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I'm always late!

Jacob Ninan

Q. I am always getting late for functions, church, meetings, etc. People tell me I am a slow doer. How can I become punctual?

A. There was a lady who told me something similar. She described herself as being always late even though she felt very bad about it. She also told me that people had come to label her as such a person and were very tolerant towards her. But she knew this was not right, and she was asking me if it was possible for her to change.

During our talk she told me that when she was in the boarding school as a child, she used to be very punctual, but that as she grew up she became more used to doing things slowly. At the boarding school the warden was strict, and she just had to be punctual. I pointed out to her that this example showed her that she was capable of being punctual!

I asked her how many times she had been late to catch a bus, train or aeroplane. Her answer was, "Never!" When I asked her why it was like that she told me she couldn't afford to be late for those things because she would lose money there, and that she would take special care to be in place before time! Now it was clear to her that why she was being late for other things was that she didn't care too much if she was. It was the value she placed on being on time that was behind her behaviour!

To help her change her attitude and behaviour I suggested that every time she became late to some function or meeting she would make a donation to the church and every time she was on time she would treat herself to a chocolate! She really wanted to change, and so she agreed to do thses!

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