30 Second Change

By Turīya

In this excerpt from her book Unreasonable Joy: Awakening Through Trikaya Buddhism author Turīya writes about her ‘power up’ exercise the 30 Second Change– it is an original tool changing the energy when you’re feeling drained and overwhelmed. The 30 Second Change will help you refocus and accomplish more…

During an NHL hockey game, the average ice time for a player per shift is 30 seconds. When a player hits the ice, he gives all of his strength and his full focus, because in 30 seconds, multiple goals can be scored, and games can be won or lost. Then he sits for a few minutes and gets up to do it again.
While most of us won’t be strapping on a pair of ice skates anytime soon, we can power up our lives with a 30 second change. If we give our full attention, we have the ability to accomplish a multitude of tasks in 30 seconds.

Here are 9 things that can be done in 30 seconds:

Walk around the room to get your blood flowing
Catch your breath after vigorous exercise by breathing deeply
File the papers on your desk
Stretch your neck, shoulders and touch your toes
Write a short email
Tell a joke and laugh
Create clarity so you can see your next step
Center your awareness in gratitude
Meditate and dissolve in Samadhi

In our fast-paced world, on a planet that’s literally rotating at 1000 miles per hour and traveling around the sun at 67,000 mph, it often feels like we don’t have time to do anything. We attempt to multi-task, but what really happens is we rush through our to-do list without focusing on any one task and then we have to fix the mistakes caused by our lack of attention.

What we don’t realize in our mission to get it all done fast is that we are more efficient when we do one task at a time. Even a computer’s CPU, which gives the illusion of multi-tasking, really does only one function at a time; it just does it very quickly and switches between programs seamlessly.
The next time you feel frazzled and moving in great haste, stop for 30 seconds. Time yourself, because 30 seconds is much longer than you may think. Take deep breaths and allow yourself to feel the air fill and empty from your lungs. Focus on all the little things bringing you joy in this present moment. Give thanks for all you have right now. This allows us to find the calm center in the middle of the storm of life.

After 30 seconds, look at your to-do list and pick one task. (Don’t have a to-do list written down? Make that your first task.) Like a hockey player, give that activity your full focus and strength for 30 seconds. You might be surprised how after 30 seconds; you can keep going. Maintain this same intensity of focus for 10 minutes and notice how much you get done.

Perhaps after 10 or 15 minutes you’ll need to check your messages or email. Give the task of checking messages your full attention. Then switch to the next item on the list, again giving your entire focus to whatever you need to do.

When you get lost in the hustle and your focus begins to waver, stop for 30 seconds to make a change by resting in your center.

Practice Pointer

What can you accomplish in 30 second bursts?

About the Author:

Turīya is a Buddhist monk, teacher, and author who, despite living with chronic pain, founded the Dharma Center of Trikaya Buddhism in San Diego in 1998 to share her path. For over 25 years, she has taught thousands of students how to meditate, trained teachers, and helped people discover the unreasonable joy of our true nature. Her new book Unreasonable Joy: Awakening through Trikaya Buddhism (Electric Bliss) is a published in October.

Unreasonable Joy: Awakening through Trikaya Buddhism by Turīya. Printed with permission from the publisher at Electric Bliss.


  1. Rosleen says:

    Great article….love the ice hockey analogy.

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