#31 Have You Got 5 Minutes?

I consistently strive to learn from others.  Also, I read.  A lot.

These two tendencies go together nicely.  We can all learn from what others have experienced, and these experiences are often shared in written form.  Rather than keep some of these learnings to myself, I’m now using a blog of my own to reach others.  Share best practices, and perhaps many can benefit from the learnings of one.

It. Just. Feels. Right.

Today, I read an interesting blog from one of my “regular” reading stops (actually not a stop, since I prefer “push” technology over “pull” and prefer to get my reading material via email subscription, as many of you do with my blog.  Thank you, subscribers, for your loyalty!).  The blog in question:   GetRichSlowly.  (click for hyperlink if you’d like to have a look for yourself)

In the article, the author tells the story of “life after debt”.  Summarized, she tells the story of working for years in multiple jobs to pay off student loans and work her way out of debt.  Mission achieved,  she treasures the experience of clicking “submit” on the final debt payment and realizing she’s debt free.

The great learning:  once she’s debt free, she begins to question whether this major financial achievement has resulted in true happiness.  She realizes that, in focusing so much effort on long work hours to pay off the debt, she’s sacrificed many of the things that truly make us happy.

Great learning.

She’s now focused on re-adjusting her priorities, which is a great lesson to all of us.  Her focus is moving to spending more time with family and friends, taking classes, spending more time outside, etc.  I would encourage her to also visit the spiritual side of life, as I’ve found in my own life that this is where true joy is found.  (See my First Post for my thoughts on contentment).

Regardless, as she’s working through various adjustments with the goal of strengthening relationships and slowing down her pace of life, she came up with something that I’m going to try for myself:

The Five-Minutes-More-Experiment

To quote:  “Gone was my debt, but so were my Sunday morning strolls and nursing a cup of espresso for hours.  One of my mini experiements involved lingering five minutes more whenever I could.  If I didn’t have a place I had to be, whenever I would get up to leave somewhere, I’d sit back down for five more minutes.  The only rule I had was that I couldn’t pick up my cell phone in those five minutes.”

I love this idea.

So…I’m taking two steps, effective immediately:

  1. I’m sharing the idea with you
  2. I’m going to attempt the same “experiment” in my own life.  (Hmm, I just make a public commitment).

I think of how many times I rush from a meeting, rush from lunch, rush from work, rush to do “the next thing”.  I think of certain people, who seem to have a knack at “connecting”, and notice how they often take a few minutes at the end of a meeting to ask me “How are you doing” (and you can sense that they really want to know).  I think of how life could be enhanced if no one happens to be around during one of my “5 minutes”, and I get the opportunity to spend a few contemplative moments in the middle of a harried day.

So….what do you think?

Do you have 5 minutes?

I do.