Do You Wonder - What is Really Important in My Life?
This is a good question to ask. It is easy to find yourself chasing the rabbit that is in front of you—not because you really want to, but just because it is there. And then that pursuit can take you down a rabbit hole that is far away from where you really want to be. It can take you away from what is really important to you and who you really are.
Our view of what is central to our lives changes, as we grow and mature. When I was in my 20’s I was focused on establishing my career. In my 30’s, I was completely engaged in family life. In my 40’s, I was once again chasing work. In my 50’s, I wanted to understand myself. Now, in my early 60’s, I feel an urgency to accomplish some things that I want to do. While I feel youthful (at least most of the time!), I realize the clock is ticking.
When you look back at your life, you view your experience through a telescope. You are able to see only the large events and moments. When you are considering today, you examine your experience through a microscope—small events and instants look huge!
The late Stephen Covey liked to say, “ The main thing is to keep the main thing in your life, the main thing!” Phew! What the heck does that mean?
Firstly, you have to figure out what the main thing is for you at this time in your life. I like to look at two dimensions—what do I want to nurture in myself and what do I want to grow in my life. The first one focuses on aspects of yourself that you would to cultivate. The latter one spotlights what you want to change in your life.
For me, at this time in my life, I want to be more focused (I can get spread a little thin at times). I need to nurture this capacity so I can accomplish a few of those projects of mine that I want to complete. What do I want to change in my life? I want to start taking cello lessons! When I was younger, I played the piano and the guitar and I want to refresh my musical interest in a new way. It is been on my back burner for a long time.
Both of these desires sound easy—right? The problem is that everyday life is so compelling and distracting; it’s easy to forget what I want to nurture. If I plant these seeds and forget to water them every day, they will never germinate. If I do water them, but forget to weed out the parts of my life that are interferences, they will never flower. If I want to have a rich inner and outer garden, I need to take care of these plants every day. But it is easy to forget.
So here are my suggestions on how to remember what you need to remember, when you need to remember it! (Uh Oh, here we go again!)
Reflect—What do I want to develop in myself and what do I want to change or add to my life?This may take some time to determine. Think about traits that you would like to nurture in yourself. Think about what you would like to add or subtract in your life.
Write these goals on a 3x5 card. My current goal is to be more focused in my every day life. Yours may be to stay calm, remember to let your kids know how much you love them, be more positive, etc. Remember that your goals are going to change!
Put this card on your bathroom mirror! Why in heavens would you do that? Because that is the first place you visit every morning and the last place you go to every night. When you do, you will look in the mirror at your sleepy face and you will read your message to yourself and remember your intention. This device helps remind you every day and every night what you want to cultivate in yourself and in your life.
What helps you remember to keep what is important to you central in your life?