I have a dream. Not the one of Martin Luther King Jr. No. I want to stop bullets in mid-air. To stop launched missiles before they hit their targets. To pause lightning in the sky.
I want to pause the drops of rain mid-air and create oceans above land. I want to stop a mango falling from a tree mid-air. Not that am a Physicist. But how can somebody be known by the whole world just because he saw an apple fall? Come on! I see mangoes fall every day.
When you look at how fast things move and happen in our lives, you will not fail to realize that we are living in a series of fire escapades. There are so many things to attend to that we become lost in the race to attend to all of them. Things are happening so fast that we cannot keep up with the pace. We are always on the move. Chasing one desire after another. In a race against time, we are at war with everything in our lives.
HOW WE ARE CONCEDING OWN GOALS
A reactive life keeps us too occupied to see the true nature of our chases. We end up running after mirages- things that do not exist.
It’s where the mismatch between what we want in life and the goals we set occurs. It’s when the alarm bell goes once we realize that what we expect from our goals is very different from what our goals will give us. We are chasing things that we do not need in our lives. Things that will make us miserable. We are chasing not what we want but what other people want.
We are like that moth that circumnavigates the light bulb. Its desire to get into the bulb blinds it to the fact that it cannot break into the glass. The poor thing shortly dies of exhaustion. We never realize that the heat of the bulb will kill us and that we cannot get into the light bulb.
In school, the bright students ask questions to clarify points they find vague. The best consumers ask questions to understand how products ought to be used. When reading a book, you will re-read that paragraph to understand it in detail. But this NEVER happens in our lives. We do not create the time to re-read that one part we did not understand.
THE THREE BUTTONS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE
The Rewind Button
It creates time to study the things you did right and the mistakes you made. You get to know what works and what doesn’t.
When you hit rewind in your life, you flee from the emotions and drama that surmount immediately something happens. After that fight with your partner, you get to see what caused it. As the dust settles, the vision becomes clear.
It’s the only moment to make repairs before the entire building comes rumbling down.
This is how we learn from our mistakes. If you never create time to re-evaluate your goals and fixate your focus, you will only hear that people can learn from their mistakes. It will sound like a foreign language to you.
The Pause Button
Pausing initiates, a moment to evaluate how we are faring. It’s the “half-time” break we give ourselves. It calls for action. You can change your game plan. You get the opportunity to face whatever is eating you. It’s that moment of the journey when you get to evaluate how long you have to go, what time is left, and how much gas you have left in the tank.
When you look at fashion models, they dress up and get judged against the mirror. Then they change a few things to look better until you cannot get your eyes off them.
The pause button allows you to stand in front of the mirror and question how you have dressed up for life. The question goes from ‘does this shoe match with this belt’ to ‘do these goals match with my values in life.’
The Forward Button
It’s where you bring in some calculations. You want to know what distance is left to cover and at what speed you ought to move with to get to your destination on time.
Fast forward where you want to be. Create projections of your future self and see what you need to do today to actualize that.
Get the fast-forward button in the game!
THE HIDDEN POWER OF THE THREE BUTTONS
When washing a piece of cloth, you want to check if it’s completely clean before you rinse it. It helps you to know what areas to clean.
These buttons allow you to redefine your goals, values, and purpose in life. You get time to review your budget of the most essential resources; time, energy, attention, and money.
When you launch a missile of effective action towards your goals, you want to make sure your missile hits the target. Pausing and reflecting allows you to pause the missile mid-travel and refocus.
You have time to stop a bomb before it explodes.
THEY ACTIVATE THE POWER OF REFLECTIONS
Collectively, the three buttons create the time to reflect and think about our lives.
When you re-read a book you end up learning new things. When you sit with an idea for long, you get to see it from multiple perspectives. When you revisit your life, you get to learn new things about yourself.
ZOOM IN, ZOOM OUT
The best photographers capitalize on the power of the zoom button to capture the best moments.
The three buttons equip you with all the tools you need to become the best photographer of your life. It gives you the ability to zoom in and out. Zooming in allows you to concentrate on the finer details while zooming out allows you to see how what you are working on relates to everything else.
They create the time to stop and check on the map if you are moving on the right path. Without them, we only realize that we are moving in the wrong direction once we get to the wrong destination. And that is how chaos are born.
HOW TO ACTUALIZE THE THREE BUTTONS INTO YOUR LIFE
Set Time in Your Schedule to Pause, Rewind, and Forward Your Life.
Take time during the day, week, month, and year to pause, rewind and forward your life. I set time every evening to analyze the day. Every weekend to analyze the week and the last day of the month to analyze the whole month.
As Malcolm Forbes famously said, “Putting pen to paper lights more fires than matches ever will.”
Journaling is the most effective way to actualize the power of the three buttons. Journal every day! To quote Nicky wire, “A blank page of paper and a pen is the greatest invention. It’s so exciting to be confronted by possibility.”
Write about everything you go through in life. When you start putting pen to paper, you see a side of your truth that doesn’t reveal itself in conversation or thought. Normalize pouring your thoughts on paper. The pen is the tongue of the mind. Don’t judge what you write. Use it to realize patterns in your thinking.
Putting pen to paper encourages us to pause for thought. This makes us think more deeply even if our writing is thrown away.
Ask Quality Questions
In the words of Richard Branson, “The quality of your life is determined by the quality of questions you ask yourself.”
Once you tap into the potential of quality questions, you take time to generate quality answers and your life takes a different trajectory.
Everyone saw an apple fall but only Isaac Newton asked why.
Some quality questions you can ask yourself
What is the one thing I will do differently tomorrow?
How will my life be different in one year?
What is your idea of an ideal life?
Is this making me a better person?
Does the amount of attention I’m giving this task match its importance?
What are the big/small things I’m proud of in my life today?
What can I learn from this experience?
STOPPING BULLETS MID-AIR
Before you accuse me of having weird dreams, actualize these three buttons into your life. It’s the only way to stop a missile before it hits its target. Once you allocate time to pause, rewind and forward your life, you acquire momentum to launch missiles of effective action on your goals.
Even if you do not utilize these buttons when watching movies, utilize them in your life!