“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll
One of the challenges all of us face is the ability to choose what we want to do—what we want to achieve. Obviously, we cannot do everything. We must choose. This fact was recently emphasized as I was reading The One Thing by Gary Keller. This book teaches that the best way to achieve success is to determine the most important thing to do each day to push you forward toward your goals.
We all have areas of focus. Health priorities, relationship priorities, learning priorities, and spiritual priorities. Of these we will also have priorities that we deem most important. According to Keller, this is our one thing. This is the thing you dedicate your time to. I enjoyed reading this book but offer a caution—each of us has multiple priorities we need to pursue in order t maintain a balance in our lives. You cannot neglect your physical priorities, to pursue a business interest. You cannot forego a business interest to pursue a spiritual focus. We must attack multiple areas in order to succeed. We must maintain our relationships, our bodies, our spiritual pursuits, and our focus on learning new skills.
If you neglect any of these, you will suffer. Make a lot of money, while sacrificing our families, our religious practices, and our physical health is not tenable. Balance is key and is attainable. Just pick something you can do to push each of these areas forward in a given week and you’ll achieve what I’m talking about.
Spiritually, you can attend a religious meeting once a week or read your religious text daily. Socially, you can set a date with your wife or significant other. Learning can be achieved by setting a consistent schedule for reading or writing, online tutorials, or one of many free online courses. Physically, you can workout a few times this week. If you plan out your week you can make sure you pick one or two things to do in each of these areas to continue pursuing your goals that are specific to each of them.
What happens if you have no focus? You’ll end up spending your time on a lot of worthless activities. You’ll be spending your time on entertainment and other time wasters. It’s OK to have some downtime, watching a good movie or moving through one of the many television series that are available, but without focus, you’ll spend more and more time on activities that will result in nothing moving you forward. This is truly a wasted life.
The best book I can recommend to you if you are lost is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. This book will provide you with character building habits and provide you example after example of what to do to move your life forward in a productive and balanced way. This book changed my life.
Once you are focused on certain things you want to pursue—pursue them. This self-motivated purpose will help you achieve a great deal of meaning in your life. Purpose provides meaning. Meaning gives us a reason for living. Meaning gives us something to look forward to and enjoy—a means of transcending mediocrity and suffering.
Until next time…