The 80/20 Rule

One question I get often is, “Can you explain the 80/20 Rule?”

At Think Time, as we help people focus on what matters most, we use the 80/20 rule in all of our systems.

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The one thing I can say about the 80/20 Rule is that when you get it…you GET it.  And, you will never go back.

There is an interesting history behind it, but the Big Idea is that it teaches us to look at activities—not for how much effort we put into them, but for the results that flow from them.  Do they move the needle toward our goals?

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We can work really hard at something that doesn’t return a lot of results.  We can also strategically place small, targeted efforts toward something that yields enormous results.

This is the tip that helps us to stop spinning our wheels and start making traction.

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Why is it named “The 80/20 Rule?”  The rule derives its name from the discovery that in life about 20% of our activities generate 80% of our results.  The converse is also true.  About 80% of our activities yield only 20% of our results.

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The 80/20 Rule is regularly used in business training to boost profits and skyrocket results.  For instance, salespeople regularly use this rule to close more deals.  If about 80% of sales come from 20% of the customers, then calling the list in alphabetical order from top to bottom will not be as fruitful as taking a moment to identify the high yielding 20% and to contact them first.  Less effort yields more results with the 80/20 Rule.

At Think Time, we are big on results—not only professional results but also personal and relational results.  So, we apply the 80/20 Rule to everything from creating agendas and budgets at work to household responsibilities and even our relationships.

Following are some examples of how the 80/20 Rule may integrate with your daily life.  A 20% activity is an activity that yields HIGH RESULTS.  An 80% activity yields LOW RESULTS–no matter how much effort you exert.

Here we go!

A 20% activity could be taking  a few minutes at the beginning of the day to identify your key priorities and to purge potential obstacles to accomplishing them.  Top performers do this every day because it yields such great results.  This move changes every action following it.

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An 80% activity could be trying to complete “everything” on your list.  Remember that all of your activities are not high-yielding and often “good” activities steal time from the best.

A 20% activity could be having a clear agenda created and floating it by everyone before a meeting.  This simple step maximizes the minutes during the meeting, prevents running over due to sloppy discussions, and prevents countless add-on e-mail interchanges after the meeting.

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An 80% activity may be always saying “yes” when someone stops by your desk to say, “Gotta minute?”

At home, a 20% activity could be training your toddlers to clean up.  You are not only getting the toys cleaned, but you are building a sense of responsibility into a citizen of the world.

An 80% activity could be picking up your four year old’s toys again and again and again.  You are exhausted.  They feel good while their character worsens.  Their future co-workers will wish you had required them to pick up after themselves.  And, as a cherry on top, you will get to do it all over again tomorrow.

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An 80% is telling your kids to be kind to each other—unkindly.   

A 20% activity is modeling kindness in tone and action while teaching.  

If your spouse’s love language is “words of affirmation,” it may be an 80% to clean the dishes to show them you love them.  In this instance, a 20% activity may be instead writing a specific, heartfelt compliment.  

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My final example will be a counselor joke:

“How many counselors does it take to change a lightbulb?”

“Just one – but the light bulb has to really want to change.”

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Trying to help someone who does not want to change is an 80%.  Targeting my effort to invest in someone who is wanting to grow: 20%.

By using the 80/20 Rule as part of deciding what goes onto your calendar, you will never have to wonder if you are focusing on the most important thing again. 

Add the 80/20 Rule to your daily decisions and transform your life.

Does this help?

Please comment below and let me know!

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Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder Think Time

 

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We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people clarify their vision so they can live their lives focused on what matters most.  

Shop Think Time today!

Blog Highlights:

Look at activities—not for how much effort we put into them, but for the results that flow from them.

Do my activities move the needle toward my goals?

About 20% of our activities generate 80% of our results.

All of our activities are not high-yielding and often “good” activities steal time from the best.

Use the 80/20 Rule.  You will never have to wonder if you are focusing on the most important thing again.

 

Just Start!

One of my favorite entrepreneurial concepts is found in a small and practical book called Just Start.

Written by seasoned business leaders from Babson College, this book debunks myths about a curious group of people–serial entrepreneurs.  Many people imagine entrepreneurs testing ideas in a laboratory and perfecting them over and over again before finally releasing them to the public.

Not so.

