Saturday, January 27, 2007

And The Results Are...

The question I asked last week was "If you had an extra 15 minutes in your day, how would you use it?"

The answers were as follows:
  • Get back into my reading
  • Journal
  • Talk to my partner/spouse/kids
  • Visit my grandmother
  • Cook
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Sleep/cat nap
  • Meditate
  • Practice/play piano
  • Clean my car
  • Play!
  • Relax with a cup of tea/coffee

Many said it was impossible to answer. Others said "What can I do in 15 minutes?" (now there's a question a Coaches LOVE to wrap their minds around). These answers were given by high level executives. Notice none of those answers had anything whatsoever to do with work.

Those asked had a really hard time answering. It took them longer to answer the question than the 15 minute time allotment. Fascinating hmm? So what comes to mind is, if you really did have an extra 15 minutes in a day, would it fluster you so much to figure out what to do with it that the time would go poof into thin air? More than likely.

15 minutes to me, as a Shadow Coach™ to high level executives and global leaders is a gift from heaven! We rarely have the luxury of time. Often our feedback sessions are 2 - 3 minutes as we run into elevators (private elevators or unoccupied...confidentiality is paramount), in and out of cars on the way back from meetings, escaping for a short walk or to buy a coffee. 15 minutes would be 5 times that amount of feedback time.

15 minutes extra with no interruptions, pressures, commitments with my son or anyone special in my life would be a gift. It could mean a conversation with someone I hadn't had a chance to speak to in way too long. It could be picking out the perfect greeting card for someone.

I received many answers but would like to share one specifically with you as it's from someone I virtually met through my blog and have been in contact with over the years. He is someone I respect very highly, who teaches me through contemplative, words of wisdome and a wealth of experience. I asked him if I might share his response with you, not in its entirety as it's quite long, but the points of it to make you wonder, perhaps and look at time as the gift it truly is....and, as Asmir pointed out, an equalizer for it makes us all the same. We are all gifted with the same amount of time. No more. No less. It doesn't matter our standing in life, class, race or religion. What we do with time is up to us.

An excerpt from Asmir's response: "The question of: "If you had an extra 15 minutes in your day, how would you use it?" perhaps meant to ask: Your time in fact is 100% yours and it ticks at its own speed, nothing can be done about it. Everybody makes decisions. Those who say that they do not actually, do make decisions. They decide not to make decisions."

When I asked Asmir if I might share this because he teaches me so much with his wisdom, his answer was this: "My answer? Follow your heart, you have the answer there. As I said before, life is actually a journey about knowing who we really are. In reality, we keep on manifesting who we really are through what we say or do.

At last, I do not believe in teaching anybody. I think you are like that too. You are right, I was sharing and you know that actually you are the one that teach yourself. All the good things in the world multiply rather than deplete when they are shared. It is true with things like courage, love, knowledge etc."

Only in sharing through this medium could I have connected with him, with all of you, learn from you and hopefully, through sharing teach you something about yourself, about life as well, though what you do with my words, how you listen and process them is your choice and yours alone.

I leave you with this question: If you really were gifted with an extra 15 minutes, would you know what it is you'd do with it? Chunks of 15 minutes appear all the time and many are so flustered by what to do with such a small amount of time, that it evaporates before they know it. What will you do to make sure that doesn't happen so it doesn't tick away all on its own?

Donna Karlin

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