Focusing on the important things in life

My Vistage group really helps me focus on what is important in my life both professionally and personally, and last week’s meeting was no exception. I was reflecting on the meeting when I came across this piece written by Nadine Stair (85 years old)

“If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but i’d have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I’m one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had it to do over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after the other, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute.

If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have. If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way late in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.”

So, my questions to you are:

  • What is really, really important in your life?
  • How is this reflected in where you currently spend your time and energy?
  • How has what’s important to you changed during different ages? (10? 16? 21? 30?)

I would love to hear what came up for you and any actions you intend to take as a result.

3 Responses to Focusing on the important things in life

  • Hi Julie,

    It's an ongoing process!!

    Seriously though, I think the key is to be honest with yourself, and make time to reflect on what you want to achieve in your spiritual, work and family/personal life. For me it's also about being congruent in my own behaviour, so my values are reflected in what I do, not where I am or who I am with. That can be uncomfortable at times. Not everyone has the same values, idea's, opinions, etc.

    To keep the focus, I have to define boundaries. When I am with my daughter I do my best to "be" in the moment with her and go on Kid time. When I'm working (I am based at home) I have had to put my daughter in daycare 3 days a week so I can focus on work for 3 set days, and get the rest done when she sleeps (yes, late nights to do this!). So I'm there for her when she comes home. For Church, I don't plan any other activities on Sunday's and avoid work activities.

    Like everyone, I don't always keep the boundaries defined as much as I would like, and life is a journey so I'm always open to learning how to do things better (like cooking!!)

  • Thanks for your comments Geoff. You sound really clear about what's important in your life. How do you keep that focus amidst the different demands on your time?

  • HI Julie,

    thanks for sharing this piece. As a single dad, trying to raise my daughter, start a business, work part time, and contribute to my Church, I've realised that these are the things that are really, really important.

    To be a good father, who is present when my child needs me (not when I 'make time'), to be committed to my business (without sacrificing time with my daughter), to be hard working (for someone else's business as I am for my own), and to be a good role model (not just on Sunday's when I'm around other Christian's).

    these are the things I'm spending my time and energy.


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