GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


May 6, 2008

Time Out

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:57 am

Anyone who has ever played basketball or football or watched it being played is familiar with the time out signal – a horizontal palm of the hand on the fingertips of a vertical palm, forming a “T.” A time out is usually called to get the team time to regroup or to get a breather.

Children these days are give “timeouts” to interrupt a pattern of behavior that is not conducive to their surroundings or situation.

It occurred to me that we need to post the referee to have his whistle ready when we signal him to give our ego a time out. The ego will never request a timeout. The ego is like an exhausted child protesting that they are not tired. They will go kicking and screaming towards the thing they need the most. Reminds me of a story . . .

Yesterday, I was talking with a golf instructor about his internal dialogue beating him up. I told him that he displayed sufficient intelligence to grasp the unflattering message his ego was delivering on the first or second announcement inside his head. He agreed. Then I asked how many times the ego’s message repeated itself. He said too many to count. Note: Anytime you are entertaining unflattering or worrisome thoughts in your head, it’s the ego speaking. I told him since he was smart enough to comprehend the message on the first or second go round, then the constant repetition was unnecessary taking him into a downward spiral where he was about to lose the game. (Translation: He was about to lose the moment).

The ego always has you miss the moment. It’s busy chatting up the long gone past and the imagined future while you are losing the game. Your ego needs a time out.

When you are inside your head lamenting (past) or worrying (future), you are taking precious minutes off the clock and missing the action that is taking place right now. Right now is the only time that you can effectuate any change. If you are having counter-productive repetitive thoughts, they will always lead to less than desirable behavior. The quality of the thoughts dictates the quality of the behavior. If your repetitive thoughts are taking you away from life, your ego needs a time out.

When a team is coming unglued during a game, an aware coach will recognize they need a time out. This recognition is the necessary ingredient in order to give our relentless ego time to sit on the bench. Simply recognize that you are entertaining a repetitive message in your head. Don’t judge it or beat yourself up for having the thought, just observe it. Just this recognition is enough to give you a time out, making room for new thoughts and behaviors to move into your mind and body.

Recognition is your best friend who is always there for you. It will get you out of jam after jam. Spend as much time with recognition as you can and reap the rewards of the timeouts it calls.

All the best,

John

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