Can You Spare 3 Minutes?


I noticed (paid attention to) my kids and their screens this morning. I, like many, am challenged by what's acceptable for screen time in my home. Apple, Facebook and Google are just a few of the contenders for attention. Their business models are rooted deeply in this.

My post today is not so much about social media, as it is about what we spend our time on in a given day (given is a keyword here). We all have been given 1,440 minutes in each day.

Can you spare 3 minutes?

Sparing 3 minutes is a starting point. It's a starting point for you to discover how much a gift time is and maybe how much time you're wasting on the pursuits that, in the end, won't amount to much.

So what should you do with 3 minutes? Here's a suggestive list:

  • Take in nature. Right now, where I'm at, nature is sending a love letter to the senses.
  • Turn off the screens and do nothing.
  • Look at people and consider where they may be at.
  • Count all that is going right in your life.
  • Tell someone you love them-on purpose.

Now go do this every day. You'll still have 1,437 minutes leftover. Who knows, maybe that 3 minutes you spared will grow.

We Don’t Need Anymore Actors

I'm doing more and more everyday to keep things real with everyone I encounter. This is significant because I'm a recovering actor

We don't need anymore actors.

Keeping things real now is not such a chore for me now. Occasionally, I'll have an adviser alert me if my writing or speaking is sounding too "corportese" or "suit-like." Nothing against the corporate soldiers, it's just people have enough of that coming at them already.

Maybe it's just too terrifying for some to be who they are. Like the child at recess who feels awkward about asking to join in the game, due to the rejection of the herd previously. Or the adult sitting in the team meeting feeling embarrassed because their boss personally made them an example of what is frowned upon. If I had the ability, I would be right by their sides telling them:

"It's not you! There's nothing wrong with you."

The difficulty in keeping things real is becoming almost epidemic in my country. I mean, let's face it, many worship actors, entertainers, showmen, and celebrities. The lines of what is real and what is not have been blurred. I can understand why you might find it difficult to be who you really are.

The following is a question that came to me about 10 years ago. It stopped me cold when it landed in my ears, went to my mind and settled in my heart:

"Eric, are you really Eric or are you a representative of him?"

We don't need anymore actors. The problems we face, and will face, tell me we're going to need those who are real. People who are humble, wise and unafraid. The actors are only thinking of themselves. Believe me I know from personal experience. They really are not interested in you, just what is yours.

If you find yourself in the actor's camp today, you can look at me as an example of how one person can change. It's worth it. 

The Unraveling

Looking around you and your own life, do you see the unraveling?

We are like these garments that over time begin the process of unraveling. As years unfurl this is inevitable. It's not all bad because we can always do something about it. See a thread here, see a patch there, and all you have to do is start the repair.

I wonder how many people realize the unraveling is happening.

Unraveling rarely appears as a sudden tear. It's a slow process. Very slow…

The Work of Well-Being

The work of well-being is all about taking control.

We here so much about balancing life and work in our world today.  It’s really more about taking control of what we’ve been given-life.  You can’t take control of your life, and your well-being, until you see your life as the center. The center is the place where everything begins.

Most people want a sense that they are doing the right things. They aspire to have a good life, but unfortunately some areas of life live to corrupt our best intentions. Whether it’s work, relationships or some other area, we sometimes feel one step away from being undone.  How about you? With all the advances in technology and education many felt it would improve our state, beyond a tablet computer.  The puzzling question is; where’s the advancement for managing our lives? Where’s the cure for feeling overwhelmed?

The answer has been with us all along.

Life is a gift. I certainly believe life is a precious gift given from above.  I also believe that gift implies a sense of responsibility and management.  I don’t know anyone who would verbally endorse an approach where life just unfolds on its own.  Deep down we know that life is tough and it requires work.  Unfortunately, we have a modern world that has sold us a bill of goods.  The one that says we can ignore well-being or mask our issues with money and/or medication.  How powerful would it be if we changed the paradigm?

Seeing value in the small. There’s no better a mindset than embracing small steps, small goals and the results that follow. If you start small with changing a certain area of life, you will start to see your paradigm shift.  Think of it as racking up small and quantifiable victories. Happiness and contentment follow the person who is willing to do this kind of work.  As you slowly embrace with commitment and urgency, the outlook changes.

Ignore all the haters. I read once where the original CEO of Cadillac believed insults and criticisms were a signs that the organization was onto something great. The fair warning is found in you not listening to the naysayers and the persuasive lips of chatter.  Specifically, those that try to convince you that ignorance is bliss or that someone else is responsible for your well-being.  Be careful here.  Many a man and woman have started off well only to be derailed by their own temptations and deceptions.

If you truly want a great life, then take your well-being and own it. It will require hard work, but you won’t regret it.

Eric Pennington is the founder of Epic Living, LLC. He is the author of Waking Up in Corporate America and the newly released book The Well-Being Guide: Making the Most of Life and Work. The book is available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and select book sellers.

Figuring It Out

Caught this post from Jim Logan on “Making Sense of What, Why and How.”  He’s right and I think there is one additional point to me made; how does experience factor in on learning.

Much instruction today comes from our belief that a “discipline” can be dispensed in one swoop (classroom, seminar, etc.).  Reality says, as humans, we’ve all come to learning with a great deal of baggage…good and bad.  This baggage weighs heavy, but we’d never admit that.  For example, a childhood full of criticism renders many ineffective…even for those who have outward signs of success.  We humans are good at wearing masks and playing the game of “I’m OK, you’re OK.”  Ever wonder why many organizations have a leadership vacuum?

Experience will allow the learner to figure out much on their own.  Simply because experience is a very giving teacher.  Sort of like some organizations incenting people when they make mistakes.  Experience will teach you, if you let it, like no other form of education.  Experience is REAL!

Some years ago when my wife shouldered the majority of responsibility in raising our kids, I could be found telling many people how tough a job she had.  I did this out of respect, love and encouragement.  But it wasn’t until I had to take her role (primary caregiver) on that I truly understood what she did and experienced.  It was only through experience that I learned.

What say you?

The Love Affair

Ever thought about how much time you spend working?  Ever thought about how much of your identity is shaped by work?  Ultimately, I’m speaking to those that work eight or more hours per day in an organization (profit or non-profit).  Much has been written about the work place and all of the dysfunctional goings on.  But where should all of this land, in light of LIFE?

Some of you will spend thirty or more years working.  Your happy, your sad.  You get a promotion, you get fired.  As someone whose experienced all of those things, I can tell you that my life is not measured in large portion by work.  I am learning more and more each day that what matters is what is in my heart.  My life will be truly defined by that.  Even more importantly, will what’s in my heart “get out?”

Many of you are thinking that you can’t put time and focus on things of the heart.  If you’re reading this then you’ve been given the gift of life, therefore successs in the things of the heart is what you should be pursuing.

By the way, you’ll be more of a success in your work when you pursue being a success in the things of the heart.