We’ve all heard the sayings about appreciating the ones we love, taking the time to ‘smell the flowers,’ etc., but how many of us actually invest the time and effort to make sure this happens?
Would this child have been so happy if her parent had
not been there taking the picture?
There are scores of books which tell us to be careful and not to climb the ladder up the wrong tree, so to speak, only to find out we’ve been striving for success in all the wrong places – like the classic tale of the man who works so hard for his family that one day he finds his family has left…
Do we really need days such as Father’s Day and Mother’s Day to ensure we remember to spend time with our parents and tell them we love and appreciate them? Do we need an illness or death of a loved one to remind us to slow down, appreciate today and focus on what matters?
Some might say the answer is yes, but you’ll find it doesn’t take a lot of change to see results in this area – just a little forethought. Just as you should work ON your business or job as well as IN it, so too should you take time to think about what’s important to you and be sure to schedule it in, if you have to.
Commit to spending some time in the next week in contemplation. With A pen and paper, write down everything that’s important to you, and read between the lines. For instance, if you wrote ‘Playing with my kids while they’re still young enough to want to play,’this involves not only setting aside time or arranging your life so that you can play with them, but also implies that you remain healthy and vibrant ie. take care of yourself. Often just consciously thinking about things in this way will be enough for you to see glaring gaps in where you’d like to be spending your time vs. where you have been.
As Stephen Covey suggests, it is wise to ‘think from the end.’ This means giving some thought to a) what you might like said about you after you’re gone, and equally important, b) to what you might think when you look back at the end of it. Might you have regrets? Will they be about things you did not try and people you did not hug, or business calls you didn’t make? Probably the former. Facing our mortality in this way is empowering, and gives us a little jolt, reminding us that our days are finite here and that we would be wise to use them well.
HERE is a company that gets this, and uses it in their advertising. Take a good look and wait for the few slides that come along…it’s a good reminder if you have kids.
Jim Rohn tells us that we all must deal with one of two pains: the pain of discipline (doing the little things that count) or the pain of regret. You might not think of the word discipline when considering what’s important to you, but you’ll find at first that it may take discipline to change your habits – to make sure you DO the little things that add up to healthy, love-filled, life well lived.