A Wasted Day?

What constitutes a day being wasted?

I’ve had the flu for a week now and literally am sick and tired of being sick and tired. When my biggest achievement of the day is the trip to the couch…it’s easy for me to label the day as being a waste.

But, what about other days when it might not be as obvious.

Sure, laying on a couch for hours upon hours is pretty obvious…but what about playing on your cell phone for hours? Or, what about watching TV for hours? Or, playing video games or whatever your vice might be?

See. Then it becomes a little more personal – right?

The cumulative time wasted becomes secondary to the excuses of why you do “that” for as long as you do.

Yet, here’s what I know. Not one of us will get to the end of the year, much less our life, and wish we had wasted more time watching TV or on social media. It’s not going to happen.

So, why not level up and identify where you might be wasting time and do something about it.

Insight – we tend to lose time in smaller increments and that also makes it harder to identify as well.

I plan on getting off this couch soon…and not replacing it with my phone or some other irrelevant waste of time.

Rock On.

Being Intentional Takes Work

The goal of 10,000 days is to live each day intentionally.

I would say a secondary goal is to admit/recognize when I’m not living intentionally.

Recently, I’ve drifted back into lesser habits and allowed myself to not be as involved in areas as I want to be. I’ve also allowed myself to have less than great conversations and less than great focus when with some of the people who mean the very most to me.

So, today is a day of recalibration…righting the ship and getting it back together.

With that said, what about you? How are you doing with your focus and intentions?

What needs to be done better?

Let’s get back at it…

Do You Have Intentional Conversations?

Everything we do is related to our ability to connect and have meaningful conversations.

You can’t get away from that truth.

However, we typically don’t do a very good job practicing this truth.

Especially as men. We talk about sports… boats… hunting… toys… people… our wife… and more. We will talk about almost anything other than the things that really matter in life.

Yet, as men, we have a world that wants to connect with us in meaningful ways and we have a voice that needs to be heard. Whether it’s in our home, our family, with our friends or others, people want more from us. In fact they need more from us.

When we aren’t fulfilling the role we are meant to, something else is taking us place.

Here’s a few things you can do to intentionally connect with your world and to have a greater voice.

1 – Be Present.

Too often, although we are “talking” with someone, we aren’t really paying attention. Whether we’re distracted doing something else (we call it multi-tasking…others call it not paying attention when we do it), or we’re not really into the moment, or we haven’t slowed down to be present…regardless of what the excuse is, we need to learn to be present with those who matter most in our life.

2 – Listen

Listening is NOT an easy skill. What I mean by listening is listening to hear what’s being said and at times hearing what’s really being said (or what’s not being said).

A few habits that can get in the way of listening…

Responding without hearing. Interrupting. Not listening the entire time and planning a response before they are finished talking. Being bored with the talk or the one talking.

3 – Practice Reflecting Back What You Heard

It’s as simple as saying, “what I heard you say is…”. This practice forces you to listen and also says to the other person that you’re trying to hear AND understand what’s being said.

4 – Put Everything Away When Talking

Put your phone away, or better yet, silence it. Put the TV remote down. Whatever you might have in your hand, or be doing at the time, put it down. It will help you focus on the person and they will feel like they are being listened to.

5 – Make Eye Contact

If you’ve ever talked with someone who is looking away, or at something else, the message being sent is “you’re not as important as what I’m looking at…”

6 – Body Language

55% of communication is nonverbal. Read that again.

Over half of communication is not spoken.

Pay attention to your arms… the angle of your body… where are your feet pointed when standing and talking (do they say I am heading somewhere and you interrupted me?).

7 – Ask Meaningful Questions

This is not only the questions you ask, but also give meaningful answers as well.

Go beyond the superficial BS and talk about real life.

8 – Practice

Anyone can become a great communicator in their world.

However, almost all of us have to work at it.

Make it a point to connect with your world.

Being Intentional Is Not Easy

One of the goals with 10,000 Days is to live with intentionality on a daily basis.

Here’s the strategy – determine EVERY morning to live a significant day AND reflect EVERY night on how well I did.

I’ll tell you right now that living intentionally every day isn’t an easy thing.

More specifically, I find it’s difficult to find where I lived beyond myself on some days. Whether it’s that I’m tired, or that I missed opportunities to connect, or that I wasted time on meaningless “stuff”…it’s TOO easy to waste moments in a day.

When that happens, it’s seems like a day came and went and nothing meaningful really happened.

I want to do better at:

Managing the moments when they happen…

Saying yes to others and no more to myself when given to chance to connect in some fashion…

Recognizing old habits that are absolutely giving me ZERO value in life…

Put down distractions and connect better…

Realize that sitting in a room doesn’t mean that you are connected to those in the room… (TV is such a waste)

Take advantage of the one-off moments throughout the day…

And more.

What about you?

If you take serious inventory of your daily intentions – how strategic and intentional are you really living?

Could you do a better job connecting with those who matter most?

Could you say no to yourself more and yes to others more?

Pay attention to the moments… that’s where the chance for improvement most likely is to be found.

Aruba

Recently, we had the opportunity to take my entire family to Aruba.

The short version is it was amazing – in many ways.

The long version is the “why I say it was amazing. IE Why I say it was so amazing.

How we got there is worth knowing.

For some time an all family trip to somewhere special has been a bucket list trip for my wife. It took unusual circumstances for us to be able to make it all happen. Seriously, there were 9 of us. 7 adults and 2 grandkids (ages 1 & 3). Of the 7 adults, 6 work and 1 is in high school. So, there were a lot of moving parts for each of us.

Since this blog is about 10,000 days of life, this trip will rate as some of the greatest days of those 10,000 (actually of all my life days so far).

My goal is to live each day with intent and to end each day with reflection. Even in Aruba I tried to do that. This is where some of the more personal moments happened for me.

For example, while sitting together on the back patio one evening, an incredible feeling of pride came over me. Not the pride that repels people. I’m talking about the pride that comes from doing something incredibly right. The pride that literally feels like it swells within your heart. That pride. I was overwhelmed with it. Why? Because we were ONE.

There was no brokenness. No rifts. No negativity. Just real love and guttural laughter all around. It was epic for sure.

Also, I felt real joy. The joy that comes from knowing that hard choices in life had been made to be there. The joy of knowing the cost (intangible) of being there. Everyone there (minus the kids) had paid a price to be there. And, furthermore, we were all there…present…involved…focused. It added even more to the experiences and memories created.

Another part of what made the trip special was the peace of the moments and the overall feel of everyone and everything. It certainly was partly because of being in Aruba. However, it was more about the “we” of everyone going all in and everyone doing their part as needed. It kept stress away from everyone. I’m not sure what the presence of peace is worth, but it’s definitely in the top 3 for me. Personally, I don’t think peace comes easily.

I’ve said all that to say this…the trip was amazing because of the depth of relationship everyone had with everyone else. Whether it was me and my wife, me and kids or me and grandkids. Or, whether it was one of them with everyone else, the closeness couldn’t be faked and that’s what made it amazing.

As a man, husband, father, Dapa (the name my grandsons call me) or any other hat I wear, the point of it all is to have moments in life that transcend the moment themselves. Moments that happen below the surface and can’t be faked. Moments that resonate with something inside that says, “this is perfect”.

That’s what it’s all about in my opinion.

Trading 8 pennies for the memories created were beyond worth it.

Stay focused.

Bob