Time: A Simple Choice

Time guru and author, Stephen Covey, famously described the difference between important versus non-urgent matters that bog us down.

Turns out, the things most important in our lives are also the things we don’t have time for. Things like crisis prevention, relationship building and skill improvement.

Why? Well, we get all tied up with non-urgent things – both important (necessary) and non-important (unnecessary). And, what’s really sad is that we’re putting aside all the things that make us happy.

Ask yourself: what are the things you love doing … that make you happy, excited and proud? Now, ask yourself: why aren’t you doing them?

“What you doin’ on your back/ You should be dancing, yeah!” You should be Dancing by the Bee Gees

Now, ask yourself how many years do you have to live … 10 … 20 … 50? And, how many of those years (if you’re lucky) will be truly healthy – for traveling, hobbies or your choice of lifestyle?

And, since we’re not an island unto ourselves it means getting along with others. I should know, I’ve blown it so many times, I feel like I’m downright hypercritical. At such times, am I happy? Hardly!

If you’re like me, I know how you feel, but this is what I’ve found out … the hard way. There’s a predictable contradiction when it comes to implementing Covey’s important ‘relationship building’ and ‘crisis prevention’.

I mean, sometimes, as you look ahead, you’ve got to cry out, “iceberg!” But, what if the response is one of indifference or (particularly irksome) no reply at all. 

Now, there is nothing wrong with an emotional decision, once you’ve looked at all the evidence, but there is such a thing as being right … and wrong … at the same time.

Sound confusing? Well, it’s all a matter of degree and how you relay the info. There’s no sense going overboard, upsetting others or failing to keep calm in a crisis.

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you”

“Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”

(poem excerpts from) If  by Rudyard Kipling

Now, this isn’t easy to do; it’s a skill that needs developing – keeping cool under pressure. Yet, wouldn’t you want to deal with someone that’s asking all the right questions and is logical and organized, in the process?

Photo by Anindya Chowdhury
Photo by Anindya Chowdhury

Biting your tongue can be a painful lesson to learn, but so can ‘ruffling feathers’… of the very people you need to help you. Instead, you can show a little respect and be seen as one of those people who always seem to get their own sweet way. Also, saying a heartfelt, “I’m sorry” goes a long way – which can be honestly therapeutic.

It’s your life, how do you want to spend it? It’s a simple choice.


Fred Parry
www.fredparry.ca      Sept 2013

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