Being On Time is a Life Discipline with Profound Implications.
On the surface, this Strategy of the Spirit is simple. It consists of this: Make it a practice to arrive five minutes early for every scheduled activity. (No matter when you think others will really arrive or the meeting will start.) Use that time to center yourself, meditate, read a novel, listen to something interesting, or simply sit quietly and notice your surroundings. Be present. Gather your wits. Take a breather. This is a challenging homework assignment I have sometimes assigned my clients.
"The consequences of being chronically late run deeper than many people realize." Linda Sapadin, PhD,
This May Require You to Get Real
A chronic sense of being rushed, overwhelmed, and overscheduled has become normal in our culture. But this stress is very unhealthy. It seriously undermines our sense of wellbeing. Choices must be made and priorities established to get real. Getting real about the limits of time is one of the embodiment practices under Strategy of the Spirit #13.
At its most benign, chronic lateness is due to being overscheduled. Life is full, but respecting the realities and limitations of time is a sign of maturity. It is delusional to feel you can fit 30 hours of activity and responsibilities into a 24-hour day. (If you have not yet taken the Blivet Challenge Quiz you can find it here.) Developing a no-rush life will require you to say "no" at times to yourself and others. You will need to set boundaries based on the reality of a 24 hour day and the limits of your human energy system.
Yet there are people who are always late.
Are you one of them? If so, you may want to read these articles:
Six more problematic life patterns involved in chronic lateness can be:
1. tendencies toward narcissism (the world revolves around me, my time is more important than theirs, I'm an exception to the rule...)
2. passive - aggressive acting out, resistance, rebelliousness
4. an addiction to the mini-crisis being late creates
5. fears / anxiety about where you are going
6. anxiety and inability to experience downtime and be alone with yourself
"There can be a tremendous fear of downtime, and anxiety associated with doing nothing and waiting." Julie Morgenstern
No Matter the Cause, the Solution is Obvious. So are the Benefits...
No rush, no fuss. Being on time is good for you. Choosing to do what it takes to arrive five minutes early is a psycho-spiritual practice that will benefit your:
- sense of peace and calm
- ability to be comfortable in your own skin, in stillness