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How To Become A True Master At Timing

Inspiration

I have a friend whose superpower is timing. I've honestly never seen anything quite like it. An opportunity can come to him that, to me, seems like the best thing ever and he'll be like, "Yeah…it's not time." He'll let it go and not think too much about it. It's usually not until several months or even a couple of years later that similar opportunity will present itself. But the second time, 9 times out of 10, it requires much less effort on his part and the money that's on the table is at least double what the original offer was.


Whenever I ask him the secret to knowing that things will play out that way, he usually says something along the lines of:

"When I don't feel complete peace about something, I don't move…yet. If it's meant to be, it'll come back around at a time when I can really feel good about it."

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So, you know what that means, right? Sounds to me like the first step towards becoming a master at timing is patience (more on that in a bit). Not only patience but self-confidence as well. He knows that he's so good at what he does that the things that are truly right for him will never pass him by.

Now, just think about all of the things that you went after or allowed into your life all because you were afraid of what would happen if they didn't? Yeah, there's no telling how many of us are bad at timing, simply due to us having a sense of desperation or worry attached to our decisions.

Well, there's no time like the present to break out of that mode. They say that timing is everything, so if you're finally ready to get what timing has determined is the absolute best for you, consider applying the following six tips.

6 Ways To Master The Art Of Timing

1. Know What Is Truly an Opportunity (and What Isn't)

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Grandma used to tell us that everything that comes to us isn't for us. She's right. Personally, I tend to take this a step further. Whenever I meet new people, I'll say (usually in my mind as to not be rude), "Who sent you?" because everyone who comes our way doesn't have our best interest at heart either.

After learning more and more about how to make this timing thing work for me, I've realized that it's so much easier to do when I know what is truly an opportunity vs. what isn't. What I mean by that is, just because an offer, relationship, job, platform, etc. presents itself, that doesn't automatically mean that it's a real opportunity. By definition, an opportunity is something that comes to us at the appropriate time; it's also a situation that actually helps us to reach a goal that we're trying to attain.

So, the next time something or someone is presented to you, think about how appropriate (suitable or fitting for a particular purpose, person, occasion, etc.) it is along with how it will get you closer to your goals, plans and ambitions. If it gets the green light on both, this is a HUGE indication that it's something that came your way—at just the right time.

2. Make Sure Your Feelings and Logic Work Together

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Yes, there is something to be said for women's intuition. But you know what's even more powerful? Intuition mixed with logic. While there is plenty of data that supports the fact that there is something to be said for us following our gut instincts, logical thinking is about facts, reality and doing what is reasonable; it's about not just making choices that are rooted in emotion alone.

The reason why applying gut instinct and logic is so important when it comes to mastering timing is because while your emotions will let you know what feels right, logic will help you to keep your feelings in balance.

Here's an example. Say that you're being strongly considered for a promotion that requires you to move to another city. While you might feel like it's a good idea, your poor credit score, the fact that you need a new vehicle but can't afford to get one yet, compounded with the fact that the raise you'd be getting isn't nothing to really brag about, all may point to it not being the best time for that kind of life change. At the same time, it can be a sign that it's a good season to get those things in order so that you're fully ready when the next opportunity rolls around.

When feelings and logic are in harmony, it can help you to understand when something is the right time now or when you should be preparing for something to be the right time…later.

3. Be on the Lookout for Signs and Symbols

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Everyone close to me knows that I am quite the "signs and wonders" kind of individual. I can't recall the last time I needed to make a major decision and a sign didn't come along to confirm what I needed to do. However, the key towards having this work effectively in your favor is asking for a sign and then fully surrendering to the outcome.

One time, I was trying to decide if I should stop investing in something. I asked for a sign before I went to bed. The following morning, someone I hadn't spoken to in months, called me to say that they had a dream the night before about that very investment.

To me, it's God's way of reminding me that He's in control. It's a lot like a quote I once read—"There are no coincidences; just 'God incidences.'" If you're open to signs and symbols along the way (for the record, sometimes asking for a sign and not getting one is also a sign), this is another step that can help you to get better at moving at just the right time in your life.

4. Focus More on Circumstances Than Clocks

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One of my married female friends (who is in her 50s) once gave me one of my favorite compliments to date. As we were discussing the fact that I'm in my 40s with no husband or kids and how I was at peace with both, she said, "I think it's because a lot of women want a family. Sometimes we want that so badly that we settle in the husband department, just so we can have kids before our clock runs out. You? I think your desire for a healthy marriage trumps you worrying about your biological clock. You want a great relationship, no matter the sacrifice."

She's exactly right. Have you ever been sitting somewhere, chillin' with a friend, totally present and in the moment with them, but for some reason you look at your smartphone, realize what time it is and suddenly everything comes to a screeching halt? Not because you actually have anywhere to be, but simply because you saw the time and now you're rushing yourself (and your friend)?

Unfortunately, a lot of us live our lives just like this. We're not thinking about what is truly best for us or even what we're enjoying in the present; we're anxious, fearful and sometimes even a little desperate, all because we're too caught up in what "time" it is. And that can cause us to miss out. Haste makes waste, after all.

Believe you me, I'm not gonna marry some dude who might be into me or I'm kinda sorta feelin', just so I can get married before I'm 50. When the right one comes along that will be the right time. The circumstances will tell me so; not some clock.

5. Master the Art of Patience

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For whatever the reason, a lot of people think that patience only means to wait. Oh, but there is a definition that is far more trying than that! Another definition of patience is "the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like." (Don't get me started on how "love is patient" but so many folks are anything BUT patient in their relationships!)

In order for something to happen at the best time, a lot of puzzle pieces have to come together. Case in point. Have you ever tried to assemble a 1000+ piece puzzle before? Patient is exactly what you have to be!

Some of us miss out on things that have come at the right time because we're so busy complaining, losing our temper and being irritated that we don't see what is staring us right in the face. Trust me, some of the best opportunities don't come under the most ideal situations. But a person who practices the art of patience is calm and centered enough to recognize them when they come along anyway.

6. FORCE. NOTHING.

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Using force to accomplish anything is a violation on some level. It's an act of abuse. One of my favorite definitions of abuse is "abnormal use" and to try and make something happen when it's not the right time is the abuse of timing.

No matter how smart, connected or even eager you are, you've got to accept that you don't have all of the answers. You're also not omnipresent, so you don't know all of what is transpiring, right at this very moment, that's ultimately gonna cause things to work out in your favor. Chill out and allow them to.

Giving a man an ultimatum to marry you is forcing timing (it can also set him up to be resentful and you to feel insecure). Threatening to quit the first time you're passed over is forcing timing (quit or stay but don't threaten). Starving yourself to shed a few pounds is forcing time (plus, it's super unhealthy).

To me, timing is a lot like an oven. I can have all of the right ingredients in a batch of cookies, but only a stove can actually bake them. And while it's doing that, all I can do is…wait. Not force; WAIT.

Featured image by Getty Images.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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