Life Balance and Relationships

Finding Time for the People Who Matter the Most

Are you frustrated with the lack of time that you’re spending with those who matter most to you? You might be aware of how deathbed research reveals that at the end of people’s lives, they are more concerned with what kind of legacy they’ll leave behind with those they love than they are with anything else they’ve done. But how can you begin to balance your life in such a way that you can find more time for those you love?

If you are curious about this, you might be relieved to find out what’s actually keeping you from making time for relationships….

Imagine: How often have you seen people spending time together who were completely oblivious to one another? You might have even found yourself in this kind of situation with someone. You might have even been the person who was disengaged from the interaction. Whatever the reason might be for this disconnection, one thing is certain:

Finding more time for people is not always the answer to building fulfilling relationships.

Sure, finding more time would be great. However, if you’re unable to make the most of what you already have, nothing is going to change by simply adding more time to the equation. What will make a difference is recovering the time that you’re missing right now…

You may have heard the story “Acres of Diamonds” by Russell Conwell. A man sells his land and travels the world in search of diamonds. At the end of his life, after having spent all of it searching and finding nothing, he discovers that the person who had bought his land had found diamonds there….acres of them.

You see, you can spend your whole life worrying about having more time or more money or more energy. However, true fulfillment begins with recovering the time that you might be “losing” within every moment you are alive.

Think about it: now is the only time that you can truly live in.

So how can you begin to recover the time that you already have by learning to be more present when you are with someone? Here are a few practical tips for getting started:

1. Turn off your self-talk

We all talk to ourselves, and as long as we are building ourselves up in doing so there is nothing wrong with it. However, when you’re with another person you’re either valuing them or yourself. What makes the difference is who you are truly paying attention to.

A great way to turn off your self-talk when you’re with someone is to pretend that everything you’re thinking could be heard by the other person.

2. Value the one you’re with

Pretend that the person you‘re interacting with is the most important person on the planet…no matter who they are. This means the cashier who checks out your order, the person who asks you for directions on the street or whoever you might be interacting with at the time. This will get you into the habit of being present and will make it easier for you to do so when it really counts.

3. Get your life together

Mahatma Gandhi once said that it is not possible to separate your life into separate compartments, and that life is one integrated whole. Every area of your life affects every other area, whether it be your health, your finances, your spiritual life, your career or your relationships. If you’re unable to be fully present when you are with someone, the real problem might be with another part of your life.

Commit yourself to a set of principles which will help you to manage the rest of your life and you’ll find that there is more of you to give when you’re present with someone else.

Do this and you may not find any more time than you have already, but you’ll get a lot more out of the time that you do have. Then you’ll realize that the time you have been in search of was never really lost, and you’ll discover the great truth once spoken by TS Eliot:

“At the end of all our searching, we’ll find ourselves right back where we started and know the place for the first time.”

Good luck!

John and Linda Ballis

For more helpful tips on balancing your life revisit this blog regularly, or go to our website and purchase our book “The Wheel of Life’s 8 Keys to Success”