Give it away…

“Satisfied needs do not motivate. It’s only the unsatisfied need that motivates. Next to physical survival, the greatest need of human beings is psychological survival—to be understood, affirmed, validated, and appreciated.”

Stephen Covey

What is enough? In many ways, okay most ways, we live in the greatest period of human history. For the majority of the world physical survival isn’t the challenge that needs to be solved. Yet, the greatest needs of human beings, as defined above, seems to be a more difficult challenge than ever. We strive to get more validation, affirmation, appreciation for ourselves, but do the things we seek truly last?

How much of our lives do we waste seeking to be satisfied by the things the world says are important, but give no real and lasting comfort? Think back to this day one year ago. What was your single greatest worry and fear? How were you spending your precious energy? Do you even remember?

What if, instead of desperately seeking our own satisfaction, we could strive to spend some of our energy fulfilling the unsatisfied needs of others? If we could invest our time, creativity and passion INTO another person and fill their greatest needs to be understood, affirmed, validated, and appreciated don’t you think that would have a much more lasting impact?

Today, don’t allow yourself to be a slave to the calling of self, take a moment to be intentional and give part of yourself away to another human being, with the intention to fill their greatest needs. Think of how different your world, and theirs, would be if this was part of your intentional daily practice. What might the world look like one year from today if we all did this…

Tyranny of the urgent and unimportant…

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

Stephen R. Covey

What gets in the way of doing the important things in your life, your work? Having a goal, a set of goals, just isn’t enough. You have to intentionally set aside the time to ensure that you aren’t being distracted by all the stuff that comes up that is urgent and demands to be done “right now.” Those urgent things will bog you down and take over your life if you aren’t really really careful and intentional about how you spend your time and energy.

One of those urgent things for me that gets in the way of what is truly important is answering and managing email. There can be just so much of it coming at me in a given day and sometimes it is hard to keep up. About four months ago I found an app that allows me to “pause” my inbox and only receive email a few times a day unless it means a certain set of criteria (from certain people or with certain keywords). This has been a game changer for me because it allows me to control my time and schedule when I am going to read and respond to email. It prevents the urgent (whether real or perceived) from taking time from what is truly important.

What can you do to find the balance between the tyranny of the urgent and the truly most important things? Any successes you can share?

Direction vs. Time

“Live your life by a compass, not a clock.”

Stephen R. Covey

What sets our day, our clock or our compass?  It’s funny when you think about it, the world was discovered not with a clock, but a compass. But nowadays time is everything that we care about.  We wear a watch, we schedule our days to the down to the last minute.  How often do we check to make sure that we are going in the right direction?

What if instead of a watch we wore a compass on our wrist to check and see if we were moving in the right direction?  I don’t know about you but staying on time seems to take priority in life over direction at times.  We focus on the importance of time instead of focusing on where we are going.

The bottom line is this.  You need both a compass and a watch.  But it needs to be in that order.  If you put a clock ahead of of the compass you’ll make great time, but you won’t know where you are going….

Plan your work, work your plan…

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

Stephen Covey

Why is this easier said than done?  I know all too often I look at my calendar to see what I have coming for the week instead of starting with my goals and then scheduling time to work on those things that are most important.  It is a case of reacting versus being proactive with my time.  

There aren’t enough hours in the day, so how you choose to invest them is critical.  What is the one thing that you want to get done this coming week to ensure that you can meet your goals?  Have you intentionally set aside the time to get it done?  The time will pass, how to spend the time is up to you.

FREEDOM!!

“Being proactive is more than taking initiative. It is recognizing that we are responsible for our own choices and have the freedom to choose based on principles and values rather than on moods or condition. Proactive people are agents of change and choose not to be victims, to be reactive, or to blame others.”

Stephen Covey

Today in the United States we are celebrating our Independence Day.  The day where our Founding Fathers made a conscious choice to be responsible for the course of our independent nation. They chose the direction and were responsible for the creation of the principles and values that would set our path as a republic for centuries to come.

The freedom to choose is one of our greatest gifts in life. I love this particular quote because it sums up so neatly the importance of living a life of active choices.  Once you have clearly identified your values and principles one can live a life of freedom.  It isn’t always easy to make the choices that align to your values.  In fact, sometime they are the hardest ones to make.  However, when we have a framework we aren’t relegated to being the product of other’s choices, we are freely choosing our path in life.  

As we celebrate freedom today take a moment to reflect on what freedom to choose means in your life.  

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