• Reflective Resources

G is for g.a.s.h or G.A.S.H.

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


I was randomly thinking about the word ‘gash’ recently; not the sense of a cut or anything else but when it is used in the sense of spare or left over, i.e. unused or unimportant stuff.


Having recently written a post on energy and use of time, it made me reflect on the ‘gash’ moments of our day.


It seems to me that we either fritter away time and do unimportant stuff and then try to fit in the essentials into whatever time we have left or we prioritise the essentials first and then fit the rest into the ‘gash moments’ of our day.


While life is definitely about balance, a mix of work, rest and play, these gash moments of time are also just as important and it is important to use them wisely.


Energy is essential when choosing how we spend our time. If our energy levels are low, we tend to make poor choices. These poor choices can eventually compound detrimentally, leading to our gash moments to become GASH moments.


If we stay up 1 hour later each night than our bodies need, for example, after a month that is over a day’s loss of sleep and over a year this equates to 25+ days of lost sleep!


(On the flip side, maybe you spend too much time in bed and if you got up 1 hour earlier you would regain 25+ days of usable time over a year!) You can apply the same principle when thinking about nutrition, exercise etc


Our action, or lack of it can have a major impact on the quality of our lives.


Habits don’t change in a day, but 1% a day makes every habit work.” James Altucher


In the beginning, you won’t notice much difference between making choices that are 1 % better or 1 % worse, but as time goes on, these small improvements (the practice of Kaizen) or declines will stack up until suddenly you will notice a large gap between making slightly better decisions on a daily basis and not. Most of the significant things in life aren't stand-alone events that lead to success or de-rail us, but rather the sum of all the moments when we chose to do things 1 percent better or 1 percent worse.


It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best

W. Edwards Deming


It is not just a case of time of organising our time better or setting aside specific parts of our day for certain activities or to rest. To make the most of the time we have, we have to give sufficient thought to the quality of the experience.


If we look at rest for example, How do you rest?

Do you just potter, flitting aimlessly from one thing to another or do you consciously choose an activity?


Which activity will leave you feeling better rested?

Scrolling through social media

Sitting thinking about things

Consciously choosing to spend time in nature

Socialising with acquaintances

Socialising with people who uplift, encourage and support you


Our thoughts and attitude play a significant role in how we live our lives. We all have idle stray thoughts on all sorts of subjects but these are not the problem. We create our lives with the thoughts which are persistent and to which we give the most attention.


“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway on the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives” Henry David Thoreau


If we have a tendency to complain or making negative comments, with repetition this can develop into a negative attitude and mindset. If, however, we consciously replace the negative automatic response with a more positive one, e.g. being grateful then this will improve our mindset as we focus on expanding the positives in our life, rather than dwelling on the negatives and in turn this will have a positive impact on our physical and mental health.


When we express gratitude or receive it from others, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they enhance our mood, making us feel happy. By consciously practising gratitude everyday, we can help reinforce these neural pathways and ultimately create a stronger positive nature and response within ourselves.


“There is no more profitable investment than investing in yourself. It is the best investment you can make; you can never go wrong with it. It is the true way to improve yourself to be the best version of you and lets you be able to best serve those around you.” Roy T. Bennett


We all have moments that we could describe as ‘gash’ moments in our lives e.g. even if it is something as simple as waiting for the kettle to boil or waiting to collect someone or for someone to arrive, etc. Rather than complaining we don’t have enough time to do things or to rest, we could use these moments to invest in ourselves. What appears at first as small insignificant moments of time can be used positively and effectively if we choose to do so.


The Greatest Work in Progress:


 "The greatest thing you can do is to become who you are

and not allow the parts of what make you  a complete individual—

your creative energies, your valued interests, and your unique strengths and passions—

to wither away from neglect, or be repressed by whoever or whatever surrounds you. 

You are masterpiece and a great work in progress." by susan frybort


It is important to appreciate that we only have one life, and although we get a fresh chance every day, how we habitually approach our day will have an impact on its quality. Every moment counts and the smallest change in our daily routine can have an incredible ripple effect.


G.a.s.h. moments (opportunities for ‘Great acts of self help’) do matter as they can very quickly escalate to become G.A.S.H. moments (Great Acts of Self Harm) if not utilised with care.


Some questions to think about/or discuss below:


How do you use your gash moments?


Can you flip your habitual GASH moments to become moments of quality time?


If you want to reflect more on this subject, here are some links to get you started:


https://drrobpetrie.com/how-to-use-dead-time-effectively/


https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/possibilities-spare-moments/


https://www.fastcompany.com/3040795/7-smart-ways-to-use-unexpected-free-time


You do not write your life with words. . . You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.” Patrick Ness



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