"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham


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Photo: D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things…..No Time…..

Not a cloud was in the sky on Friday as I drove down to the “Land of the Big Rat,” which some call Orlando or Disney, for meetings and a conference this week. An overabundance of troopers and sheriffs looking for customers along I-95 kept my speed in check and afforded me time to think about time. With a glance to the clock, today’s M5T considers things that I don’t want to make time for in my life.

1. Wasting Time

Or not having enough time, despite that we all have the same amount of time each and every day. The fact is, we do have time, it’s a matter of what we prioritize each hour of each day. How many hours do we waste procrastinating from where our time should really be spent?  How many hours are spent numbing our minds staring aimlessly at televisions, and/or social media? I cut the cable cord years ago on television but am guilty as charged when binging certain shows on Netflix, Amazon or HBO when I know I could be using that time for a higher and better purpose. The reality is that we will always make time for what is most important in our lives. If you’ve never done so before, take a hard look at where you spend your time; understand the value of time and take advantage of the 24 hours that we are given each and every day.

2. Good Enough

Oh, the dreaded “M” word… mediocrity. “Good enough” stops us from trying to improve or to strive for excellence. “Good enough” is tolerating less when we could have more. “Good enough” breeds stagnation by staying in our comfort zone that in the end, if we are really honest with ourselves, doesn’t leave us feeling all that comfortable. “Good enough“ allows us to avoid taking risks. “Good enough” keeps us from personal growth be a become better person every day. Push back on “good enough” by seeking positive change in what you do each day. Dare to dream big. Vehemently refuse to accept mediocrity. Shake up old habits and spend your free time trying something new. Take on tasks that others won’t, then exceed the expectations of others. Make decision that are you own, rightly or wrongly, but make your own decisions yours by avoiding groupthink.

3. Blurry Focus

Blurry focus results in wandering minds. Dreams without focus and action are merely fantasy. Blurry focus creates confusion or delay in decisions. It can hand over ownership and responsibilities of ourselves to the desires of others. Blurry focus can lead to anxiety, depression, and can rob us from balance in life. Take time to take a hard look at what’s most important in your life. Evaluate what you are doing every day. Determine what is most essential to living the life you want for yourself. De-clutter distractions. Rewire your brain to dream, to love, to create and to think in alignment with where you want to be in life.

4. Accepting Negativity

Anxiety and anger. Unhappiness and ungratefulness. Negativity is contagious and harmful and consumes time. Negative chatter in our minds by thinking “I’m not good enough,” “I can’t do it,” “I should be better than this,” or “I’m a failure.” Worse yet is accepting the toxic negativity of others who try to project those thoughts on us, to manipulate us, to label us, or to define us as to who they think we should be. Recognize toxicity and eliminate those thoughts and people from your life. Set limits on “takers” in your life. Choose your battles, both within your mind and with others. Focus on being grateful. Go back and read M5T from couple of weeks ago and bring some Kimya into your life.

5. Making Excuses

“I’m too young”; “I’m too old”; “I don’t have the money”; “I’m too busy”; “I’m too tired”; “No one wants to hear what I have to say”; “I’ll never make it”; “I don’t know the right people”; “I’m unlucky”; “I don’t have the education”; “I can’t break this habit”; “Everyone says I can’t do it”; “I’m afraid of what people will think about me”; “The timing isn’t right”; “I don’t have [fill in the blank here].” Have you ever made some of these excuses?  At certain points in my life, I have — it was painful just writing these down. Stop. Just stop — blaming others, waiting, fearing the unknown, comparing yourself to others, or focusing on your failures. Start. Just start — being disciplined to change, taking responsibility for yourself, learning from mistakes, setting tangible goals and taking action to achieve them, visualizing your success, stepping up and stepping out, taking calculated risks, and start living with purpose.

Here’s to a week of making time for all the right things.

© 2019 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com. Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com