Guest Author - Jon Snyder
ďThe true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.Ē
What are the details of your life? What is important to you? Determining what is important in your life seems like a simple task, right? Well, maybe not as simple as you think. So sit down with a piece of paper and pen/pencil, and start writing down things that are important to you. They donít need to be in any certain order, just write whatever comes to mind. Keep writing until you absolutely canít think of anything else. Now fold the paper in half and lay it aside for a day. Put it where no one else will see it. Now, for the next 24 hours think about the things you wrote and if you come up with additional ones you forgot, then write them down. Now after 24 hours or so pick up the list again and read through it one by one. As you read them, put a V for very important or an S for somewhat important by each one.
ďAll the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.Ē ~Havelock Ellis
Now, go back through the list one more time, and make sure there are no Sís that are more important than a V. Now, pick five and only five of the Vís that are most important. They donít have to be in order, just identify the five most important Vís. Once done, you now have the things that you need to put the most focus on (at this point in your life). This is you IMPORTANT list. Itís not that the other ones arenít important but the top five Vís need your most focus. So, get to work and make your list. You might be surprised with what you list and then what you determine to be the Ďmostí important. Donít worry that you made the most correct list. Just focus on doing it. You will learn more about yourself just compiling the list then you expected.
ďLife is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.Ē ~Helen Keller
The second part of this exercise is where you come face to face with where you are at compared to where you want to be. Now make a list of what you actually spend your time doing. List everything you do in a 30-day period. Include: work, commute, play, read, exercise, sleep, etc. Once you complete the list go back and put a % of the time you spend every month doing that one item. Sleep for example might be about 30% (8 hrs/day). Remember, the total can only add up to 100%. Granted every month isnít exactly the same but probably close to it. This is your ACTUAL list. Now, compare your 2nd list (what you actually do) to your first list (Important List).
Do the lists overlap at any point? Are you actually doing anything on your important list? If the two lists look like antonyms (opposites) instead of synonyms (similar), then you may be feeling some sense of stress or feel unfulfilled. The closer the lists align the happier you would tend to be. Complete this exercise a couple times a year because life changes and you focus will change with your life. The main thing to remember is that if you donít focus on the things you want, you probably will never acquire them.
ďAnd we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.Ē Romans 8:28
Remember that you are original, like no one else. Celebrate your uniqueness all you can.