After studying serial entrepreneurs, the research team discovered that people who started successful business after successful business had one thing in common–they started.

They most often started small–only investing what they were willing to lose.  Then, they learned…and adjusted…and, launched again.

Then, they learned…and adjusted…and, launched again.

This process gives the benefit of real-time feedback and data that can never be gained in a laboratory.  Each idea was sharpened by real feedback from real life and real people.  Because they never invested more than they were willing to lose, they always won.  They either found out quickly and cheaply that the idea was not going to fly, or they gained invaluable feedback that sharpened their product or idea so it could launch to the next level.

What’s your idea?

Is there a way that you can start small–only investing what you are willing to lose?

Launch it, but hold it loosely.  Allow it to come back changed–only to launch it again.

Can you create a Version 1.0 and get it in front of the world?

Go ahead!  Get it out there!  What do you want to create?

Go for it!

Christine M. Wilson

Licensed Professional Counselor, Co-founder of Think Time

 

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Start small. @thinktimetweets http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Investing only what you are willing to lose. http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Launch, learn, adjust, launch again. http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Sharpen your ideas with real feedback from real people.  http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

What’s your idea? @thinktimetweetshttp://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

What do you want to create?  Go ahead!  Get it out there!   http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Go for it!  @thinktimetweets http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

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For people who want more time to focus on what matters most.

Free e-book “How to Live Your Purpose” http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Shop Think Time Purpose Planners at think-time.com

Can One Person Really Make a Difference?

Can one person really make a difference?  Let me tell you a story about one man who noticed something important and took action.

Thomas Dodson stood in the checkout line at a grocery store.  He noticed that his daughters, 6 and 8 at the time, could not stop looking at the pictures on the covers of the magazines.  He kept looking at them.  They kept looking at the magazines.

Dodson knew that he was about to walk out of the store, and the kid-level images would be gone in a moment.  But, what if they had constant access to the Internet?

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Dodson remembered the first time he logged onto the Internet—at 20 years of age.  “At twenty, I had life experience…young people these days don’t have the luxury of life experience.”  Today’s teens and tweens face cyber-bullying, sexting, and more.

In a recent survey of teens, Dodson discovered that—even with the amazing pressures of Snapchat, Tumblr, and Instagram—only 15% of teens talk to their parents about their online lives!

To change this, Dodson co-founded Above the Fray to address the numerous issues young people face online.  “Our goal is to educate parents and teachers about what life is really like online for young people, and to give adults the tools they need to begin meaningful dialogues at home and at school.”

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With real data from targeted focus groups, Above the Fray offers tangible solutions to real life issues  “that will help keep children safe.”

Above the Fray is meeting a need that didn’t exist a few years ago.

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By creative thinking, awareness to the needs around him, and staying true to his purpose, Dodson was able to recognize a need and meet it.

Now when parents wonder how to empower their children to be safe online, there are downloads, presentations, and consultations ready and available on Above the Fray’s website and Facebook Page.  There is a place to go!

 

What about you?

What are you noticing?

What change in the world is on your heart?

 

Bring your dream into reality today.

Live your irreplaceable story.

We believe in your dreams.

 

Blog Highlights:

Can one person really make a difference? @thinktimetweets

Only 15% of teens talk to their parents about their online lives! @beabovethefray

What are you noticing? @thinktimetweets

What change in the world is on your heart?  @thinktimetweets

Bring your dream into reality.  @thinktimetweets

Think creatively, be aware of the needs around you, and stay true to your purpose.  @thinktimetweets

Today’s teens and tweens face cyber-bullying, sexting, and more. @beabovethefray

Empower your children to be safe online. @beabovethefray

What need will you meet that didn’t exist a few years ago? @thinktimetweets

 

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Christine Wilson

Co-founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

We believe in your dreams.

Shop Purpose Planners and more at think-time.com.

How to Live From the Inside Out: Four Simple Tweaks

So often, when we make our daily plans, we think from the outside-in, not the inside-out.

 

We think of what we “have” to do.

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We allow other people’s priorities to become our plans.

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We bounce from activity to activity—exhausted but not really accomplishing much.

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How can we reverse this?

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How can we live from the inside out?

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How can we live a life full of what we truly want to do?

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How can we live a life that is full of our own priorities—driven by a deep sense of purpose?

