“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you can help them to become what they are capable of becoming.” ~ J. W. von Goethe
The firefighter at your door sternly states you have five minutes to gather whatever you choose and evacuate your residence. A physician summons you with news that you probably have no more than five minutes with a dying loved one. You’re entering emergency surgery and asked to consider an organ donor consent. You’re on a flight when the captain instructs passengers to brace for impact.
In times of uncertainty, danger, or impending loss we are forced to transcend the thinking that usually dominates our everyday awareness. Without notice, you have to make lightening-quick decisions to which you haven’t given much prior thought. Shifting from the trivial to the critical usually exceeds your brain’s speed limit. And you’re likely unfocused and unsure about what to do. In those precious moments are these important…
- your degree(s)
- your age
- technological conveniences
- what you control
- social media
- what’s on the news
- your investments
- what you look like
- global politics
- how you’re acting
- material possessions?
I suspect not. You’re dealing with a racing mind, feeling physically exhausted and depleted, and scrambling to make sense of the seemingly unfathomable. What can you say, think, do? Is this a space in which you anticipated being?
When standing at such an edge, uncertain about the future, one can hope to draw strength from knowing what really matters — for those five minutes… what to grab, what to say, how to react and how to decide, with compassion.
There’s a purpose here. It’s to encourage thought about what you value and to invite aligning your life with same. Because possessing clarity about what matters, matters!
In anticipation of having only five minutes, would confirmation of any of these help?
- Be yourself. When living as a passionate, inspired being, the only challenge greater than learning to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes is to walk a lifetime comfortably in your own. Let your heart lead and take your brain along. When you’re clear and comfortable about what matters to you, making tough decisions can come more easily.
- Be a front-runner. Associate with others who share your values and aspirations. Don’t find yourself in a position where social gravity draws you into an unenlightened world and obscures who you are, what you know to be important and how you embrace, confidently, being at choice.
- Don’t stop remembering why. Many of us have tendencies to lose touch with what we loved as a child. The social pressures of adolescence and later professional pressures squeeze the passion out of people. Remember what you enjoy doing, with whom and why. You only need to be good at being and valuing you, and being there for others.