I have had the privilege to witness the Hands Free transformation of one of my readers, an investment banker working in New York City.
Every time I see message in my inbox from my long distance partner in this Hands Free journey, I look forward to reading the latest developments in his personal quest to grasp what really matters.
It began with a message three months ago. He described the cutthroat environment in which he worked. He described the permeating greed that both motivated and destroyed. He described the cost of working long hours to those he held dear. He spoke of the absence of pure and simple respect and human kindness in the world around him.
And when he wrote to me he said, “I am not sure why I am writing you all of this.”
But I knew why.
Although he was technically writing to me, the message he wrote was to himself.
I know this because last July, during my Breakthrough Breakdown moment, I stood where he stood…
It is the moment you realize what you once thought was important is not.
It is the moment you understand what mattered before does not matter now.
It is the moment you begin to see the truth so clearly that it can no longer be denied.
It is the moment you begin to see that living the way you’re living now is not the way you want to live anymore.
And then either you decide it takes too much effort to change what you have been doing for so long. Or you decide enough is enough, and you begin to make changes.
Which is exactly what my friend did.
Since that first email message he sent to me, I am thrilled to report…
-He went on a three-day vacation without his two Blackberries and phone for the first time in three years.
-He came to the defense of his colleague after he was blatantly disrespected and mistreated by their boss.
-He offered his employees time off so they could attend special family occasions, like birthdays and graduations. (After years of being expected to simply miss them due to work.)
- He took his son to the library to see what the infamous literary character “Froggy” was all about.
And the latest from the man who worked seven days a week for most of his adult life? Well, I will let you read it for yourself:
“I no longer work on Sundays. I only work on Sunday night after everyone is asleep. I started a “Breakfast with Owen” on Sunday. Today we went to Whole Foods and the hot bar. Next Sunday, we are going to the local diner. And then the local IHOP after that.”
The pictures he included of himself with his adorable little son on a few of their adventures brought tears to my eyes…happy tears, of course.
I was amazed at how far my friend had come on his Hands Free journey in such a short time. Yet the words he used to describe his latest Hands Free actions were “little steps.”
From where I stand, I don’t see little steps. I see his accomplishments as huge, monumental, life-altering steps. I wonder if his wife and sweet baby boy might feel the same.
However, I find myself clinging to the term “baby steps.” I love the fact that “baby steps” or “little steps” implies my friend is working toward a goal. He might not know what that goal is, but he wants to keep growing toward something more.
What is equally as important is the fact that it most often requires “little steps” to reach a goal. After all, when you have been living much of your adult life holding on tightly to “distraction, “ it is naturally going to take time (and baby steps) to let go of those detrimental habits.
And what stands out above it all is the fact that he took those first steps. We all know the first steps are often the hardest.
I recently told him he was my hero. He refuted and told me I was his hero.
But I will tell you why he is my hero and could possibly be yours.
This man gives people like me hope. If HE can take steps to live a Hands Free life…this man who works in a cutthroat, money hungry industry for a quick-tempered boss in one of the fastest paced cities in the world, then so can I.
Although he and I are different in many ways and live thousands of miles apart, we use the same Hands Free tactics to “let go” of distraction in our daily lives. And through these tactics we have both experienced beautiful, life-changing results.
What this means is grasping what matters is a universal desire. Letting go of distraction is a goal many of us want to reach in our time here on this earth.
Whether we put on a suit to go to work or rarely get a shower before the day is over, whether we go all day giving sales pitches or avoiding those who pitch a fit, whether we get paid for our work in dollars or paid in hugs, we all share the same realization. We realize time is fleeting. We realize there are no guarantees in life. We realize there is no certainty that tomorrow will even come. And because of this realization we know we better grasp what really matters while we can, in order to witness all the “Sunset Moments” happening around us before they are gone forever.
And we are learning that in order to fully grasp something with our heart and hands, we must first let go. Letting go of distraction begins with baby steps. Baby steps, my friends.
And no matter where you come from or where you have been, we all have it in us to take our first step.
Think about you how you are living your life. Do you hold on to distraction more tightly than you grasp what really matters? Does the daily distraction in your life cause you to miss moments that you won’t be able to get back? Do you have a desire to take your first (or maybe your second, third or fourth) step into a Hands Free life? Feel free to use the “contact me” button and write down your thoughts. It might just become the Breakdown Breakthrough moment that will begin your journey. Then tune in tomorrow. A list of Hands Free Baby Steps will be awaiting your arrival.