I begin today’s post with a confession. I invested the previous two weeks in restoring my mental, emotional, and spiritual sanity. I decided several weeks ago that after seven months of not venturing more than a few miles from my home, I needed a respite and a retreat. I didn’t have to think long to determine my destination – a beach community in Northwest Florida that my family and I have been going to for over twenty years.
I drove down myself and drove home alone as well, which with eleven and a half hours of windshield time one way is a fair amount of alone time anyway. I also had a few days at the beginning and end of my time there when my wife joined me to spend time alone and rejuvenate. I tell you all of this not to brag about my beach and golfing exploits, nor to brag about my beautiful golfer’s tan. I brought back several thoughts with me from my time that I think you will enjoy reading about.
Sure, I had more time to think than most busy people might, but whether it is a few days or a few minutes each day, I want first for you to begin thinking of time as an asset that you invest in rather than something you merely spend. There is a big difference. Just as I suggested in my post last week if you’re willing to invest a few minutes each day to give yourself more clarity and authenticity in your interactions, why wouldn’t you do that?
If you are like me, you show up every day with the best of intentions. You have your To-Do List all prepared to tackle and maybe even a few goals you intend to work on. On paper, everything looks great and as if you can have a perfectly productive day. But as we all know, the perfect day is not only elusive but is also primarily a figment of our imaginations.
Phone calls, emails, and impromptu meetings all happen all day, every day. Then you have customers or clients, co-workers, and bosses who also demand part of your time. How many of us and how many times do you get to the end of the day, and your perfect plan is more like a perfect wreck?
So, quite simply stating the problem, how do you cut through all of life’s demands to invest the time you have into your most important tasks and, more importantly, to find enough time to spend on the things you want to do? My simple but not easy answer is to determine what you have to say no to so that you can say yes to the more important things.
I say this is simple but not easy because I know there are dozens of things that demand your attention every day. But I also know that there are a few things that if you get to do each day, that will make the day a rousing success no matter what else happens. To do this, you will have to invest time into finding clarity that may take a few minutes, hours, or days. It is whatever it takes
When you invest the time, you will come away with several things. The most important thing for me was simply clarity. I know now what I am responsible for and what I am not. Perhaps like me, you feel like everything depends on you. It doesn’t. I needed a few days alone with myself – and with God – to figure this out (again).
Clarity of purpose may sound like a convoluted idea or perhaps the latest business buzzword. That may be true, but I can assure you that it is much more than that once you have it. With it, there is the freedom to pursue your highest, best calling while being able to ignore distractions and diversions that formerly frustrated you. It doesn’t mean that the birds are singing and the sun is shining every day.
Each day has its challenges, problems to be solved, and disagreements to be worked out. Those things don’t go away with clarity. So what makes those things seem less important or even irrelevant? The mindset that you develop when you have clarity. The best word I can use to describe it is peace. Peace of mind.
With peace of mind comes focus, with focus comes productivity, and with productivity comes accomplishment. Real, meaningful accomplishment. So, while I may have had the advantage of some palm trees, white sand, and beautiful sunsets, I invested in something that all of us have too little of, no matter where we are. Time.
What investment will you make today that will earn dividends tomorrow, next week, and next year? I can’t wait to hear what you discover and who you become. YOU are worth the investment, and I value you. And, God loves you too and wants to see you accomplish what only YOU can do! He invested His life in YOU!
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