AUDIO: 3 Liberating Truths About Getting Things Done
A knock on the door caught me by surprise. I hadn’t seen Joe for many years when he had worked second shift for our company. His big smile never stopped as he told his story.
Apparently, some twenty years previous, he had caught me leaving the plant, exhausted, late one evening. He was facing a crisis and I took the time to listen, according to Joe.
Doesn’t sound like me at that stage in my life.
I couldn’t remember the incident, but he held on to it as the moment he began to believe in himself. He said I expressed confidence in him and even said a prayer over him. I don’t recall. Twenty years.
Breaking Free From Distractions
I suspect the entire time I was trying to get out of there or distracted by things that seemed really important at the time. I don’t remember them either. Then there are all the times I couldn’t take vacations or go on trips, couldn’t attend important kid events and all that. I was an idiot. It never occurred to me that the investments I was making were for the future. I was a prisoner to the present.
Yes, I know there are urgent things that demand your attention. But, what if the urgent things are never long term investments?
My experience is that urgency feels important but truly important things rarely feel urgent.
Make Room For The Unexpected
Urgency even makes us feel important. That’s why it’s so addictive! But, what if the illusively important opportunities of your life required some counterintuitive thinking to be discovered. Remember, some of the greatest discoveries of mankind occurred by accident. Gunpowder, Velcro, duct tape, synthetic rubber and many landmark medications. What we think we’re accomplishing isn’t nearly as powerful as what we might accomplish, even if it’s by accident.
So, let me share with you 3 liberating truths about getting things done.
#1. Your list isn’t as important as you think it is. What you’re trying to accomplish is great but the most important opportunities of your day won’t be on your list. Embrace the possibilities, don’t get buried in the urgencies.
#2. Important discoveries generally happen by accident. Set yourself up for happy accidents. Of course, you need a plan, a direction, a defined purpose and actionable traction to take you there. But leave room for the unexpected and unexplained. Rarely are things exactly as we perceive them. In fact, tunnel vision on our mission will cause us to miss the beauty of life itself. You’re part of a much bigger plan. Let yourself be part of it. You don’t have to understand everything.
#3. Consistency is not a short-term play. The accumulation of life speaks much louder than the successes or failures of the moment. Don’t judge yourself or allow yourself to be judged by your worst or your greatest moments.
When I found myself crushed by failure, I thought my life was over. I thought everything I’d ever done was flushed down the toilet. What I found was much different. Sure, I had lost a lot of man-made stuff and man-made validation but the relationships I had built were still paying dividends. I was even more prepared than ever to become the man I was created to be.
It takes years to see the impact of your life. You will make mistakes. You’ll get things wrong. But what you do consistently will prevail.
Good intentions may not be enough but give yourself permission to live in the larger story. Use these liberating truths to get things done that lead to lasting Breakthrough.
Add your comments to the conversation: What investments have you been making in the “bigger picture” lately? Have you been allowing urgency to consume your time? Post your reply below.