed, you must put one foot in front of the other, you must try everything possible to survive and succeed at surviving. You will win this fight of your life, you will win.
only the music
we all grow up listening to our parent’s music – at least that is what we did in the last century. we still listen to that music – we listen to the old songs – the ones that were there before us or were there when we were young – driving around in the car with mom/dad – the music playing – we took it in without even thinking. we love this music now – especially as we get older. it takes us back to the days without worry or without a care – we see those old images in our mind – we see the old house – the old friends – the old neighborhood. it is so good – it is so true – it is so pure – it takes us away from all the troubles of today – all the bs stress of being an adult. as our parents pass away – all we have left to remember them and remember the times we had with them – when we were devoted, when we were not jaded, when we were innocent – all we have is the music – only the music.
you wake up one day and you see it – you see the future – you see what you can be – you see what you have been waiting for – you see it all clearly. you know deep in your soul that this is it. you know that the light is on. you know that this was meant to be. sometimes it takes a shake up like a job loss at the right time in your life – not 10 years ago but now is the time – and you know it – and you are not afraid – you are ready – finally. you might fail but you don’t care because you have passion, you have clarity and you have something inside you that makes you feel good, that makes you smile, that makes you not afraid. this is what it means to know that your destiny is here – that your destiny has arrived and you are excited but anxious. anxiety will never go away – whether it is for you or your loved ones – but it keeps you alive – it keeps you guessing – you do not know the future – it is always uncertain – but you do know how you feel now and you know what you are doing is right – what you are doing is your destiny – so get up every day ready to go – excited – anxious – alive – wow is all i can say – i can’t explain it but it feels good. good to be alive and good to finally wake up.
apologize to your kids
when kids reach those teen years – there is going to be a lot of back and forth arguing and disagreements – there are going to be words said to your kids that you shouldn’t have said. in the heat of the moment, you forget all that you have learned about not saying everything that comes to your mind. you blurt things out, you do act mean and say mean things because you see their disdain and defiance of you – and you want to lash back – and you do lash back through hurtful words. this will happen – but what is more important is that you realize that these are unique times – the kids dealing with the teen years and you dealing with your mid-life years – they come crashing into each other. so you need to go back to your kid and you need to apologize for what you said even though they provoked you. it will only help in the long run to stop those negative memories from forming in their minds – and prevent them from acting like you did when they were teens. go apologize because you are the adult – shock them with an apology.
hold your gunpowder
an old expression that even goes back to the days of oliver cromwell – meaning don’t jump into the fight until you are ready. this can also apply to everyday interactions with friends, family and in the workplace. so often we are defensive in our actions – we do not want our ideas challenged, especially ones that we have been voicing for years. but when another person says our ideas are wrong – we jump too quickly to defend sometimes – and when we do – we sound like a jack ass. others might take offence to our quick defensive remarks and see us in a negative light. this is not good and this quick reaction needs to be controlled. but how do we practice the control of these emotions in the middle of a discussion. we must try calming techniques. but we also must recognize that this is happening – we must identify this problem and we must try to adjust our personality a bit to be calm and don’t jump into the action until ready – and only jump in without defensive emotion. it also helps to know your audience before you get involved in a conversation – this will help guide your reactions.
focus your thoughts
every day your mind races across many things. this is life and this is normal. however, you can get overwhelmed with your thoughts and you can become indecisive. you might be confused as to the next steps on this topic or that topic. you sometimes don’t know what to say or how to say it. you need to focus your thoughts. you need clarity in your mind. one simple way to do it: exercise. if you can exercise in the middle of the day around lunch – do it. if you can’t exercise at that time – then go out of your office for a walk on your own. either way, get out for 20 mins at lunch – by yourself – and think about the main topics of the day – work and personal things. think about these things only. let your mind run through the issues during this time and you will have the answers when you finish the walk or the exercise. this simple process can change your life. it will provide time to think through the main issues of the day so that you can make the right choices. make this a part of your weekday daily life – it is a game changer.
a quick lesson
here is a quick lesson. don’t punish kids like the old days. in the old days, we were grounded, cars taken away, complete isolation from our friends. this is not the way to go, especially when it comes to important events like homecoming or prom. so many times a parent reacts quickly and severely – if a kid does something wrong – we punish them by taking away or limiting one of these important events. don’t do this. it will only leave a bad memory for the rest of their lives. they will never forget the time you took it all away at one of their most important moments in their young lives. what you should do is let them go to the event 100% – no restrictions – do not interfere with this memory. and you talk to them calmly and let them know that you do not approve of what they did. you are not disappointed, but you do not approve. you need to let them think about what they have done and over time they will change to make smarter choices in the future. talking to them, reasoning with them is the way to go – rather than severe punishment that will alter their memories in a negative way. this is a new train of thought – try it out.
sometimes you take a pause in life. sometimes someone tells you to take a pause. a wise person told me once – “even a boxer needs to rest while in the ring”. this reminds me of something kahlil gibran might say – there is a balance across all things in life. even though we are in the middle of the action, we still need to balance that action with inaction. it is ok to pause in the middle of the action as it is part of the action itself. even though you are in a time of pause, you can still keep busy doing other things. you can still be productive. don’t let the pause affect your mindset. this type of pause is ok. everything is still moving. there is no need to panic. you must still prep for a possible imbalance after the pause. but be positive in the pause. get things done that have been on your list. use the pause to get ahead. use the pause to organize. use the pause to plan for the future. use the pause to think. use the pause to your advantage. a pause during action is rare, so take advantage of it. this is not the same as a permanent pause – which is retirement. this is a pause in the middle of the action phase (between college and retirement). this pause usually represents a time of transition from one job to the next or moving from one relationship to the next. but it can also be any type of pause. the key message – it is ok to pause, but prep for after the pause and be active during the pause – always be working on things. don’t pause in the pause.