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What does Time Management and Animal Totems have in common?

August 7, 2012

They both have to do with where you focus your Attention! Externally and internally

You cannot really control time, can you?  So how can you manage something that is out of your control?

Well it is not really possible. We all have 24 hours in a day to our disposal and there is nothing we can do about it!!

It is more about Attention Management. What do you put your External attention on?  

If you focus on the big pile of problems, that is what gets your attention. If you on the other hand focus on one small positive side of the same situation, that is what gets you attention.

The choice is  yours and that is within your control!

I once had a client; a Country Manager who was fed up with his job. He had a pattern that every three years in the same job he became so bored that he quit!

He wanted to stop the pattern because he did have an exciting job with a future there. But he was just so fed up by all the problems and obstacles he saw around him .

So, we worked with what he was paying attention on.  He was focusing on all the obstacles he saw at the same time – and there were quite many.

He had a hard time determining whether one was more important than the other so I asked him; if there were just one main obstacle that was creating all the others what would that be, you think?

He sat silent for a while… then replied: I think it is the procurement department of the company.

So he put all his energy and effort to look at how to replace that obstacle with better solutions.

The second thing we did was to look at some kind of inspiration he could use to build up the courage to do something about it after he found some possible solutions.

So, we went into the world of Indians and their Animal Totems – Internal Attention!

I took him on a mental Journey and asked him to close his eyes and go for a walk up a river in a wonderful forest, behind a huge waterfall, into a welcoming tunnel, and out to the most beautiful landscape he had ever seen in his life..

When there, I asked him to look around and register the nature and some animals around him. It could be birds, mammals, fish.. anything. Then I asked him if he saw one specific animal he felt a connection with.

He nodded. Then I asked him to let the animal come to him and give him a personal message. After sitting with the animal for a while and gratefully let the animal go he returned back through the tunnel, out from the waterfall passage, through the forest along the river and back to the room where we were sitting.

When he opened his eyes they were sparkling. He looked relaxed but excited at the same time.

I asked; what animal did you encounter? He said – a Deer.

So we looked up the meaning of the Deer in the symbols of Indian Totems (From the book Animal Speak by Ted Andrews) and the meaning of the Deer was; Gentleness and Innocence – Gentle luring to new adventure.

There were more to read and after examining the animal and his particular situation we made a plan on how to use the strengths of the Deer. In this case Gentleness and Innocence.

His biggest fear was to criticize the management and then experience hostility which had happened before with a former employee who later was fired unofficially because of that.

But by thinking about the situation as a Deer to behave innocently and present the case as a Gentleman and that they were all in the same boat together. And by presenting this as an adventure like the Deer, he managed to turn the whole company around. He got new areas of responsibility and a high jump up the career ladder for more years to come.

The pattern was broken!

If you want to become more structured with your time, maybe this is one way to explore.  By determining the most important obstacle to focus on at the time, and find strength and inspiration from the Animal World to overcome this obstacle and accomplish your goals.

What if you broke your patterns as well?

Well, wouldn’t that be something! ; )

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