By Michael Kline
I talk a lot about goals, focus and execution. Of course, I mean for other people, I’m too busy being productive! I have lots of goals, plenty to focus on and productive doesn’t begin to describe my days.
Okay, I’m being a little sarcastic, but also honest. I admit I am a complete nut case, and probably should be heavily medicated, if not locked up for not only thinking, but actually trying to do everything, really well, and at
the same time. I’ve avoided both the meds and a special home, only because our society rewards my lunacy and the unenlightened are even envious. The enlightened, of course, know the truth, but also know I’m finding my own path,
which currently involves multi-tasking while meditating.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a great life, and I appreciate it every day. I don’t say this lightly, in fact, I think it’s a bit
of a miracle. I thrive on the craziness, the speed at which conversations change topics, the quality and sheer quantity of creative productivity, ideas and solutions that blow through my day like spring tornados through Kansas. I find
it all exhilarating. Issues or topics that come up in my typical day might include – and I’m just thinking of things currently on my mind– getting sponsors, jury duty, socks with bright colored cats, gratitude wine glasses, photographs of hikers, insurance for trampolines is extra? (I can’t believe we’re talking about trampolines), opening acts, walking across Texas, national parks, cars that will save the earth, necklaces made from scrabble tiles, white or colored sheets, housekeeper who charges $50 per hour – really? Things that are kind, things are not kind, and lots of things that are surprisingly subject to debate. As weird as it sounds, I’m not making this sh -- up.
I have to ask myself if I am really happy, and is there any depth, meaning, or purpose to it all. If I had to apply any serious concern about the outcome of my various projects, would I be as stressed and frustrated
as everyone else? The answer is yes, yes, yes, yes and no, I really don’t think so.
One of my five or so current careers is teaching seminars. At a rate of four to six seminars a month, I’ve talked about this topic to a couple hundred people in the last year. Many of my students are stressed juggling work, family, house, health, kids, pets, cars, etc. However, it seems that the happiest people have more going on in their life and a lot
less stress. I am not trying to minimalize the plight of the stressed folks who seemingly have less to stress about. On the contrary, I’m raising the question as to how can some people stress over fewer things, and other people accomplish many things, when we all have exactly the same twenty four hours in a day and
the same number of days in a week.
Most people seem to spend most of their time working on things that are urgent and behind schedule, but that are really not that important. They are being asked to do more for less, with less and would quit their job if
they could afford to. Most people say what they need more than anything else is, time. This is almost getting depressing, isn’t it? The good news is that most people don’t say they need more money, they recognize they have much to be grateful for and they can find their happy place, even if it takes a little effort.
My conclusion is that no one needs more time. If you’re wasting the time you have now, you will waste whatever time you could be given. If you think you’re not wasting time, think again – how much of your time is spent
doing what is really important to you? How much of your time is spent doing things that are demanding your attention but are not really that important? What a waste of time. By eliminating the so-called urgent work, and focusing on the
important work, I can do more of what matters and still find more free time than I need.
If you are trying to do more, try doing more for more, instead of more for less. Doing more (of the right things) is worth more, and you should at least eventually, be rewarded more. By the way, I’m not suggesting that it is
better to accomplish more – I’m saying it is better to accomplish what you want to accomplish, once you decide what that is. I’m asking you to relieve the stress in your life, to identify what is really important to you, identify the
path to that goal, and start down that path. Enjoy the journey, for as Earl Nightingale defined it, success is making progress toward a worthwhile goal.