I have heard many people complaining about their lemons rather than celebrating the opportunity to make lemonade. Rather than finding satisfaction in their PROGRESS, some see only what has not been finished due to a lack of time – or what they wish they had rather than what they actually possess. Rather than saying “good job” when someone finishes a task, they are quick to point out “what else” has yet to be accomplished. We have become a nation of complainers – bringing others down in order to make ourselves look better RATHER THAN elevating ourselves in order to pull others up with us. We take so much time making ourselves look better than others that we lose track of the time we could be using to fulfill our own individual potential.
Before we rush to judge, criticize or question others – minimizing the results of their efforts – take time to ask WHY someone may have chosen the path they took or acted as they did. If doing something differently might produce a far superior result with less effort and/or time being invested (and it is not too late to “undo what has been done”), offer advice and counsel rather than critically dismissing another’s action as being worthless, wrong or misguided (either implicitly or explicitly). Providing fish gives someone a meal – teaching them to fish feeds them for a lifetime. Take the time to foster and create autonomy in others rather than encouraging their dependency upon you – any “short term strokes” sacrificed will return HUGE dividends in the future through the quality and quantity of work produced independently by others – ensuring a better utilization of the limited time we are all provided.
Too many individuals live in the memory of their past, seeking the comfort of what once was rather than opportunities not yet realized (or possibly, not yet even considered). They tend to hold on to what they have, refusing to make room in their lives for what they long to have. Time is not stagnant – it does not wait for anyone – so we must manage our lives to maximize the opportunities we have during the precious little time we have been provided. Unless we remember and consider our past just long enough to leverage our experiences so we can enjoy our present just long enough to be fulfilled, we will never be able to anticipate and plan for a future of “not yet realized” opportunities that will allow us to bring our dreams to fruition as we fully utilize our time.
Spend time this summer immersing yourself in the beauty of your surroundings. Seek solace in the cry of a gull or find joy in the laughter of a child. Value every moment as you travel this earth – for the moments become years (which pass much too quickly) as we pass through this life. Our time is far too short to dwell in one place for too long – rather we should seek all that might be possible and act to attain what we can by accomplishing those things within our control. We must take the time to appreciate not only that we will arrive but also how we choose to travel and what we might find along the way if we are to master our time rather than be mastered by it. Though we cannot alter the seasons, we can stop chasing blindly the hands of time as they race relentlessly around the clock. We must recognize that each morning reveals a new day and each evening closes but a chapter within our book of life – a continuum having no clear beginning and, as long as we are living, no definitive end.