There is a difference between being on time, and being on time as an ingrained habit. I have to say I am watching myself closely.
I am finding a few interesting things. First, I definitely choose to run. There are certain items I feel I truly need to get through before I leave to a meeting. So I’d rather run and be on time, than walk and be on time. That extra 15 minutes can help me outreach in so many ways.
I am speaking as much if not more so about emails, phone calls or thank you notes that relate personally in my life, rather than work. There are the messages that seem to be not necessary, such as an extra message to team member to thank them for work well done, or writing a note of encouragement and leaving it on a team member’s desk. But it is so a part of who I am, so ingrained in how I think and would like to act, that it is impossible to ignore. It must get done.
So part of me has made a silent request, putting it out there, that I naturally get up earlier so I can do more of these things. It is happening. Where I normally woke up around 7 or 7:20, I am now naturally waking up at 6:30, or even 5:45 some mornings. And still no caffeine, so that is exciting to see. It give me more time to over my gratefuls and do things for others.
So with that 15 minutes — I run to get there on time. It’s not easy. But I get there. I’ve met my goal to be on time.
The Importance of ‘On the Way’
However, as I watch this, there is a new feeling percolating. I am missing the stream of life on the way. There are so many interactions I have when I do walk. I can appreciate the blue sky or really experience the differing winds of San Francisco. If you are still, you may hear a thin whistling wind; a low blustering wind which may whip about you, and the low hollow sound of a ‘flute’ type wind. Nature impresses and moves us when we are silent.
I can also review my gratefuls for the day. I prepare my mind and heart for the next meeting so that I can be kind, giving, listening.
There are homeless people to greet. There is a person at the streetlight to say hello to as we both wait for the light to change. There is a call from a team member which I perhaps need to receive. There is the daily call I put into my mom and dad, which I love to do.
There is an openness and a flow to natural living, giving and receiving what comes.
There is a giving of myself to that normal, relaxed moment, if I would allow myself that time more. I would still get there on time, which is the first goal.
Instead I am intensely programmed. Shoulders down, elbows in, bags tight at side and I am beelined to my destination, no stops, no presence, no other opportunities allowed. On time. Go. Run. Sprint.
The good things I did which shortened my time to get to this meeting, I cannot now do on my way to the meeting.
Being Present With Myself
There is another goal. That is being present not only in my meeting, but also present with myself and the world, on the way.
It is amazing as we strive to improve ourselves, how we uncover other truths, other meaning, other ways to increase quality of life, quality of the moment, quality of the world. Be in the moment, on the way.
<< See the previous installment of How This CEO Needs to Grow, “When I Walk In, My Mom Beams”