Right on Time

When my youngest daughter Quinn was just a toddler, she would quite often tell me something that really helped me to be present. At times, we would be rushing to get into the car and off to “somewhere” and I would say out of habit, “Hurry girls or we will be late!” My insightful, joyful, and naturally positive Quinn would always reply, “Mom, we’re gonna be right on time!” The way she said this was so emphatic, as if she were intending it to be so. And, truth be told, we were always “right on time”.

“Right on time” may not be by a clock’s standard, but we were always arriving at the perfect time…just when someone was pulling out of the front parking space. We would arrive at the very same time as the person we were meeting. We would arrive just as the rain stopped. The list goes on and on. We were “Right on Time”!

I began to notice that when I thought I was going to be late, I usually was late. When my focus was on that, I would catch every red light. I would have a hard time finding a parking spot. I would have various obstacles and setbacks. Have you ever been in that situation? It feels like you are rowing upstream…spinning your wheels and ultimately becoming more and more frustrated and then you still arrive late (Your anger and frustration didn’t help matters). After Quinn and I made this a fun and reoccurring game, I really began to feel and think that we would be right on time. I would take a deep breath and take my mind off of worrying and fretting. Something magical began to happen: I truly began to arrive right on time!

So many people arrive late to their destination. When they arrive, they are flustered and full of excuses: “I hit every red light.”, “I forgot something and had to run back in the house.”, “I had to stop for gas.” Do you find yourself making excuses as to why you are late? Do you find that you are worrying and fretting all the way to your destination…about being late?

Many people try to trick themselves in order to be on time: They set their clocks ahead. They pencil their appointment in their calendar a half hour earlier than it is actually scheduled. These are really great tactics, and are great to implement if it works for you. But, I really believe your intentions and your mindset are more of a factor than anything else.

The other day I was driving to my 9:00 dentist appointment. I gave myself plenty of time, but as I turned onto the highway, I found myself driving behind the slowest hay truck in the history of driving. As I was creeping along, I could feel that familiar pound of my heart, my agitation began to surface, and I almost involuntarily thought and said, “I’m going to be late!” I caught myself, took a deep breath, thought of what my sweet Quinn would have said, and my focus began to shift. I was no longer fretting and worrying that I was going to be late. Instead I thought and said, “I’m going to be right on time!”, and I was.

If I had gone down the road of frustration and anger and pity…I may have attracted more obstacles into my route and actually arrived late. Since I shifted my attitude and my energy was calm and present…I was right on time! I don’t know how it works, but I do know that the energy I put out there comes right back to me…every time!
I have also learned through this continual exercise, that worrying obviously doesn’t help you get there any sooner, and worrying actually makes your demeanor not so attractive when you arrive. Who wants to meet up with you when you are always late and stressed out about it?

Take Action: This week and moving forward, let’s try to be calm, and present, and worry-free when we are driving to our destination. Let’s focus our thoughts and intent to be “Right on Time”. Let’s notice how much more of the time we are on time, and let’s also notice how we feel when we arrive…stress free!

Because Together is Better,


  1. Thanks Deanna. You have a good point.

  2. Oh, yeah….When I get into this pity mode, I have to make sure to catch myself and get out of it fast or I will just make it even worse…

  3. The quote by Marianne Williamson is spot on. Your article reminds me that everything starts and ends in our mindset. It’s funny you mention the red lights, because I found when I just relax and let things happen, it always works out, when I press and get frustrated at the lights, I sabotage my emotions and end up getting what I’m afraid of. Funny how that works… Thanks for the great post!!!

  4. I usually have a problem with being late myself..I have really tried to work on it and over the years I have gotten a bit better. Being punctual is important, but sometimes I still struggle.

  5. I feel like your blog makes me a better person. Thank you!!

    • Tara…thank you so much! When I know my written and spoken words help people, it makes me so happy! I appreciate that you are reading, growing, and sharing! -Deanna

  6. Right on! Shift your focus and change your life! Delightful post!

  7. My kids would ask, ‘are we almost there?’
    I’d say ‘we are almost here’

    It is no fun to live with a stopwatch, it’s part of this culture, talking about stress.
    It’s race against time and a race to make more …. …. …
    Are we almost here ? Are we ever here ?

  8. I think there is a powerful message here. Whatever it is that we believe is what we will bring into our reality. If you think you won’t succeed, you won’t! If you believe that you ca run that 5k you will. What’s also interesting is that these types of thoughts, start out in our unconscious mind and unconsciously we draw the desired or undesired experience to us. I guess this is also a lesson in learning to be mindful. Think about your thoughts and channel to bring about the best in your life.

  9. I used to be late until I met my husband. He always makes a point of leaving so that he’s early to his destination. Now, I am usually early or on time to appointments. It’s better to take the few extra minutes rather than leaving with less time than needed and showing up agitated. For the few times I am late, I remind myself that it does no good to get upset about it.

  10. Thank you for your thoughtful post. There are so many times that children are the source of the wisdom we need. I trust that I will be where I need to be at the right time. With the exception of when I have to travel by plane, I don’t set an alarm clock. I just know I will wake up at the right time!

    • Thank you Meli for your wise words! I never set an alarm either…I just tell my body when I need to wake up and I do. We are marvelously made, we need to tune in! -Deanna

  11. I love being punctual. Thanks for sharing this valuable blog to our attention.

  12. I love the advice from your daughter.. I am the same way and get anxious if I feel I’m going to be late. Now I just leave the house a little earlier so I don’t have the anxiety.

  13. Great article. Your Quinn was very wise at a young age. It reminds me of the time I was walking my cat, Sir Kitty. A 3-year old girl was walking to the car with her family. She was barefoot. Of course, she had to come over and pet Sir Kitty. Her mom was yelling at her to get in the car because they were going to be late. She didn’t care. As she walked back to the car, she danced a jig while, singing, “I go bare-a-foot”, looking proudly down at her feet. Her mother was quite frustrated. I was quite amused and grateful for the encounter. I totally agree with you, it is all in the intention and attitude. Thanks for writing this article.

  14. Great post – I am always late, and it’s often preventable, so thank you for the reminder.

  15. Thank you for sharing an important lesson. I agree that attitude is everything and it can make or break your day. It is funny how our kids often teach us important lessons. 🙂

  16. I notice too how I start getting agitated and “snappy” when i worry about being late somewhere. Emily tells me..”mom, you have to just be patient!” Our little ones are so wise!!

  17. Quinn was a very positive thinker. I broke my best friend from not being on time by calling her “The Late Toni P…”. She hasn’t been late since!!

    • That is great Tina, that you helped Toni be right on time! Quinn still is a positive little thing…the things we learn from our kids! -Deanna

  18. I get like this.. i am always early, giving myself time to get lost, or catch all the lights!!

  19. Wow! Very helpful!

  20. Veronica says:

    Being late is one of my pet peeves…. I hate to admit. I do get very worked up and frustrated when I am running late. I also don’t like for my subs to be late arriving on my job sites. I have gotten better with it, but I still think being punctual is a courtesy and good manners, and the value is being lost in this generation.

    • I agree Veronica, being punctual is a courtesy and good manners. If you are always late, you are assuming your time is more important than others time. Put this “take action” into practice and see how it helps! -Deanna

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