Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Ping Pong Game of LIFE

Have you ever found that once you make up your mind to make a change in your life, you suddenly receive bad news or something major occurs to keep you from taking action on that change?

This is something that happens on a regular basis to most people. It leaves them wondering why they have never kept their New Year’s Resolution or why they can never get to a point in life where there is no more chaos.

What we first have to understand is that most of us react to life as if it were a Ping Pong Game – the ball is coming at us, and most of us are usually playing multiple Ping Pong Games at one time.

Take a minute and visualize yourself standing at the table, holding the paddle and quickly hitting the ball (which is the experiences/obstacles/bad news/good news). This is where chaos starts. Why? Because the ball is coming at us fast and we react quickly, instead of taking time to evaluate the ball coming at us … to decide how it would benefit us and be in line with what we want to change.

Here is an example:

A wife wants to have a close, loving relationship with her husband and spends time working on herself to create this desire. Then she receives a big project at work, which could make her workday longer than before and ultimately keep her from spending time with her husband. The project would bring additional money into the bank account, which would be great to pay off bills, and she knows her husband would agree.

This is where the Ping Pong Game starts. She quickly takes on the project, full speed ahead. It brings in the extra money, but in the end, she is feeling disconnected from her husband and has probably had a few arguments regarding meaningless things. Chaos is all around her.

How do we have the loving close relationship, take on the big project and eliminate chaos?
· Communicate about how you see the days being longer and the possibility of not a lot of time together.
· Think about how you feel about not being together as much.
· Think about whether or not you want time away from your spouse, or if you could set up other ways to connect with each other during that time.
· Communicate with your spouse to make a list of things that will make you both feel connected.
· Remember to ask your spouse how they are feeling about the change and be open to finding a solution if it is not working.

One thing that will often happen during this time is we get another ball bounced at us from another game – it’s the teacher asking for volunteers at the kid’s school, or someone nominates us to be on the board for our favorite charity – and we hit that ball, too.

Why? Because our Ego tells us we should. We feel so flattered by them asking us for help, and our Ego feeds off the food that others need us to save them. Then, in the end, we find ourselves back in a disconnected relationship with our husband, chaos and overwhelm are the normal routines of the day, and we wonder if we will ever have a close relationship with our spouse.

When the Ping Pong Ball comes at you – a job offer, a board seat, dinner out with a friend – take the time to look at your desire to change your life and ask yourself, “Does this go in line with my desire, and is there something else that can be done that will allow both to occur?”

Humans have a tendency to think we have to act quickly, a lot like a microwave, in order to not miss out in life. Take time to journal about your desires and the Ping Pong Balls you receive. The act of journaling will help you slow down and make a clear choice.

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