Stop. Just for a moment.
Work. Washing. Shopping. Commuting. Cleaning. Checking social media. Visiting people. Sleeping. Exercising. Social commitments. Bedtime, far too late. Starting the day, far too early. The endless whirl of our lives, which - of course - aren't actually endless, seem to take on their own meaning and direction. And before you know it, another day, week, month and year pass by.
I remember being at my school, back in England, coming up to three decades ago. At least once a week for five years we'd all congregate in the main school hall for assembly, a ritual that included us being sat down in long rows of chairs that were less comfortable than economy airline seats, while everyone listened to the speaker of the week. (Oh, if I could go back and be a speaker there now; how things would be so different, One Brit, No Bull style.)
Above the stage was a sign, one that I can still see clearly in my mind now, despite not having seen it for well over twenty years. On it, in large almost luminous letters, the words, "Hold fast to that which is good".
I know I took a lot away from school in both formal and informal learning and yet I often think back to this particular phrase. And the question for me is not just about whether we hold on to things that are good for us, but whether we hold on to those that aren't. Letting go is as important as finding something else more valuable, exciting or desirable to hold onto. It gives us physical and mental space, it returns time to us and it allows us to re-focus our energy in new places.
In my role, I spend a lot of time helping people reflect on what works for them and what doesn't, offering them a new perspective in their lives and opportunities to redefine boundaries and actions, all to help them feel great and to create the lives that they truly want. I also do this myself on a regular basis and although it shouldn't, I still find myself being pleasantly surprised when I make a decision to stop holding on to something in my life, start doing something new or when I make a course correction. I feel liberated each time and I become aware of the control I have that enables me to make my own life amazing.
Think about what you have spent your time on in the last day, week and month that you do not want to be doing. Ignore, just for a moment, that you might think you have to do the things you're currently doing. Then think about what you would do with that time, energy and headspace instead. Go wild and crazy; jump 'out of the box', use 'blue sky thinking' and remove all of the boundaries that you believe you have. Then decide what you would do with that time if you could have it again.
I'm not suggesting that there's a time travel option and that you can literally go back in time and have that time again, but I am saying that you have the right to decide what you do with every minute of every day from hereon in.
Are you ready to step out of the ordinary and into the life that you truly want? What would living your life your way give you that you don't have now? And how would you feel in a week, month or year if you practiced that every day, starting today?
Ultimately, each of us chooses how to spend every one of the 1440 minutes we have in each day. You have the power to decide not to do things and the power to decide what to do instead. And what good is that power if you don't use it? So, take two minutes today to decide what you want to let go of and what is truly worth holding on to in order to make your life amazing, because you should only hold fast to that which is good.
Rob Whitfield is the CEO and Founder of One Brit, No Bull, a coaching and corporate training company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide. Rob can be contacted here or on (+1) 518 9NO BULL.
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As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull.