In anyway I am claiming that today I discover time, instead, I have been aware of its existence and importance since long. Instead, I do claim that to be aware might have different levels of intensity. Meaning there are different levels to be aware of something.
Today, the intensity level of my awareness about time increased +1. This increased, thanks god, came by reflecting upon my dreams. Meaning, everything is fine with me and my surroundings (thanks life!). I mention this because often we realize about time when someone dies, or when we have a loss. We realize how important is to live and time is a very scarce resource we have.
This +1 level of awareness about time came, as I said, when reflecting upon my dreams. I am very fortunate, as some of my dreams have been reached. Others are on the made, and some, unfortunately will be for another life.
One BIG dream was to get my PhD. The dream was conquered thanks to many people surround me. At the same time, after getting that dream I was extremely exhausted. I was burn out, and confused of what to do next. It was, honestly, a demanding task for me, to aim to achieve this dream/goal; and afterwards, I was lost. I needed to re-connect to myself. Listen again to my inner voice. Re-connect hast taken me a human eternity of 5 years and 6 months (approximately).
Today I can’t say I am fully recovered. However, I can state: I feel more reconnected than 5 years and 6 months ago. Energy is coming back, as well as dreams. It was dreadful no idea what to do next, I mean of course is the academic career and follow the “traditional” paths, but how to do it if you are not connected with your heart in all these.
Now, for me, life is about learning. I am blessed because within this time I have had INCREDIBLE experiences, that without them I wouldn’t have re-connected. As I am thankful, also I am aware that time is passing by so quickly and I had already “lost ” 5 years and 6 months. Many dreams are popping, and now, I need to prioritize as I have less years of life left…..
Thus, my awareness about time has increased by +1, unquestionably!
In the last days my mood has not been particularly high. My inner knows that something is not correct. Then I wrote this post and I came to my blog, to publish it, and I realized that most of the time I come here when I need to reflect or to rant. :O At the beginning of this 2016, my reflection were in reference to focus and thinking…. but a deeper problem is present.
What is the problem? Honestly, I am blessed. I am healthy and complete, I have my love ones, I can pay the rent and have food over my table, I live in a peaceful country, I have a rich life and sleep well at nights. I am trying to help others, pushing my start up and my research, looking to collaborate, … So, what is it wrong?
[For the records, I acknowledge that after my PhD graduation I was completely out. I was mentally, emotionally and even physically exhausted. It is taken me an “eternity” to reconnect myself with myself, 3.5 years and counting. Yes, it is impressive! The current diagnosis about my self-connection is: I am advancing, still I am not 100% connected but on the path. Then, what is wrong?]
One thing that has been bothering me lately is “cash flow”. Building a company from scratch, as a research spin-off it is NOT easy. I often say, ubium is my second PhD, because in so many ways my PhD journey is repeating in here. For example, once I wrote that it was until my PhD that I started to think, and now it has been until ubium that I am learning to “make money”. Wondering why I did not learn those things much earlier? Ok, there are answers to that, but it is not the focus of this post.
If cash flow is what it is bothering at the moment then I should acknowledge that I am aware that money is only symptom. I know there is something beyond which it is the root of the problem. Need to understand what is wrong?
During this week while my inner is working towards understanding myself, two events have influenced my reflection:
However, back again to the fundamental question: what do I want? the answer to this question belongs to me connecting to myself. I see life as juggling with different aspects of the self, and one has to take care of all of them. As time passes by, I realize answering this question is a constant process. Because we are often in our lives busy surviving, we do not reflect upon this fundamental question often enough, due to we are always running out of time. We are always busy. Hence, I should start by reflecting upon the Jyrki’s advice #1, why I am so busy to do not have time to think what do I want?
Personally, I do not get terrified if I have “empty time”. However, I notice that I am conditioned to be busy. If I am “busy” I think I am producing something hence I am not “wasting” my time. That is one important aspect for me. But at the moment, when I am stopping to think what do I want, I realized I am in a terrifying loop:
I am busy because I need to produce. Everything is needed for yesterday! I feel fine when I am producing. The feeling of achieving is one of the best ones!