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The answer may surprise you!

 

Are you ready?

 

Can you handle the truth?

You can’t handle the truth.

“I can handle the truth!!” you say?

 

Okay, here it is.

 

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

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That’s it.

It’s that simple.

It’s that revolutionary.

For decades we have been literally using half of our brain to make our plans.  Starting with convergent, left-brain thinking, we incessantly begin with the plan rather than the dream.

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Think Time’s Life Leadership system is structured to reverse this.

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Here’s why:

Everything you have ever experienced—real or imagined—is stored deep within your brain.  Over time, you have developed ways of making decisions, and you have formed compelling images of what you really want.

That means, when you are desiring to discover your life’s purpose, you must get in touch with these deep parts of your brain.  And, when you want to discover how to get unstuck from lifelong habits and hangups—you guessed it—many of the answers lie hidden deep within your brain.

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There’s a catch.

This deep part of your brain is literally not accessible through words.

That’s right.

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Words are a left-brained thing, and the left-brain is not connected to the whole brain like the right brain is.

The right-brain is more thoroughly connected to the deeper parts of the brain.  So, to get in touch with these deep parts of the brain, we need to somehow engage the right brain.

How can we engage the right brain?

Have an idea

I am glad you asked!  Following are four steps to engage the right brain.  Doing these simple things will help you gain access to what you really want and allow you to get unstuck as you move toward what matters most.

1.  Think big picture.  The right brain is all about thinking big picture.  Ask yourself what wild success looks like.  Literally “see” into the future through visualizing the best case scenario.

2.  Draw.  Draw a picture what you have envisioned.  Yes. Really. Draw! Stick figures are welcomed!  Images move us.

3.  Use all five senses.  Create clarity around your goals by visualizing further using all of your five senses.

4.  Add color.  Color creates clarity around our images and helps to engage the right brain even more.

Once you have engaged your right brain and allowed yourself to “dream big,” you can then move toward engaging your left brain in making strategic plans, evaluating the parts, and communicating in words.

These simple tweaks to your life planning will prove transformative to living from the inside out—not the outside in.

The Woman who is Breathing Fresh Air

Don’t live another day with regret!

Use your whole brain to live your whole life.

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Christine Wilson

Think Time Co-Founder

 Blog Highlights:

We think of what we “have” to do.  @thinktimetweets

We allow other people’s priorities to become our plans.  @thinktimetweets

We bounce from activity to activity—exhausted but not really accomplishing much.  @thinktimetweets

How can we live from the inside out?  @thinktimetweets

How can we live a life full of what we truly want to do?  @thinktimetweets

How can we live a life that is full of our own priorities—driven by a deep sense of purpose?  @thinktimetweets

For decades we have been literally using half of our brain to make our plans.  @thinktimetweets

Begin with the dream.  @thinktimetweets

Engaging the right brain will help you discover what you really want.  @thinktimetweets

Engaging the right brain will allow you to get unstuck as you move toward what matters most.  @thinktimetweets

Don’t live another day with regret.  @thinktimetweets

Use your whole brain to live your whole life.  @thinktimetweets

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Visit us at think-time.com.

Maximize your thinking, uncover what matters most, and drive sustainable life change and results by using your whole brain to plan (and live) your whole life with Think Time’s Dream, Decide, Do, and Review Process.  Shop our Purpose Planners and more at think-time.com.

When Life Throws You a Curveball…Hit a Homerun!

We are in the age of planners.  Planners are great when you know where you are going, you are where you want to be, and you understand what needs to be done.

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But, what do you need when life throws you a curveball?

Do you need to better organize your overflowing list of to dos?  To put everything in little boxes on your planner so that you can see them better?

No!

You need to clarify what’s most important to you and get rid of the rest!

You need to make space in your life for where you’re going and what matters most to you…now.

You need to evaluate where you put your limited energy and time.

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When life throws you a curveball, don’t throw in the towel.

These are the times that drive your focus toward what matters most and toward where you can have the most impact.  Embrace these days and get ready for positive change!

How do we go about doing these things? 

