From a long time ago, I have always loved my sleep. It didn’t matter how much fun I was having, my body would begin shutting down at 10 pm. My night sleep has been so important that it determines how socially amiable I am every day.
Recently when I was blessed with a young one, that love has been put to test nearly 99% of her few weeks on Earth! I didn’t go through sleepless nights with the other children, so I just couldn’t understand what was happening with this new blessing in my life. For one, she is a light sleeper. Any noise or movement, including her own burp, is enough to wake her. Second, she has an inverse clock that reads night when it is daytime and day when it is nighttime.
Then I was advised, very well so, by others who had gone through this, that I should sleep when she does, which is during the day, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.
I hate daytime snoozing, let alone sleep; because my body is set to be most productive when there is natural light. So when I applied this advice on the first day, I felt so guilty of being an unproductive member of society.
When I took her for the 6-weeks jab, things changed for me. That night, she didn’t sleep, and of course, neither could I. She stayed on the breast for most of the night until it got to 6:00 a.m. when the rest of the household was waking up to go to school and work.
Throughout the night I had thought that as soon as I put her down, I would also sleep but alas! I couldn’t. Instead, I went ahead to prepare the family breakfast, the school lunches for the other kids and got them off to school. Then sat down to write a few articles for my blog.
It was in the middle of a writing break that I realized my routine, habits and ‘normalcy’ were being flipped and I had no choice to adjust. My inability or refusal to change would deeply affect me, my newborn and my family.
Many times we ignore or undermine the power principle of “having an understanding of the times“.This principle has it that to live life fully, there is a time, space and away – all for which must be consciously considered.
If you are keen on your life, you will get to notice defining moments, trends and patterns. You will also notice your approach to these moments in life. For instance,
- how long does your excitement of a life occurrence – like a new job, last?
- what does it take you to adjust to changes in your life?
- how do you deal with high-stress moments?
- what do you regularly do get re-energized – intentionally or as a matter of unconscious habit?
For me, one of the patterns I noticed about 4 years ago, was that every time my husband and I were faced with a stressful moment, we would both go quiet and try to deal with it at an individual level. This realization came after we were faced with a very traumatic situation that almost drew us apart. Were it not for wisdom and grace, to realize our communication under stress needed work, we would not have weathered that storm.
Here are 5 gains from understanding and applying this power principle:
Clarity on what you ought to do
When you have a clear understanding of the season or time of life you are in, you are potentially able to tell what you should be doing at that time. For instance, you may know that you are cut out for big business that involves traveling to other countries for formal engagements. However, you have a toddler that needs you present almost every day. With this realization, you will be clear in your mind what your priorities and the decision making will be simpler.
Clarity on where you ought to be
If there is a place or time for everything, understanding the times will help you know whether you are where you ought to be in life’s journey. Some of us are way behind because of wrong decisions, inability to take on opportunities presented to us or even laziness. Are you where you ought to be doing what your destiny has purposed for this time in your life?
One of the most valuable ingredients for success is FOCUS, followed quickly by DETERMINATION. Focus is about the singularity of purpose that encompasses most, if not all facets of life. When for example you decide on a goal to be achieved in a certain duration, everything that does not fall within the scope of that goal is a distraction. Determination is your bounce-back mechanism from every roadblock you face. It is what gives you the energy and presence of mind to go back to the drawing board for a change of tactic.
Entrenched positive attitude
Attitude is an element of the heart and mind. Negativity towards yourself will not take you very far. In fact, it is retrogressive in your journey of life. Understanding where you are in life also helps you build a positive attitude with which to live your life. Life is not smooth all the way. There are bumps and stops, blocks and false starts towards your destiny. There is also a shortage of people who would cheer you on because everyone is busy living their own lives. The only person who can genuinely offer encouragement is you. A positive attitude towards yourself will help you achieve this better than any external party.
Higher purpose above self
Because life was not designed with selfishness in mind, the most fulfilling purpose is that which goes beyond an individual. You don’t have to be Martin Luther King or Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela changing whole communities and leaving a mark on the entire world. It’s good, but, that is not everyone’s destiny. The song Three Wooden Crosses” by Randy Travis captures it well, “it’s not what you take with you that counts, it’s what you leave behind.”
Reading the lyrics to this song always reminds me that even if all I had an impact on was my children, then I will have lived a life of higher purpose.
Who, outside of yourself, is the target of the greatness of your purpose in life?
I am looking forward to reading your engaging comments below.