Today another member of the community who’s been with us for over 5 years, Sukh Singh shares his story of the profound changes he’s made in his family this year with the right support.
Central to a lot of those changes has been him figuring out what’s really important and where he puts his attention on a day-to-day basis, rather than ‘just being busy’ which I’m sure many of us can relate to…
In reading his experience, please think about these key questions for yourself:
- What is most important to you?
- Are you avoiding dealing with something by being busy?
- What is motivating you in your everyday activities?
Read more at the end of Sukh’s piece for his three main lessons on making time for the important things…
How Do We Make Time for the Important Things? – Sukh Singh
I feel it all the time; there’s always – always – something that I haven’t done. Something that I haven’t followed through on. Something that needs tending to and that if I don’t, something bad will probably happen.
A while ago my family and I hit a crisis point. We got on fine, had dinners together, things seemed ok on the surface, but after one or two incidents and with the help of my mentor I soon saw that there were chronic underlying gaps that we hadn’t faced up to – in essence, a result of all of us being very busy, but not busy with the important things like understanding each other, helping each other succeed and dealing with the things that were left unsaid. I was working all day and through the evening to make progress but I felt a little lost and overwhelmed. And it was only going to increase…
My mentor Warren showed me what needed to happen; I needed to rebuild my relationship with my mum and not only help her to face reality but face it myself and get ready to see some home truths that I’d avoided for a while. We needed a plan for our relationships, a plan for our individual careers – I needed to meet with her every evening and tend to those chronic issues…
But I was busy. I was working all day in Croydon and I lived in Ealing! How could I possibly take the time out every day to spend time with her? I had all this “stuff”… calls, emails, meetings, more meetings, planning…I really didn’t want to nor did I believe I could do it, let alone face the bitter pill of confronting issues with my own mother (and myself) on a daily basis! Ask Warren and he’ll vouch for that.
Warren has often hit me with a question when I’ve found things tough like that. When I’ve been hesitant, he’s asked, what’s the cost of not addressing this issue? What are the consequences of not facing up to it? He has taken on some really tough family challenges himself so I trusted him to guide me.
I spent even more time working on myself as well as with Warren planning around our individual family career opportunities, our relationships and what needed to change. I would work with my mum and my brother on our plan, on how we could come together to support each other, figuring out the guidelines we needed to follow. We started to build an action plan as a family, and every day I would innovate this with Warren for weeks.
I met with mum every night without fail at a pub nearby, and we would talk about the hard things. Let’s say I wasn’t her favourite person for a while – and sometimes she wasn’t mine 🙂 In fact I soon started to see some major gaps and character flaws in myself, just how little I had invested in the relationship, and what needed to change.
Several months on, my mum and I are now able to be far more straight and open with each other (sometimes she hits me for six!). She is progressing far more in her career and we support each other more. We as a family are more unified though there are still many ‘head bumps’ as we work together. There’s a very long way to go but we have far more belief that the journey is possible. It’s testament to what happens when you look at and address the biggest gaps in your life. Avoidance is far more costly in every sense!
It’s little things that make big changes. Mum and I don’t spend every evening together now, it may be 10 minutes helping her out instead of being ‘busy’ writing an email, or making sure we get one ‘date-night’ during the week. It’s other things too that impact my day, like setting my goals the night before for the day ahead that makes me feel more in control. Or scheduling in a meeting with ‘myself’ on a Sunday to have that personal time. It’s spending 5 minutes on my own Wants and Needs Gap Assessment on the tube that helps me see what I’m missing and get perspective on the day ahead, rather than trying to find those magical 2 hours that never seem to appear. Living in fear of what I haven’t or can’t do would cripple me. The change starts with doing things for the right reasons and being willing to slow down enough to figure out what I really need to do. Not just for me but for the other people in my life. It’s an ongoing process every day but it’s well worth it!
Defining My Breakthrough Lessons
By Sukh Singh, Associate Partner, Mentor & Coach, Lighthouse International
1. Spending Time on What’s Most Important Isn’t Easy
Before, I wasn’t willing to look at the elephant in the room. It felt easier to brush things under the carpet and stay busy. But with cracks showing and the relationships being tested, we as a family needed to look directly at the challenges and at where the holes were to change them around. It was hard and painful, but I recognised that it was an essential step to turn it around for me and for them. Taking the time to address my gaps was the best thing I could do.
2. There Is No Quick-Fix!
Understanding our own gaps, what we really want and need, or even seeking guidance is not something that can happen as quickly as firing off an email or putting a business plan together. The important issues take time and constant nurturing, just like getting stronger at the gym. Where in your life do you want to feel strong and where do you feel weaker? Stepping back, slowing down, examining that and getting perspective will help you see what you really need to invest your time, money and effort in.
If you would like to learn how Mentorship Coaching can help you make time for the most important people and things in your life, register to speak to a mentor on this page or get in touch with your Lighthouse Introducer.
Kyte image courtesy of Hatwig HKD @ Flikr
Breakthrough image courtesy of Branewbs @ Flikr