When Life Calls Time Out – No Schedule Man Podcast, Ep. 35
For a child, it might be interpreted as a punishment for poor behaviour. In the sports world, it can be used as a means to disrupt some negative momentum, or even just to “stop the clock.”
In this context, it’s about recognizing when life is trying to tell you, “Hey. There’s something here that needs your attention. Slow down. Rest for a while.” And with that in mind, I could argue that this particular podcast episode shouldn’t even exist. I stubbornly want to meet my own goals when I probably would have been better off by letting it go and resting instead. I have learned the hard way that life sometimes calls “time out” for good reason. If you ignore those calls, you do so at your own peril.
My question with this episode is: how do you recognize when it’s time for a personal “timeout,” and what do you do about it? How are you able to distinguish it from an everyday excuse born of fatigue or routine (we all have things we don’t feel like doing but we go through with it anyway).
I have a list of things I look to for time outs on a day-to-day basis. Things like:
- A visit with a friend
- The odd sleep-in day and lazy morning
What I’m referring to here are the times when you’ve tried all your tricks and life is still clearly telling you to slow down or stop. Perhaps you’ve been working through a cold that just isn’t going away so your body ramps up the fatigue to slow you down, or you’re noticing that a few little disruptions seem to be turning into an avalanche of obstacles and your ability to cope is dwindling. However you characterize it, how do you know and what do you do about it?
We choose how gently we get our lesson by how open we are to learning. Life teaches us with a sledgehammer if we refuse to pay attention. It administers the same lesson with a feather tickle if we show a willingness to learn.
– Gay Hendricks, “Conscious Living”
As my journey goes along, I’m coming around to believing that recognizing and respecting the required timeouts are a critical component of staying in the game more effectively and for longer stretches of time. Think of it like a race car trying to go 500 miles without a few pit stops. It can’t be done. And if you stay on the track at high speed with a bad wheel vibration, you’re headed for a wreck. Your life and overall well-being works much the same way.
In this episode, I tell the story of how I brought about severe back pain, ignored the clear signals to slow down and just kept digging toward my goals. I honestly felt there was nobility in soldiering on. And perhaps there was, except that I can now see with the benefit of hindsight that I was receiving very clear signals from the universe that I needed to pull into the pits. I didn’t, and I ended up suffering a crash. A series of them, in fact.
The Warrior knows that there are occasional pauses in the struggle …. He knows that maintenance is as important as action.
– Paulo Coelho, “Warrior of the Light”
When you are a driven, goal-oriented person, it’s not unlikely that you will face this challenge from time-to-time. Some days, you just don’t feel like doing what you need to do but you do it anyway. Life goes on. Other days turn out as just “one of those days.” We all have them. We file them away and wake up ready for the next one.
Then there are the times when you finally admit you just need to stop. For an hour. A day. A week. A year. When this happens, everything that seemed so completely urgent and necessary can suddenly be set aside for the sake of your own well being.
What does that look like for you? I’m open to tips and suggestions because I’m finding out that the sooner I clue in to the need for those “timeouts,” the shorter and less frequent they become.
Podcast Episode Links:
Comments: How Do You Know When To Call “Time Out?”
What does a “Time Out” look like for you? How do you handle it? How often do you find it happens? What do you do to keep them from happening?
Please add your thoughts to the Comments Section, below.
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