Sobriety, Recovery, Money Mastery, Self-Mastery, and Time Management
These topics are often on my mind. For the past few years I’ve felt it was time for me to get a grip on Time Management; yet it hasn’t been simple or easy…..rather elusive in fact! What I’ve determined is confirmed by the esteemed Stephen Covey in my dogeared copy of his book, Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People. He says “Time management is really a misnomer- the challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves.” THAT explains why it’s been challenging! Managing ourselves actually requires quite a lot: maturity, discipline, Will, EQ, …….
Covey goes on to say “If you are an effective manager of your self, your discipline comes from within; it’s a function of your independent will. You are a disciple, a follower of your own deep values and their source. And you have the will, the integrity, to subordinate your feelings <this is the really hard part for most of us!>, your impulses, and your moods to those values. THIS is very challenging! It requires putting your values and your goals ahead of how you feel and what you may want in the moment (each time there arises such a moment of conflict) for the sake of what you value and what you want in the long run. This requires Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and maturity!
Several years ago during the end of my architecture career, I had a conversation with a much older architect. We were talking about diet and health. He practices Dean Ornish’s eating plan and program to reverse heart disease AND he’s French. I asked if this was a conflict for him, if he struggled with making healthy food choices rather than eating beautiful french food. His reply has remained with me and continues to influence me. He said : ” If I want to go to San Francisco, I don’t get on the BART train that’s going the other direction. I don’t spend any time thinking about that other train because it won’t take me where I want to go.” It’s that simple. It’s just not that easy for most of us. I remember this when I struggle with my own stuff. I have achieved something that I’ve wanted to achieve for the past 20 years: I gave up black tea, coffee and caffeinated drinks. It’s soon going to be a year since this became effective. I really appreciate the difference that no caffeine has made in my life! At times, I think about that other train, but I’m able to put the value I hold in my chosen destination above the momentary experience of any of these drinks. I guess this what people in recovery do. A certain emotional sobriety is involved. I’m truly amazed that I’ve been able to do this every time for a year now. This gives me great faith that I can do the same with a few other struggles. Baby steps lead to a sudden leap.