Due that I am busy I cannot take essential decisions, because I do not have clarity of what do I want. Decisions which are within my current “busy” activities and which are clear for me, are decisions easy to take. However the decisions which belong to deep purposes are not easy. It makes me angry and frustrated when I must take decisions that I do not know, or I am not clear about them.
To clarify my thoughts I need time to think and reflect. I am aware my thinking process requires time and effort. However, the world surrounding me, tells me there is not time for that , everything should be done yesterday.
The only decision I take is to let my self-defense mechanism to take over. Due to indirect and direct pressure to make things for yesterday, I do not allocate the resources to think because I am busy producing things (back to number 1)
Ooooh My! In this week, I almost did not cross items from my TO DO list. Instead, the list got more items. What does this mean? Because according to toggle this week I worked over 47hrs, then what did I do? Probably, my more honest answer is: thinking takes time.
Thinking is critical to whatever we do. I have several students who are impatient, and when I push them to think I can see how painful is for them. Well, in this era we are mainly consumers and my impression is that we are always in the rush. How was in early XX century or XIX century, no idea, but my assumption is that it might have been more relax because at least the influx of information was not as massive at it is nowadays.
Today, at least in the worlds I live in (academia and entrepreneurship) the sentence one listens often is: it is for yesterday. E.g. we need to submit the application tomorrow, the publication must be submitted today, you need to send over the specification for the development now, publish in social media, respond emails, remember we need to be the first ones doing this, ….
* Sight * I might be old fashion, but things need time. Additionally, I get blocked when I feel overwhelm.
To my students I often tell them: knowledge is for our brain as food is for our stomach, it requires digestion time to get into our system. Once you read something it does not mean you will understand it all, you will need to work through it, let it settle in your head, questioning it, recall, etc. and one day you will understand it and you will be able to use that information and build upon it. Growing takes time, and it is a painful process (in my humble opinion). It takes time for a seed to germinate, for a baby to learn to walk or to grow her teeth. The time when apparently nothing happens, is a time where we must nurture ourselves the most so we are ready for the blossom time.
In my case, some decision can be painfully “slow” to take. I do not have all the answers, then I need to think. However, I must be aware to do not freeze myself and do not move. One MUST do something at some moment.
Then, I heard about planning fallacy, first proposed by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky and it let me thinking. Planning fallacy is a problem of our human race. Examples are plenty as we can read in this article. In Spanish we said: mal de muchos consuelo de todos ( English equivalent might be: Two in distress makes sorrow less).
However I want to do something about this. That is balance a natural optimistic nature with a my memory of how much it takes to do stuff. I insist thinking takes time!!! [as it does writing 🙂 ]
(Note: I start to write the post on 2.2. but it was finalized and published until 16.2.)
Honestly, my personal process is not as structured yet to have clear monthly goals. No idea if it will reach that level of structure one day. Nevertheless, I do have a “wishing list” or “dreams”, and within my control chaos eventually everything will be processed as monthly goals. Lets be honest, to organize my natural chaos requires a conscientious effort, and simultaneously I want to keep being myself. I do not want to get that disconnected as when I finalize my PhD. So, one step at the time.
So, what happen in January:
– I start new habits, e.g. cleaning up. Look my work computer, first time EVER is that clean!!! (note for the files: only exception of this level of cleanness is when a computer is new)
– At the moment what it needs a HUGE lift is my efficiency. I am using toggl to track my time. (note for the files: toggl is a recommended tool to use) It is important to know: how do I invest my time? Because one thing is to have a “feeling” or “believe” about how one uses one’s time, and other completely different how the time is used.
So in January I recorded that I worked: 146 hrs. That is OK!
But the efficiency of those hours are in doubt. This is a clear goal of improvement in February.
At the moment it feels back as being at PhD student.
To grow up is PAINFUL!
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