What Matters Most
A couple of my favorite sayings discuss priorities.
“Don’t Major in the Minors.”
“The Main Thing is to keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing.”
Priorities are always present, where do you set them or allow them to set themselves. Unfortunately, many of our priorities are just set by default. In other words, we wind up doing what is urgent, but not necessarily what is important.
Business consultants and other motivational professionals have made a living for years helping executives prioritize and be more productive with their time. In order to do that, they first establish with the executive what his or her priorities are.
Most executives talk about time with family, business productivity and some type of personal fulfillment.
However when pressed, most of the same executives are unable to identify any amount of time spent in the last week directed towards bettering their family or achieving personal fulfillment. In fact, because of the fast-paced nature of business, the “urgent but unimportant” matters have taken up their entire week. At best, their time has been spent trying to achieve productivity of the company. Recall however, that productivity of the company was only one of three major priorities in his or her life.
The real issue is not easily defined. In our “instant gratification” “what have you done for me lately?” culture we are sending e-mails, instant messaging, texting, but spend precious little time planning for the future. As a matter of fact, when is the last time you sat calmly and thoughtfully planned? If you're like most of us, we find that, with the commercial says is true: "life comes at you fast."
We hear a lot about goal setting and prioritizing our life. But so few of us do it, I don't know if we see the benefits. Possibly, if we saw the upside to doing it, we'd be more likely to pursue the time-consuming practice of planning. As a shortcut to get started, list several things that you want to do better in the next 30 days. Then take those 30 days, divide them into four weeks and decide which goals you will work on this week. Now, pick one for today before five o'clock. That will put a particularly sharp importance on it.
Here are some sample goals to get you started in making the next 30 days the best they can be. Number one, resolve to actively show love and appreciation to those closest to you. Whether that be sending flowers to your wife, cooking your husband's favorite dinner, or an unexpected matinee for the kids.
Number two, spend time getting to know your Maker. Regardless of what you may believe, you were specially made by the Lord above, and He has a plan for your life. If you don't know Him personally, then don't be surprised if He seems distant and harsh. If you had an earthly father you have never seen, and you only heard fairly negative things about him, I suspect that your earthly father would seem distant harsh, as well. If you're not sure where to start, open the book of John and begin to read. Ask God to make himself real to you, as He always answers that prayer in the heart of a truth seeker.
Thirdly, meet a personal goal of learning. What is it that you would like to learn, or do, or become in the future? The way to achieve a goal like that is to set the goal out and then figure out what steps it will take to get you there. If you want to get a degree, but you have to take some prerequisite courses, sign up for the course today! If you want to have your own business, make appointments with successful business owners ask them what they wish they knew starting out. If you want to get out of debt, cut up the stupid credit cards today!
The important thing is to do something. Many are those who will give you excuses why you cannot succeed. But if you listen closely to their “reasons," you will find that they are really merely excuses. There is no reason why a 65 year old should have been successful starting Kentucky Fried Chicken, but he was. There were plenty of excuses to stop him. There is no reason George Washington Carver should have succeeded as a scientist as a black man in the South during the time that he lived. He had many excuses why not to try, but he tried anyway. There is no reason you cannot do whatever it is God has put into your heart. He never calls you into an area that He doesn't also equip you go.
But, just like eating, while He “feeds the birds of the air,” He doesn't throw it up in the nest every morning. They have got to go out and scratch for it. I can almost hear God wish us all, “Happy scratching!”
See more of Mr. Peel’s articles on DavidBPeel.blogspot.com. Mr. Peel may be available to speak to your church or club. Contact PeelLawFirm.com.