Have you ever been driving your car, following another and reading the bumper stickers? I found myself doing that one day and wondered what the message was that was trying to be sent…
For example, there was the crop of bumper stickers that had a common theme of “I’d rather be….” You fill in the blank. I saw one that said “I’d rather be fishing.” Another one read “I’d rather be flying.” When I was in Hawaii it was “I’d rather be surfing.”
The way my mind works causes me to ask, “Then why aren’t you?” If you’d rather be fishing, flying, or surfing, why aren’t you?
I know that way down inside me there are different things that move me…hobbies that excite me, urges that I wish I had more time to pursue, people I wish I could spend more time with. I believe that it is important to identify, focus on, and spend time on what matters to me.
Focusing on what truly matters, truly matters. OK. Fine. That makes sense. How do I do it then, and not just make it a thought exercise? Let’s start with the basic question:
1. What is my purpose? Start by taking 10 minutes out of your life to find some quiet space, and to close your eyes, and to think. Ask yourself: How do I want to be remembered? What do I want people to say about me at my funeral? Think about that for 10 minutes, then write down your answers. There may be a few different things, or 10, or just one.
2. Write your purpose down. This is your life mission. Put it somewhere you can see it every day. Remind yourself of it every day.
3. Answer: What excites me? Deep down we know what excites us. We know what gets our heart pumping, and what gets us excited to jump out of bed in the morning. I also know that sometimes we are fearful about admitting to ourselves what we really want to do, and who we really want to be because it’s not popular, or because it’s not as secure as the job we have.
4. What can I let slip? I am aware that there are never enough hours in the day to do everything that I have some interest in doing. However, there is enough time in the day to do everything that I am truly interested in, and that truly matters. Find what you can let slip -and then let it go.
5. Pick your top 2-3 principal tasks each day. These are the things that must happen no matter what. If you get these done your day is a success. Stick to no more than three, or better yet one. They must move you closer to your big goals. Here is a big by-the-way: checking email does not count.
6. Do your top 2-3 principal tasks first thing each day. The longer you wait, the more distractions will intrude. Nothing happens before these get done.
Step 7 on Thursday.