My Little Hampster Wheel by ACHUCKAllen.
I hear it all the time. I hear it from old folks, young couples and high school students. What is this “it” I’m referring to? It’s the pace of life. I say it, I hear it and we all experience it. It’s the pace of life and the pace work, and the pace of children and families.
I’m now aware that finding “life-balance” is a mythical state of time that truly does not exist. I’ve read dozens of books that assure me that I can indeed experience this “balanced lifestyle.” Maybe it’s my reading capacity or lack thereof. Maybe it’s a formula that I can not grasp.
I know that I know that I know that is always self-inflicted. I must choose still waters over the storm, peace over chaos, quietude over noise and the Divine over others.
That, my friend is much harder to live than it is to write.
I like to succeed. I like to win. I like to be effective and I like to achieve in tasks that matter. I like to work hard. I like to accomplish much and I like feeling needed. I love to help folks, make a difference and dream big. So why do I feel like I am on the hampster wheel? Because I am!
How do I get off the wheel and win the marathon? I must learn to pace my life, leadership, and learning. I must learn to choose and seek peace over busyness each and every moment of my day. This is not something I am good at…but I am committed to learning the escape from a wide open, light-speed pace and over committed schedule. To do that I must be committed to these 3 things:
- Wake up to a routine and commit to it as if it were your very life. My routine has been disturbed by moving and family needs and counseling appointments. All of these were my choice. I didn’t intend to overwhelm my calendar. I am either in control of my commitments or I surrender control by attempting to please everyone else. Get a routine that leaves room for GRATITUDE, SCRIPTURE READING, PRAYER, MEDITATION & QUIETUDE. That’s probably 10-14 minutes and it will radically change your and my life as we struggle to get off the wheel!
- Commit to one significant relationship that you can strengthen or create that will better your life and find a companion on a similar journey. That might mean moving a few other habits or time burners to create enough space in your life to let relationships grow into something special. It might be discovering a mentor, finding a buddy or workout partner. It is a personal process that you can control! Make relationships a big deal in your daily life.
- Build margin into your calendar. Margin is that space you can control. We are not super heroes. We are people with real life problems and real life needs. If you can determine what are your power hours, then you can learn to build powerful margin into your day. Power margin is discovering and functioning at the peak of your energy cycle. For me, it’s morning. I don’t do that 5:00 am thing, but I have proven that my best work is created between 7:00 am and 1:00 pm. This is when I need my creative juices to flow and my focused thoughts are lasered into my work. Discover what time that you function at your peak performance and get it done! Manage your energy, not your time!
The only way we get off the hampster wheel is to jump off with specific intention to build a better us with a morning routine that includes the Divine, relationships that matter and margin in our days.
This is my reminder through the day: I start singing out loud: “Bless the Lord O my soul, O my soul, blessed be His holy name. Sing like never before, O my soul, blessed be His holy name.”
Find your song, your routine, your relationships and your margin. Then you can confidently jump off the Hampster Wheel.