525,600 minutes by Sheryl Mays

At the end of December 2021, we will have experienced 525,600 minutes of our lives. 525,600 minutes to pass through a barrage of emotions. How do you remember those times? Some might not want to. I think it’s in those memories we experience our most inner feelings of self-respect, self-awareness, and self-preservation. So, the question is “how we remember those times?”.

Over the past several years, I have developed a habit of collecting those memories and placing them in a blessings jar. I want to remember my experiences during my 525,600 minutes. Did you know each of us will experience one of eight emotions every minute? According to NCBI (National Center of Biotechnology), on average, people reported experiencing one or several emotions 90% of the time. With emotions being a driving force as to how we make decisions, most lasting at least 90 seconds, it is imperative that we recapture these 525,600 minutes in reflection. Now I know neither you nor I can recall 525,600 minutes. But we can recall our defining moments.

On New Year’s Eve, 2011, I had an NYE party with close friends and family. Earlier in the year, a co-worker shared a yearly ritual. It was to ensure she always had a reason to give thanks for her good fortune. She captured her experiences by writing them down and placing them in a jar for safekeeping. My mind instantly became bombarded with ideas. Yes, I was running through a series of emotions.

Scientists and psychotherapists have studied our emotions and concluded there are at least 8 basic emotions. Do these sound familiar?

Anger this is often when we fight against our problem. How many times within the 525,600 minutes have you spent in anger? Maybe you had an opportunity to level up in your life and business and you didn’t act because of your self-doubt and negative chatter.

Anticipation, the emotion of looking forward to something. Did you plan a celebratory event? Maybe you attended a wedding, an anniversary, or purchased a new pair of shoes or golf clubs.

Joy, that reminds us of what’s important. This is when your cup is truly overflowing with love. You see, the eyes of your new baby, your family member made it through a horrible illness, or you saw your child move beyond their limitations.

Trust, when you can connect with people that can assist. Maybe you didn’t know if you had a way out of a situation and you were ashamed, disappointed, and needed help.

Fear is used to protect us from danger. Maybe you were heading into a chaotic situation, and you backed off before it happened. Something in your head said no, and you followed that whisper.

Surprise, something new and different from your present situation. Maybe you were making reservations, and you received a special perk or an added amenity. Maybe you had an unexpected visit from someone dear to you.

Sadness, when we connect with those we love. This past year, we have all experienced unforeseen losses. From that loss, maybe you formed a new connection with family, friends, and co-workers.

Disgust, to reject that which is unhealthy to our minds and body. What are you disregarding because it is poison to your growth? Do you have non-negotiables? Do you spend time with people that are uplifting, encouraging, and motivating? Maybe you said no when asked to stay late at work, knowing how important it was for you to be at your child’s basketball game.

When I decided to share our emotional journey, I wanted them to be in the realm of positive self-awareness. Each one of the 525,600 minutes gave us an opportunity to experience a defining moment. Those moments in our lives will shape our future values, our revised vision, and our primary mission.

“We are only one decision from change” Kane Ramsey, NLP Master

This time of year, I use it for reflection, personal inventory, and planning for the future. I become more aware and place myself in a better set of mind to make future decisions. Believe it or not, people experience positive emotions 2.5 times more often than negative emotions. So, each emotion listed allowed us to see how we use them for our self-improvement, for our ability to interact with others..

It was that NYE in 2011 that I began my “Blessing Jar”. A Blessing Jar, a place that has all of your wins, lessons, and good fortunes, both big and small.

It was that year I recorded every lesson I learned— from the bad decisions, the joyful moments, the “wow that was cool”, along with personal and professional accomplishments both small and big. Let us not dismiss the power of remembering the small wins. Wins like, I got to park in the front of the store, someone paid for my coffee, or I didn’t eat the entire gallon of ice cream. (yes, I got a bit personal there)

Here’s the magic of this ritual. It creates a defining moment that allows you to re-experience those moments with a clear lens. A lens that now sees it was a moment of insight, that was elevating, prideful, or a wonderful connection. Here we are in the last month of the year. As you reflect on your 525,600 minutes, which lens will you use?

If you decide to make that decision for change. Here’s your good fortune jar AKA blessings jar supply list:

· One self-decorated mason jar (if you want to start today, decorate an envelope)

· Paper (I use post-it notes) don’t make it too difficult. We have 525,600 minutes for the opportunity.

· Take 5 minutes and record positive things that happened at the end of each day

Then, at the end of the year, empty the jar on the table. WOW, slips of paper overpower the table and roll on the floor, hundreds of experiences, good fortune, memories, and your many accomplishments. Read them aloud. Then take a moment and just be still.

Have a Wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

Your friend, Sheryl

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