Finding Time for What Really Matters

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Starting to work for personal change is exciting but after a while, it feels like life interrupts and there’s not enough time/energy to do what needs to be done. What are some of the ways people who have been successful keep up with their plans for the long haul?

Years ago, one of my spiritual teachers said, “We always do what is most important.” In my mind, I argued against that, but I’ve thought about it a lot over the years and learned something important about myself and about human nature.

The truth is that we aren’t always honest about what we are making important. So when we say we want to do something but we don’t have time, we need to question what we are really valuing.

For years I proclaimed that I wanted to write a spiritual, self-help book that would provide whatever wisdom I had gleaned in my 20-plus years as a life coach and personal growth seminar leader. Yet I couldn’t seem to find the time even to make an outline.

Then in January of 2003, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Needless to say, this was a wake-up call that compelled me to do a deep personal inventory. If this brain tumor was cancerous or I lost my faculties because of the surgery, would I have any regrets in my life? The answer was a loud “Yes!” I knew I had copped out about writing the book.

But why? I really did want to write it so why hadn’t I? I had to find what my overriding priority had been if I wanted to “find the time” now. And the saying, “No time like the present” seemed more obvious than ever before. I discovered that my real priority had been to avoid fear and rejection. I had feared that I wasn’t a good enough writer, that no publisher would want the book, and that there would be no audience for it. I also feared some of my family’s disapproval of my thoughts. Once I was honest with myself and realized that there truly is “No time like the present,” I shifted my priorities.

Suddenly, where I had no time before, I was now able to carve out time. Where fear had blocked me, ideas now began to flow. Writing Enough Is Enough! was hard work and often ego bruising but, because I had been honest with myself, it got written, was welcomed by a publisher, and is a tangible object I use to propel me through my other fears.

With Enough Is Enough! birthed and out in the world, I had to face my next writing demon: As a teenager, I said I wanted to write the Great American Novel. Over the years, in fits and starts, I had scribbled ideas, dialogue, and even chapters. But it was all collecting dust until I again faced the truth that I had been prioritizing my fears over my spiritual longing.

I’ve spent the last two years working diligently, learning the craft, taking in experts’ critiques, and rewriting, rewriting, rewriting. Last week I sent my manuscript, titled Touched, to my literary agent. I’ll let you know what she thinks.

So don’t fool yourself with your excuses. It’s a setup for regret. I was fortunate to get a second chance. Use NOW as your chance to prioritize your spirit over your fears. No doubt, you will find yourself living a more extraordinary life.

Jane’s Coaching and Training

For over 20 years, Jane Straus has coached individuals and groups, facilitated organizational retreats, conducted training programs, and presented keynotes for corporations and nonprofits nationwide.

To get exceptional results from coaching and training, you need someone who knows how to assess blind spots as well as enhance strengths. Jane’s coaching helps individuals and groups maximize their potential. Jane works to ensure that each client receives the wisdom, skills, and support he/she needs to succeed and thrive.

Contact Jane directly at to discuss your coaching or training needs or visit for more information and testimonials.

Jane Straus is the author of the popular self-help book, Enough Is Enough! See her TV interviews, read her articles, and order the book by visiting

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