Living A NOW O’CLOCK Mindset…John Page Burton

Life is not a dress rehearsal, this is it, one trip through. The purpose of a dress rehearsal is to work out the kinks in a performance. If something in a script or musical arrangement isn’t flowing properly, the director or composer simply requests “do overs” until it is right. If it still isn’t flowing properly, it can be written out completely and replaced with something that works much better. I can’t speak for you, but there have been numerous times in my life that I would have enjoyed tapping into my data base of hindsight and “done something over”.

In real life we don’t get an opportunity for “do overs”. We do however, have an opportunity to change or modify our future behavior based on the intelligence we have gained through our past experiences. This process is often referred to as “the school of hard knocks”. It is currently NOW O’ CLOCK and none of us know the date and time when we will experience our final curtain call. How do we intend to make the most of today? How do we choose to be in relationship with others? Are we living in the present or somewhere in the past or future? Here are a few considerations for living in a NOW O’ CLOCK  mindset.

Be present. Many of us spend so much time “doing” that we never get around to “BEING”. As my friend Crystal Horton so eloquently stated in a recent blog post…”we get so caught up in the details of the moment, that we miss the essence of that same moment”. How many of us get so caught up in making sure that everything is perfect at “the party” that we end up missing out on the opportunity to interact with our guests? The “party” metaphor provides a good example of how many of us have chosen to play the game of life. When we live in a NOW O’ CLOCK mindset we recognize the value of creating the time and space that permits us to interact on an emotional level with those we love and care about.

Bucket list. “When I retire I am going to take a trip around the world”. “Someday I am going to take up fly fishing”. “After I get all of the kids through college I am going to buy a 67′ Corvette and cruise the open roads”. Tomorrow may never come, NOW is the time to accomplish the things we desire to do. For many of us it isn’t about the money, it is about giving ourselves permission to reward ourselves as we move through life. Establishing and going after our “bucket list” activities while we are healthy enough to enjoy them, is a great way to honor ourselves and our efforts.

Expand the mind. “An expanded mind never returns to it’s original size”. Upon graduation from high school or college many of us left our learning habits behind. I am a firm believer that a person’s quality of life is greatly enhanced by their thirst for knowledge. Learning keeps our mind sharp and it opens doors of communication and friendship with other like minded people. Mastermind groups, book clubs, travel clubs and industry associations are great resources for expanding our mind. NOW is the time to keep learning and growing!

Taking risks. Playing it safe will never allow us to create a legacy. “He played it safe and never failed” is not what I desire to be written on my tombstone. “He played hard, took risks and made a difference” is what I desire mine to read. I am not an advocate of reckless behavior but I am a firm believer in the personal power that comes from leaving our comfort zone. When we live in a NOW O’ CLOCK mindset we are empowered to go after our goals and dreams in a focused, committed manner because we recognize that time is of the essence.

Prioritize. Many of us have such a long “to do” list that we never get anything done. Here is a helpful tip. Each day, make a list of the top 3-5 things that you must accomplish in your business or career and don’t add anything else until these tasks have been completed. Make another list of the top 3-5 things that you need to accomplish in your personal life. Again, don’t add anything else until these tasks have been completed. Some of us are so concerned with meeting everyone else’s needs that we fail to meet our own. Many of us have spent far too much of our hard earned money helping “wayward” friends and family members and as a consequence we fell short on meeting our financial obligations. We must learn to put OUR obligations first and quit apologizing! I truly believe that givers gain, however, we must remember to pay ourselves first.

When we live in a NOW O’ CLOCK mindset we are aware that every day counts and that it is our responsibility to make the most of it! We are not putting off until tomorrow (or next year) what we can accomplish NOW. Our time is valuable, our interactions with friends and family are precious, we are eager to soak up as much knowledge as possible and we have a burning desire to take full advantage of all of the amazing sights and opportunities our creator has provided for us to experience. There truly is no time quite like the NOW.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

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