You are well aware that in the coming and going and the routines of our everyday lives, we rarely get to do everything we intend to do. This is true for all of us.
Yet most of us would consider many of those undone things as important to us; which makes for an interesting dichotomy.
How then can we better weld our core purposes to our priorities day to day?
My suggestion today is based on 2 very common drivers and one common assumption:
Driver 1: Putting things off
We all have the capacity to put things off. We want to do them, but not right now. We know, in our heart, head and gut, that doing them would make us feel good, but, somehow, they remain undone.
This is very different to procrastinating, which usually has very different drivers.
Procrastination is all about delaying something that must be done, which we deliberately choose to avoid doing for various reasons. It is a decision not to act. Fear and insecurity are probably more common drivers than being repelled by the unpleasant or boring nature of the activity. Most of us hold ourselves hostage to it from time to time. It is often an area I am asked to provide personal support on within our productivity and performance training programmes.
Driver 2: Taking things for granted.
We all have the capacity to take some of the most important things in our lives for granted – things like our relationships, health and security – not through malice, neglect or forethought but through being busy doing other things.
One of the underlying assumptions for both these drivers is that we can somehow own future time, which, of course, we can’t.
That is why I think it is important to regularly reframe our concept of time.
My suggestion today is that, in addition to what you are currently doing well, you set aside some regular quiet time to specifically contemplate mortality and celebrate life.
Celebrate the internal soul stuff, the stuff that speaks to you deep inside your skin, the stuff that makes you happy just to be alive. You are already celebrating the external stuff – the win, the career change, the life change and your family and friends’ significant milestones.
Contemplate mortality, not in a morbid way but as a way to recalibrate what is important and create commitments to doing something about them.
Steve Jobs, in his famous Stanford Commencement Address of 2005 speaks of this, when, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he realised that death was not just ‘a useful but purely intellectual concept’. In fact, if you have not seen the 15 minute Video of this awesome address go check it out now.
Go on, have that put-off important conversation, do that thing, scratch that itch, expand yourself. If not now – when?
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Until next time….