Anchors for my life

anchorAnother New Year approaches, and our lives seem to move along faster than ever. I have a theory—the perceived speed of time passing tends to match our current age.

Don’t we all remember how long it used to take for Christmas to get here, before we became a teenager, got our driver’s license or finished high school. We thought those epic moments would never arrive.

Next year, I’ll be motoring through life at 67 miles per hour.

At that pace, it’s easy to miss the big picture, to drift and lose our way—especially when our lives are crammed with non-stop activity. I think there’s a numbing effect by staying extremely busy. It feeds the performance principle in us. We like the way it props up our sense of worthiness.  The more we can juggle, the more deserving we become. Please think about that for a while.

One antidote to our frenzied existence is to set our priorities, write down a few goals, develop a good plan. Maybe create a “Personal Mission Statement.” Great habits I personally believe can make a difference.

Don’t worry. I’m not gearing up for another talk on goal-setting. Not this year. I’d rather get us all talking about our deepest personal intentions for the coming year.

Instead of lengthening our to-do list, let’s strip down to a few things we think matter the most. What will remain constant in my life? Where will I plant my heart every day, regardless of how many people I please or disappoint, how many emails I read and answer, how much money I make or what I accomplish by the end of the day? What lasting habits will anchor me to my true self and deepest desires in 2014?

I’ve only got three for us. These habits have worked their way into my life over the last few years. Not completely, but significantly. Everyone must find his or her own anchors. These three continue to keep me grounded, drifting less. And, please note that they flow from the inside out.

Anchor #1:  LISTEN TO MY HEART.

For this anchor—for this habit of the heart—I need silence and I need solitude. Nothing in our culture invites me into this daily ritual. My first challenge is to climb over the mountain of guilt and shame for “wasting” so much time. It feels selfish to invest so much David time. But I push through anyway, keeping my personal appointment to sit in the silence. I miss some days. But like food and water, I can’t go long without it. I can’t miss this sacred time with me. It’s a matter of personal survival.

I set the timer on my iPhone for 20 minutes and I sit—breathing, blinking, calmly watching my thoughts pass like the boats and rafts and logs floating down a river. They are the people, places, things and circumstances I think and talk about all day long. I don’t argue with them. I don’t judge them. I simply watch them.  And, I accept them. Eventually, I let them go. For me, this is prayer.

I’m terrible at this habit. When I started, I was good for 5 minutes max. Some days my mind wanders like a herd of cats and before I know it, I’m fixing someone’s life, remembering to call a customer or stewing about a team member who put a guilt trip on me. But, I keep showing up.

In spite of the wandering thoughts and lingering resentments that keep floating through, this daily practice changes me. Most of the time I can’t see it. But once in a while, a rigid attitude will soften or my hard-wired reaction to a difficult person will slide gently toward forgiveness—without any conscious effort on my part. I just smile and say, “How about that. Isn’t that interesting? Thank you.”

If he does nothing else, a good friend will listen to us. How can we possibly inspire, teach and motivate a new rep until we hear their dreams and understand their “why”.  Only then do we have a legitimate shot at helping someone craft a vision and develop a path to realizing his dream.

Doesn’t it make sense that we must learn to listen to ourselves with as much caring presence. Listening to my heart is how I uncover and design a life—and a business—with purpose.

We must not rush the process. Over time, silence and solitude give birth to wisdom and inner confidence. For 20 minutes (or less) we set aside our pressing personal agenda and loosen our grip on all the critical outcomes in our lives.  This is not the time to count and measure results. Instead, we learn to give our commitments a little break. Ease up on our Make It Happen mantra.

Eventually, this patience and acceptance toward ourselves will free up the creative juices within. If we take good notes and keep listening to our heart, it will give up the secrets that have been hidden from us for so long. We can all live without happiness, but none of us can live without meaning—the one thing we will never find on the surface of our lives. After long and careful listening we will begin to knowThis is the life I want. This is the life I was created for.

Anchors like this one take a while to drop into the deep water, stabilize our confidence and focus. Habits like this one take more time than most of us have been willing to give.

We ask our customers to give Juice Plus+ a mere four months to make a difference.  We deserve as much.

That’s Anchor Number One. I’ll explore the other two in the next blog.

Merry Christmas, and The Richest Blessings to all in our Juice Plus+ family around the world.