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First, identify what you really want.  No one really lets go of anything until they have a clear view of where they’re headed. No one lets go in a vacuum.  Clarify your vision.  And, when you clarify your vision, dream big!  Ask yourself what “wild success” looks like.  As the cheesy cliche [that I love] says, “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars!”  Dream big and don’t edit yourself.  Purpose and productivity guru, Michael Hyatt, says, “Build your dreams to be bigger than the obstacles.”  The obstacles will certainly be there, but your dreams can definitely be bigger than them with some thoughtful preparation.

Second, let go of what is obsolete, irrelevant, or good but not the best.  So often, the best is is squeezed out by things that used to be important to us, by things that are trivial or by things that are good but not the best.  Don’t let that happen to you.  Take time to evaluate what matters most to you and actively create space in your life for these few things.

Third, clarify what is within your control and what is not within your control.  When life throws us curveballs, it is easy to spend a lot of energy spinning our wheels on the “what ifs” and “if onlys.”  We can get caught up in unproductive thinking about what other people could or should do.  Instead, let’s focus on what is within our power to change.  My thoughts, feelings, attitudes, behaviors, and choices are in my circle of influence while an endless other things are outside.  Tell yourself, “This is my new reality.  Now, what true impact can I make with the steps that I take?”

When it is time to grow, the best thing to do is clarify your vision and let go of things that are obsolete, irrelevant, or good but no longer the best.  Focusing on what you can control will give you the most result for every action you take.  Use these three steps to identify what matters most to you and to clear space in your calendar and in your life to focus on what matters most.

But, wait.  There is one more thing.

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Fourth, expect change.  Life is fluid.  It is always changing.  The clouds are always moving.  The earth is always rotating.  The universe is ever expanding.  Nothing stays the same.   So, be poised as you move forward to continuously reevaluate your vision, your priorities, and what is within and not within your control.

Then, the next time life throws you a curveball, you’ll be ready for it.  Hit a homerun!

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The best blogs are dialogues.  Please comment below.  Are you in a season of personal change?  Do you have a personal vision for what could be next?

Christine M. Wilson, LPC

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Co-founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to live your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

Choosing Purpose over Perfection

I write from a peaceful, quiet hotel room 15 stories above the Fort Worth skyline.  Keith and I are on a little getaway weekend.  It is part birthday celebration, part babymoon, and part taking time to think time and discuss our lives together on a deep level without interruption.  (Thanks, Mom!)

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I just hung out with the “personal” Think Zone concept cloud for a while.

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As I brainstormed, I was struck with how much I need to grow this year!

What was I thinking starting Think Time when I was so imperfect!?!  I easily could have taken a year to focus on learning in each major area of growth to refine myself before launching.  Maybe in five—or twenty—years, I would be ready!

But.

I didn’t.

And.

I didn’t.

On purpose.

In this move of choosing to launch Think Time, I chose purpose over perfection.

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I asked myself, “What can only I do in this world?

 

Then, I brainstormed.  I acted.  I gained feedback.  I acted again.  I refined.  I acted again.  I kept learning and growing.  I acted again.

 

Out of this milieu was born a collaboration of my personal and professional experience, my personal and professional research, and my unique personality design as an innovator.  It seemed at the time that only I could launch Think Time.  I mean, who else was going to bring together such a diverse compilation of creative thinking exercises, a passion that each life has an irreplaceable purpose, and the refinement that productivity practices bring?  It was a sort of odd and strange combination, but it seemed essential to me.  Any of these pieces without the others left something major wanting.

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I did not have a background in marketing.  It turns out that would have been helpful.

I did not have a lot of time.  It turns out that would have been helpful.

I did not have a lot of money.  It turns out that would have been helpful.

I did not have a sales personality.  It turns out that would have been helpful.

I did not have…well, quite a lot…

But, I did offer what I had, and I did launch.

And, I do not regret it.

I am so thankful that today, only one year after an initial launch, sales teams who want to excel even during trying times, CEOs who want to envision the next decades of their company, newly released prisoners who want to move forward toward their goals and not backward to repeat the past, parents who want to make the most of the time with their kids while they are still young, high schoolers and college students who want to pursue their goals amidst a plethora of pressures, young entrepreneurs who want to build their businesses while maintaining life balance, managers who want to better envision the future and lead their teams, and my family and I are able to dream big for the coming year—with the hope of actually bringing our dreams to reality.

