A Fresh Idea for 2023: Your Time is Not a Democracy

As a new year unfolds, here’s an idea that I think it’s worth reflecting on: your time is not a democracy.

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast episode on The Chase Jarvis Live Show entitled “Your Life is Not a Democracy“. I thought about the same idea, but applied to time and how it’s our responsibility to make the most of it to live a fulfilling life.

Time can be tricky. Time can be a blur. There isn’t enough time for everything at once.

Some days, you wish you had more hours to work on as many projects as possible; however, other days, everything just seems to be moving slowly, and momentum fades away. Regardless of what any given day brings, it’s you the one deciding where your focus is.

Then again, your time is not a democracy.

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Things that made my year – 2022 edition

We’re getting closer and closer to the end of 2022. Where did the time go? Funny how time flies when you’re having fun.

Here’s a list of things that made my year:

  1. Celebrating my son’s first birthday.
  2. Having my mom around for two months and celebrating my son’s birthday with her.
  3. Publishing my debut novella Kaleidoscope Eyes.
  4. This interview about my novella.
  5. Realizing that, as independent author, learning takes place every day, and it’s scary and fun at the same time.
  6. That it’s important to focus on the step in front of me, not the entire staircase.
  7. Learning about Amazon Ads for authors.
  8. Writing #LetrasDesnudas.
  9. Joining Té de Querer for some great writing workshops and making new friends.
  10. Publishing three articles on Excélsior (Mexican newspaper, all available in Spanish): Carta para la niña que se convertirá en mujer, Promesas de hoy para un mañana seguro, and Urge modelo de salud con perspectiva de género.
  11. Discovering the Curious Fox podcast.
  12. Rediscovering The Chase Jarvis Live Show.
  13. A great podcast in Spanish, Hablemos Escritoras.
  14. Joining Good Reads as an author.
  15. Learning that Depeche Mode is releasing an album next year.
  16. Finding joy in writing my newsletter.
  17. Listening to some great artists: Neo Soul, Toni Braxton, Sade, Tom Jobim, The Human League, Spice Girls, and Alicia Keys.
  18. Castella tarts.
  19. Tuna and salmon poke bowls.
  20. Janet Jackson’s album “Control”.
  21. Learning the meaning of surrender.
  22. Tara Brach’s talks and meditations.
  23. Waiting Game by Junior Boys.
  24. Toda Tercafeira by Soul Quality Quartet.
  25. Deciding that my new NFL team is the Seattle Seahawks.

 

Grateful for all the lessons learned. Grateful for the wonderful people who walked with me every step of the way. Grateful for all discoveries. Looking forward to 2023!

Creating Habits: Ask Yourself Questions to Move Forward

If you’re looking for ways to create new habits, especially as we’re getting closer to the end of the year, it’s worth reframing the way we look at this specific action.

You will find a ton of information on the Internet on how to do it. The advice will be useful, without a doubt. You can get information from a variety of sources and make your own plan to proceed and improve your life.

My suggestion: ask yourself questions that require a mindful answer.

This idea comes from James Clear when he was interviewed for The Chase Jarvis Live Show. When Chase asked him about creating habits, James proposed going inwards to develop what you need.

This makes a lot of sense. You are the expert of your life; therefore, you are the only one who can tailor your habits to advance your career, improve your craft or your life quality.

I came up with a list of questions to help you get started.

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Declutter your mind: creativity lies deep within you

Declutter your mind, and creativity will flourish.

Now, this may sound a bit confusing. When hearing the word “declutter”, you might immediately think of cleaning your house or work space. However, tidying and organizing also takes place in your head. This a more complex task to work on.

Yes, aesthetics is an important aspect to feel that you are in a healthy and pleasing environment. Therefore, if your space is uninspiring or doesn’t reflect “you”, then a redesign might be necessary.

To declutter your mind, though, actions have to go deeper. It takes time, energy, and willingness to dismantle barriers that inhibit creative expression.

Let’s go through a couple of key points.

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Why being yourself is the best thing you can do

Being yourself is the best thing you can do for the world. Seriously.

We live in challenging times to make radical decisions. It feels like it’s difficult realizing our visions when noticing the current state of the planet. On top of that, we tend to worry about what others would think of us if we were to turn our lives around.

The antidote to that, in my opinion, is in one of the most beautiful videos I’ve come across on YouTube. It contains wisdom from Marcus Aurelius applied to any personal or professional situation.

Here’s why being yourself is always a great idea:

True usefulness comes from being what you are. Think about a tree: its fruits and oxygen are a byproduct of it being itself. The same holds true for us. We do useful things by being ourselves.

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Paying attention: where your focus really is

Paying attention is a crucial component to our lives. It’s the most basic form of love.

Nothing in your education has taught you that what you notice is important.

verlyn klinkenborg

It’s a fun exercise to ask ourselves why we like the things that we like. We all have favourite songs, favourite foods, favourite brands and so on, but we seldom think about the story behind each preference.

When we take the time to understand ourselves better, we gain a new level of awareness. We’ll find clearer ways to focus on the activities or life projects that we truly care about.

At the same time, awareness goes beyond observing what we like. It’s also about paying attention to what we pay attention to. We are exposed to so much information from different platforms that it’s difficult to distinguish between the content that makes us escape to a comfortable reality and the content that nurtures our minds.

So the question is, where is our attention?

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Slow down to keep moving forward

The other day, this random thought crossed my mind: slow down to keep moving forward.

I’ve been hearing for years about the importance of slowing down. I can see that this hard to achieve. Why would I slow down when there’s so many things to do on the day? Is that feasible in a world that demands my attention and energy every minute? It almost feels like it’s not productive to slow down.

While it’s difficult to get rid of those thoughts, I find that it makes sense to go slower in order to open the door to new ideas and mindsets. If I’m in a rush all the time, how would I be able to notice all the little things that make my life great? Wouldn’t it be better to appreciate them in slow motion?

So yes, slowing down to keep moving forward is a good idea.

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Playtime: When your job as an adult involves having fun

I once read that playtime is essential to any creative activity. A person simply can’t be creative if there isn’t scheduled time to play, no matter what their job is or how time consuming their tasks can be on any given day.

This reminds me of some initiatives that companies have taken: assigning special spaces in the workplace to play ping-pong, video games and other games. Their objective is to encourage their collaborators to take a break and have fun.

“How can I make time to play if I’m already an adult, and I have a lot of responsibilities?” Life can certainly feel overwhelming at times, but pushing aside playtime can aggravate health.

Play and creativity are mechanisms of action.

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