Do you remember a time in your life where you felt like time actually stood still? Where were you? What were you doing? Who was with you? Close your eyes, can you bring those feelings back? How great would it be if we could create those moments for ourselves. More than likely if you can recall that time in your life you have no idea how to re-create it. I saw a commercial the other day for a credit card. In the commercial the lady realizes that she has left her card at the nightclub and on her smartphone she presses freeze card from the handy app. In the commercial the entire world freezes and she walks back to the club picks up her card and presses unfreeze and again time is set in motion.
What if we had an app where we could make time stand still whenever we wanted? I would start with weekends. I would make my weekends feel like 5 days and my work days feel like 2. I would remain in the moment with my wife when the kids have just drifted off to sleep and we are sitting by our pool with the night breeze blowing off the ocean. The fact is that we cannot choose those rare blessings in our lives when time feels like it stands still. Summers as a kid seemed to last forever; when in truth they lasted the same amount of time that summers do today.
So how do we stretch the time we are given? I am sure every generation feels they are busier then the previous. It just feels that way and our perception is our reality. Back in the 1800’s I am sure working from sun up to sundown on a farm felt just as busy as working from sun up to past sundown feels for us in today’s world. Today we can multitasks, never unplug, and communicate across globes in real time. It might not make us busier but it does exponentially increase the information running around our heads. We have to find ways to turn off our brains. We have to intentionally create those opportunities that just might, just by chance, result in a feeling of time standing still.
For each of us these possibilities all look different. What might result in a time standing still moment for me may not be the same for you. However, the base preparation for such likelihoods is in fact the same. It starts with planning. Time will not stand still in a meeting at the office (although you may feel like the meeting is going to last forever that is not the same thing). Time will not stand still in traffic, on a commuter rail, or while you are on Facebook. We have to plan to step away from work and give back to ourselves. We have to practice being in the here and now. I wager to say that most of us spend our vacation time anticipating all the work that will await us when we return. We check email in between adventures. It’s not a judgment it’s our conditioning. We are conditioned to make the most of time; after all time is short right. We fool ourselves into thinking we can get ahead by answering one more email or researching one more solution.
As summer rolls in I encourage each of you to be intentional about placing yourselves in situation where time might just actually bless you by standing still. I’m going to give it a try. I suspect I’ll be a better leader for it.