Time Is Not the Answer
I used to believe that time was my most valuable resource. It is not. I realize that once an hour is “wasted” that hour is gone. I know I can’t create time or make time. I’m not implying that time and time management isn’t important. I just believe there is something that is much more valuable than time.
Attention will Determine the Future
While time determines our days, attention determines our future. Even when we manage our time perfectly, if we are focused on the wrong thing(s), we will get off course. Our attention determines our goals and our priority. When we focus our attention on the wrong thing, our life gets out of whack.
Focusing on the wrong thing, even though it might be the urgent thing, can be deadly. United Flight 173 had the crew so focused on diagnosing a landing gear problem, they failed to recognize the fuel gauge indicating they were running out of fuel. The plane crashed killing 10.
We are not flying planes, but we are guiding our lives. While focusing on the wrong thing might not mean people will die, it will mean we won’t end up where we want. What we give our attention to will determine where we land.
Every day we make choices on what gets our focus. If we are not intentional about what we focus on, we will end up focusing on whatever cries out for our attention. We end up doing “whatever comes up” or “whatever I’m told to do” or whatever sounds good at the time.
Living by going from activity to activity without reflection and without thought leads to unfocused living. Unfocused living takes us to who knows where. Lewis Carroll wrote, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Although, Yogi Berra said it best, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
Some people are satisfied ending p who knows where. They probably have a vision of who they want to be, what they want to do, and what they want to have, but they have no way of ever realizing that dream. Knowing where we want to go and getting there takes intentional focus.
What we give our attention to is the most important thing about us for we become what we give our attention to.
Where Are You Going?
I’ve read that most people want to be entertained, but successful people want to learn. Successful people read about a book a week. How do they do that? They are intentional.
Reading a book a week means you may not be as entertained, but entertainment doesn’t really take us anywhere. Being intentional means you make a choice on what you give your attention to. It means you won’t allow Netflix or YouTube to automatically choose what you watch (give your attention to) next.
We all make choices. We can binge Full House. We can watch the news. We can spend time in prayer. We can read. We can learn. What we intentionally or unintentionally give our attention to is what we ultimately become. Who are you becoming?
- Determine who you want to be, what you want to do, and what you want to have (we can’t focus if we don’t know where we are going). This is your goal.
- List three activities that will move you closer to your vision. Do you need more education? Experience? Exercise? Time with family? These are your tactics.
- Decide to limit activities which do not align with your goals or priorities. You can’t focus on your tactics, if your life is filled with other stuff. What will you focus on and what will you ignore?