I was not quite sure where or how to start my first blog post, but it dawned at me that I should listen to what my mind is telling me to write, and that would guide me. I never thought that I would look forward to a day when I would write as a way of relaxation or as a way to hopefully motivate and reach others. If just one person is changed in any way by something, then this post served its purpose. I also never thought that I would see the day where I look forward to getting in my car and listen to a book or someone's podcast rather than music. Part of me asks the question of "Am I getting old?", and another part realizes that through the years of our lives, we can all somehow change. It seems like these kinds of realizations, changes, or epiphanies tend to happen to many people, not just when things are going bad, but when things are going pretty good.
Over the past year or so, my mind kept trying to tell me something, and I was not listening. It had been a busy 4-5 years in many aspects of business and life pulling me in every direction. I was so focused on the drive to succeed and do well that I had lost focus on nearly everything else in life. Something was beating against my chest every day, often keeping me up at night. All these years I wrote it off as stress when it was the regrets setting in. I knew something or things must change, and that it would not be an easy change. The answer I did not know was how. How do you change something that in your mind you had looked at as being successful? If I went to the doctor and were told to change my diet or else, then I would know what to do, but this was different. I finally concluded that to change I must first determine the things in life that are the most important to me. I then had to learn how I ensure that all my focus and time each day is effectively centered around these things. I also wanted to make sure that the things I did each day were bringing some form of value not to me but also others. After all of these things were determined, I could then begin to work on how to trim out all the various things in my life that were outside of the areas I had identified. In simple terms, it was like this, if I say yes to one thing it means I am saying no to something else. I can't be two places at once and for that matter, no one can. All the "yes" or commitments I made are actually creating a "no" answer to someone or something else such as my wife and kids. These are the critical things in life where the imprints we leave will go on forever and ever.
After literally breaking down my entire mind and soul, I was ready to progress to the next step. I began to keep a daily journal of what I did each day. I created a very detailed journal which in which I literally logged all my phone calls and everything I did. I needed to evaluate within each day all the places I was using my time, energy, and focus. I had to know how each task and conversation I was involved in would be useful to the good of others or myself centered to the things I found most important in life. Next, I began to log in this journal various lists each day. The first list was a couple of things each day that I was thankful to have. These things could be a person, event, moment, or pretty much anything that made me stop and say, "I was grateful for ...". I also wrote down something from the day that upset me or challenged me to think of a way to change it. Finally, I also started to write down a quote from that day, which had some impact on me that day. Once I started doing this, I was ready to begin this journey on finding the old but new me.
As I begin this journey, what I learned instantly and more than anything is that I was not a good listener. The one attribute in life that I always thought was one of my biggest strengths was, unfortunately, a huge flaw. Listening is a skill I feel no one will ever quite master. I have always considered myself a servant leader in almost all forms of my life. This philosophy is based on being a listener first. Listening is often the only thing needed to help someone, even if we do not say anything back. Many of us, I included often listen with the intent to reply instead of just listening with the intent to understand. There are four ways we communicate with others in life. These forms of communication are reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Schools often only teach us about speaking, reading, and writing, which is only 35% of what the average person uses in communicating in life. Statistics show that listening makes up 65% of our intellectual skills in communicating.
I guess I officially have now written my first blog post. I am sorry it was rather lengthy, and it is my blog, so who cares haha, just kidding. I believe there are a few takeaways and valuable things that can be learned from all my experience. I know the most valuable one to me was that by listening to my mind, it opened up myself to a world of change for what I feel is a better tomorrow. To stay consistent with everything I wrote above, I want to also focus on the future. To do this, we must plan forward each week. These are some of my goals I am focusing on this week. I hope that these goals eventually become habits and parts of my daily routine. I encourage everyone to write things like this down. Try to pose some challenges to yourself each week.
Goals this week:
1. Start working out in some way, shape, or form again. Setting my goal at 4 times a week.
2. Go completely electronic free for 2 hours at least 2 days this week. Looking to build this one and set even longer goals.
3. Not eat anything after 8 pm. This one will be a tough one for me as we all know I am a horrible late-night snacker. I know I must work on my diet, and it starts with the late nights.
This weeks read:
The Richest Man in Babylon
If you made it this far, I want to thank you for taking the time to read this sincerely. I hate to say how long this took to write, but regardless of the time, it feels good to finish and publish it. I know and am confident that the next ones will hopefully be much easier for me.