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."
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)
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
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
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
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
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.
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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