2023 August 15 Your core principles are always task #1

Aug 15, 2023

Hi, this is Jim Cranston from 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com, the podcast and website about reimagining your life. Thanks for joining me tonight to talk about keeping your priorities in balance. So let's get started. If you like what you hear, please leave a Like, tell your friends, send me a message.


Last week we talked about being a leader and taking those first steps to really be in charge of things. That's really important. We often talk about setting goals and managing our priorities, which is also very important, but sometimes we might get so focused on our priorities that we lose sight of what we might call our hidden priorities. Those are the things that are always there and very important to us, but because they're always present, sometimes we tend to forget about them. It's those core principles that really define our attitude towards life and really define how we act in life.


It might be something as simple as asking how someone is doing today, just caring for others, before you launch into whatever important conversation you plan. A good question I use is something like, Do you have anything exciting coming up? That very often leads into a nice quick opportunity for the other person to tell you something that's important to them.


Being from Western culture, I tend to prioritize efficiency. While efficiency is generally a good trait, sometimes it misleads me into skipping that personal introduction and opportunity for the other person to share something that's going on in their life. Remember, living a mindful life is really just living a life that allows the good things all around us to become apparent to us.


Too often we're so busy being efficient that we miss the beauty that's right in front of us. This past weekend was the church picnic. It was nice, but it did make for a hectic weekend. There was some last minute music rehearsal, getting all the food and supplies moved to the correct locations in time and setting up the sound system.


All those things, visiting with people, lots of things going on, are all the things that make a picnic fun. But it's also a lot of work and somewhat tiring. So on Sunday, I was focused on being efficient because I had some uncommon tasks to complete for a church friend. After church, I had all the regular cleanup stuff that I do.


I was talking with the choir director and helping to check out a new sound system, and then also picking up some papers from a person who often leaves early. I planned everything out very, very carefully in my mind. I did part of the chores, ran down to pick up the papers, said hi to another friend and her grandchild. A beautiful special needs child. I noticed I couldn't get the youngster to smile and made a note of it. It was unusual. I said a quick goodbye to everybody and ran back to finish the rest of my tests. A short while later, after I got those things done, I learned that my little buddy and their grandmother were about to leave and move to another state.


I really couldn't believe how, in that very important moment, I neglected to ask, Do you have anything exciting planned? I probably would've learned about the pending move and why he was so upset. I would've been able to give a proper goodbye and some support. I realized that my little friend was probably really pensive because the whole world was changing and they were trying to make sense of it.


Rather than getting good thoughts of support from me, I was just briefly trying to make him smile and get on with other things. Everything in life happens for a reason. It may just be that this was my major lesson to never, ever lose sight of the little things that make life life.


It isn't about efficiently getting tasks done. Life is for sharing with others, supporting others, and living to make the world a better place. If I had just focused on the moment, sowed down a little bit, remembered the pleasantries, those two may have had a little more comfort and a nicer start to a big life change.


One cannot change the past, but one can certainly learn from it. For me, the biggest lesson is to never forget nor neglect what is truly important. It isn't the things on a to-do list or even your big vision. Sometimes we forget that the big vision is really just the actualization of your inner soul, the inner energy that motivates you.


Usually that inner drive is based on things so core to your being, you sometimes forget they're there. Then you forget to make time for them as well. Did I get all the items in my to-do list checked off? Yes, I did, but I missed the most important one of all. Because that one wasn't on the list, which is to be the best human being I can be to everyone I meet all the time.


I inadvertently made the second most important thing in the world the most important, and by doing so, lost an opportunity to really give encouragement to some others who are going through a difficult transition. In reality, if I had done that one thing and been a good friend to them, and done none of the other things on the to-do list, it still would've been a more productive and satisfying day because I would've been following my own core principles.


So in our quest to live our lives to the fullest, and to define our vision and work towards it, we can't forget that our vision is based upon our core, foundational principles. Although we may not write them down at the top of every list, they really should be our number one priority. 


So your homework (always optional) is to think of what really defines you. What are your core principles? They don't have to be complex, and they probably aren't, but they're worth revisiting every now and again so that you don't lose sight of them in the middle of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Extra points if you also want to think about ways to weave those principles into your everyday experiences with strangers - at the store when you're late for an appointment, when you're having a bad day. It's easy to be true to yourself when life is going well, but the real test is when life is challenging you.


So that's it for the evening. Don't  forget UKR7.com, which is our website with links supporting the people of Ukraine. There's also links there to the World Central Kitchen, WCK.org.

Remember, one of the best ways to care for yourself is to care for others. As I always say, it's always good to look outside yourself, because when you do that, it changes your perspective on the world. It puts things in a better perspective of your place in the world. So if you can, please check it out at UKR7.com. 


As always, thank you for stopping by. If you found something interesting or useful, please pass it along and please hit that like button. If not, please drop me a comment as to what you'd like to hear. Have a great week. Remember to live the life that you dream of, because that's the path to true contentment. Love and encouragement to everyone. See you next week on 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com. Thank you.


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