Each of us is able to better envision the future.  Each of us is confronted with the choices that we must make if we are to live with a focus on what is important.  Each of us has the tool to empower us to “do” our dream in the most effective way possible, and each of us can constantly grow through reflection and daily gratitude.

I will admit, it is a more humbling way to go.

…to launch a dream before it is perfect.

However, if I can just get over myself and my “need” to be perfect, I can grow and people can be truly served.  In this way, I can live in such a way that I can be most in touch with reality.  Real life gives feedback—both positive and negative—in a way that preparation and thinking without action never can.

When I take time to Think Time, I am actively taking my ideals and constantly rubbing them against the sandpaper of reality.  Here, they are tested.  Here, they are refined.  Here, and only here, will they become truly beautiful.

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What are your dreams today?  Is your fear of imperfection holding you back, or are you ready to dive into the refining fire of life’s real time feedback.

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Do you choose purpose over perfection?

 

I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments below!  What are your thoughts?

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Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-founder of Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to live your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

On Envisioning…

On Envisioning…

Martin Luther King, Jr. declared, “I have a dream!”  Stephen Covey encouraged, “Begin with the end in mind.”  Mark Miller of Chick-fil-A identifies “Seeing Into the Future” as the first characteristic of a servant leader.

Envisioning what you want is critical to achieving any type of success.

Watch this!

Clarity is simply a prerequisite for goal achievement. 

Unfortunately, most planning systems neglect this critical step. They are more responsive in nature, and as a result you end up living everyone else’s life instead of your own–simply because you lack clarity on where you ultimately want to be. 

In the “Dream” phase of Think Time, you have the opportunity to visualize what you want.  

“What if I don’t know what I want?”

We are glad you asked.

So often, when we are honest with ourselves, we don’t know what we want.  We at times need a guide to prompt us to unearth those desires that lie just beneath the surface.

Let Think Time be that guide.  Think Time walks you through a variety of thinking tools that empower you to unearth your vision in full-color, with clarity.   The tools are laid out in a creative, yet logical, format to help you see clearly what is most important to you.  You can think of these tools as a good friend asking just the right questions at the right time–leading to that “Ah-Ha” moment.

Would you like to try it?  

Take a moment right now to consider an area of your life.  You can choose anything you like–perhaps a relationship, a goal, or an important event.  Now think about it within a timeframe.  For instance, ask yourself, “Five years from now (or five weeks from now), what do I want to see in this area of my life?”  

Grab your favorite pens or pencils and start drawing.

Think big. 

Don’t edit yourself. You want your dreams to be bigger than your obstacles.  So spend some time here and clearly envision what you really want.

Sit with this for a while and see what other connections you make.  What details do you add?  

Congratulations!

You have just begun the dream phase of the Think Time process!

Did you like your Think Time 101 mini-experience?

If so, please share it.

 

What is your dream? 

 

These are my thoughts…  What are yours?

Please share in the comments below!

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

Seize the Day

 

“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ’til tomorrow

For babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow

So quiet down cobwebs

Dust, go to sleep

I am rocking my baby

And babies don’t keep”

—Ruth Hulbert Hamilton, 1958

 

No one could prepare me…

…for how fast this would go.

 

Everyone told me.

I believed them.

But you still couldn’t prepare me.

 

Just yesterday, I snuggled my tiny helpless newborn in my sling.

She had the cutest dimples in the world.

 

Now, she knows the US presidents and collects and grows seeds…constantly.

She wants to learn cursive.

She is remarkable.

Dreamy.  Imaginative.  Creative.   Strong.

She will be six this spring.

 

 

Last week, I saw my cousin.

He and his wife will be fifty soon.

Now, this is turning over a new leaf.

Weren’t we just playing together as kids on the Florida family farm?

Fifty?

Does life really go that fast?

 

Think Time could easily have the tagline Sieze the Day.  It is today that we are alive.  It is all that we really have.  And, it is a lot.  Think Time helps us to dream, to stay focused on what really matters to us, and to absorb life while we are living.

 

These days are screaming by.  Each one faster than the last.

Today, when my little girl says today, “Look, Mommy!” will she have my attention?

 

I bet today she does.

 

How will you seize the day today?

 

These are my thoughts…  What are yours?

Please share in the comments below!

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.