Stop where you are and what you are doing for a minute and take notice of what is happening around you. What do you see, hear, feel, and smell?
Now think how often it is that you stop in your tracks to observe the world around you? My guess is not often enough.
We live in a world full of “white noise”... distraction is everywhere and multitasking is just a thing we are expected to do. Chill time has become an elusive luxury.
Although you may see your ‘busy’ and somewhat frantic life as a sign of ‘getting things done’ which equals success and accomplishment, a truly fulfilling life is about finding balance. We need to ensure this fast paced world does not squeeze the adrenalin from every last molecule of our body making us lose our way on the journey of life.
I lost my way, hence why I am passionate about sharing this with you all and conveying the importance on having the ability to focus our attention in a way that cuts through the white noise. A key enabler of success and regaining control of life’s steering wheel!
Back in the year 2000, I was well into my seventh year of professional rugby league coaching and mid-way through the season when I received a somewhat distressed phone call one morning from my youngest daughter Hannah. It was the phone call that changed my direction, and re aligned my values and balance in life.
Leaving home in the early hours for yet another hectic day of work, Hannah (8 years old at the time) called me. She was very distressed that Daddy was not coming to watch her zone athletics carnival that day. I had already previously missed her school carnival as I was simply to “busy” to attend.
A very upset daughter on the phone, I too hung up the phone feeling distressed. I stopped at that moment and pulled my car over and simply sat for some time to reflect on my actions.
What did I realise? It hit me like a ton of bricks.... I was neglecting the most important assets I had in my life, my children. I was operating on automatic pilot with my ‘off tune’ personal compass losing a sense of what were my priorities in life. I had lost control and was confused by the “white noise” of my coaching career causing me to miss what was a significant achievement for my 8-year old daughter.
I made a decision that day to regain control of my life and re direct my actions around my authentic priorities… and I have never looked back.
Does it mean I stopped in my tracks and didn’t continue to be successful? Not at all. If anything I have achieved just as much just with a more balanced and in control sense of self as well as remaining in line with my values in life. In fact, I consider the last 15 years to be the most fulfilling of my lifetime so far.
It is easy to get caught in a whirlpool where we feel helpless because it seems like someone foreign is steering the ship. Amidst this hectic external world is an internal world of latent potential that craves direction and focus.
How many of you feel like this? You feel as though you are so focused on the craziness of the world around you that you are missing the more important and simple things that may matter later on in life? Perhaps sharing my story about my daughter may have hit a few heart strings as I am sure many can relate.
So what do you need to do?
Firstly, identify the direction you wish to take? What is it that gives you fulfilment and a deep sense of purpose and worth?
Next, examine what steps you can take to gain some momentum towards your authentic self.
This may require a significant shift of direction in your life, and if so, be sure to surround yourself with a support team to assist in breaking the habits that don’t support the new direction.
Make sure you set milestones which can be celebrated to help energise you on this exciting journey of discovery.
And last but not least.... thanks to Hannah for making the most valuable phone call I’ve ever had!