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Is your life always "on call"?

Does this fit you?

In working with thousands of clients over the past 34 years (since 1987), I've noted that a large percentage have, often by default, designed their life to be "on call."

For some jobs, like in a hospital, doctors may be required to be "on call" during their "off work" time, often for several days or more. They are required to jump to, as required or needed by others.

Many of us have designed our life this way. This default design expresses itself in two forms.

A bumper-to-bumper life

The first form is "no room for anything else." Your job, your kids, your volunteer work, all your necessary tasks, your regular social engagements, your promises, even your health routines, all together leave little wiggle room in your 168-hour weeks. Your "on calls" are already spoken for.  You're so booked up that every minute is servicing a "call." You have no time, no space, no room for anything fresh or new. You have no time for buffer and underpromising. You have no time to ensure you're enjoying the journey. And, if an emergency occurs, its impact is much bigger than if you had more buffer in your day.

You are a YES man (gal)

The second form, which often contributes to creating the first type, is, "I'm the YES man." You have trained others and/or obligated yourself to others so that they expect and need a YES from you to accommodate or rescue them as wanted or needed. Consequently, your life is not your own. By default, you have prioritized the lives and needs of others over your own. You've defaulted on your #1 job, which is to take care of yourself.

The roots of our "on call" life

Although we definitely get "benefits" from our "on call" life, the costs are huge. And they're rooted in lacking Now-Next Integrity where our identity has become attached to results, results, results. Add to that our need to look good and "being a good person," left unchallenged by our lack of Oneself-Others Integrity. These roots are going to anchor in place a life that seems impossible to re-design.

From inside the Old Ethics, from inside the HOGAB, it seems that we would be "out of integrity" and our "life would fall apart" if we started saying "no," if we either canceled our commitments or re-negotiated them, if we started doing our #1 job, if we put process first, if we prioritized both Now-Next Integrity and Oneself-Others Integrity.

Your current identity, living inside the HOGAB, will argue persuasively that fundamental change is impossible

No matter the suffering, your identity will argue why you can't give up on this or that, why you have to keep your obligations, why your Now or your Oneself have to wait until sometime in the future before they can be happy.  Hope, often a synonym for expectation, keeps you going. Most people die still hoping.

What can those outside the HOGAB and don't live an "on call" life can see that's hard for you to see

"So easy it seemed, Once found, which yet unfound most would have thought, Impossible!"

-John Milton

And yet, your game is always starting from now, from here, with you, and others, in your current circumstances, with your current knowledge, skills, and attitudes, for your happiness and joy. 

It's step by step and it's 14:24.

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