Hope is NOT a Strategy for Change

imagesCAGH4OS8What are you hoping to achieve, change, fix, alter or revise in the next year? What makes this “wish” to change have any greater likelihood of follow through now than before?

What prompts change as delineated by the 4 stages that we all enter and exit at different speeds? In pre-contemplation the seed of a possible notion to perhaps shift something occurs. If there is enough interest, we then move to contemplation where the thought takes on added importance. This is followed by preparation for the big step and lastly moving on to the actual change.

Where are the battle lines drawn? Who will win…the old habit or the new behavior? Unless we traverse the process and internalize the stages, the truth is that it’s not happening. Too often it is much easier to skip along, falling back on old behaviors like “wishing, hoping and praying” for divine intervention and the magical solution to reveal itself.

What’s at stake? Improved health and/or appearance, stronger relationships, financial stability or an uncluttered desk may all be goals we set for ourselves. What’s the reward? More time, a new wardrobe, clearer boundaries and a cleaner work area are all tremendous benefits. Most importantly is the personal satisfaction of seeing ourselves as a number one priority; capable of change and deserving of attention, love and care.

What does your call to action look like?

• Select 1 action you will take in the next 24 hours
• Share your plan
• Select an accountability partner when you have completed your action
• Celebrate your success!

What did you learn about yourself from the experience?

©2016 Maureen Weisner

Perception and Priorities

PerceptionIn Washington, DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold  January morning in 2007, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

What would you have done?

Time Earned or Time Spent

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – Tolkien

A simple math calculation tells us that for the most part, we will have 168 hours a week to spend. Deposit this in your personal “time” bank and begin again on Monday with 7 days at your disposal. Yes, like yourself, I have often taken this for granted and have even wished for a challenging week to go faster and be over with. How frequently has that same desire to manipulate time been focused on slowing things down and savoring the minutes, lengthening the experience and appreciating a well planned schedule? Unless we are in a state of pleasure or pain, stressed or bored, conscious or unconscious do we pay attention to time?

Author Lavaille Lavette has another perspective and her focus on the measurement of time is not in hours or minutes but in seconds, yes seconds. To be precise, think about 86,400 seconds in a day. Picture thousands of anything; grains of sand, feathers, or even bulldozers. That is quite an image to hold in your mind’s eye. How different does it feel than the common expression of a day being a 24-hour period? How productive, efficient, driven and passionate are you and how are you spending your time, the gift that you did nothing to earn? Regardless, managing your time is useless unless you manage your purpose. When your intention is clear and your priorities are in place, your effectiveness is directed and the results more meaningful. Time constructively spent feels much more like time earned and is ultimately added to the bottom line of a life well lived, decisive, and fulfilling.
• Review your day
• Have you spent it on purpose or with purpose?
• Plan tomorrow and include one intentional act(ivity) that honors your purpose

©2013 Maureen Weisner