One of the easiest ways to keep our priorities in order is simply to practice the concept of W.I.N. – What’s Important Now? Most of us are pulled in several different directions at the same time. The biggest competitors for our time are our finances (our job or vocation related), our family or personal relationships, and our physical or spiritual well-being. Survey after survey show those areas of concern to be at the top of almost everyone’s list.
Nightingale Conant, one of the largest distributors of educational materials in the world, tracks the audio recordings they have sold over the years. I was fascinated to discover that those areas were included in the list of their top five best selling topics of all time.
The challenge for us comes when we allow those areas to compete with one another for our attention. While we are at work, we may be worried about our family or our spiritual condition. While we are with our family, we may be distracted by concerns about our job or finances. While we are pursuing spiritual matters, we may wonder if our family or job is taking precedence over that aspect of our life. Those three areas of life seem to compete for first place most of the time.
It was years ago that I heard a wise friend of mine, Charles “Tremendous” Jones, divulge the secret of how he learned to maintain balance in those areas. He said, “When I am with my family, I give my 100% undivided attention to my family. When I am at my job, I give my 100% undivided attention to my job, and when I am working on my physical or spiritual life, I give 100% undivided attention to my spiritual or physical life.” He said, “I have learned to focus on being wherever I am at that moment in time.” In other words, you might say he had learned the secret of What’s Important Now.
It is the most frustrating thing in the world to be in one place physically and another place mentally or emotionally. It will tear you apart. It reminds me of the quote, “Hard work has never hurt anyone…but trying to decide which work to do has killed a lot of people!” You see, you cannot be divided in your physical, spiritual and emotional life. Charlie Jones said, “You show me someone who says, ‘I never let my job or my spiritual life come in front of my family’, or ‘I never let my family or my spiritual life come in front of my job’, or ‘I never let my job or my family come in front of my spiritual life’ and I’ll show you someone who only cares about one thing…themselves!” That helps me.
It is virtually impossible to focus on two things at once. If someone is trying to make a living, they should do it with all their heart, soul and mind. That does not mean they do not care about their family, nor does it mean they do not care about their spiritual life. However, at that moment, they need to focus 100% of their attention and emotions on their job. After all, that will cause them to enjoy what they are doing more and propel them toward success. The same is true for one’s family time and spiritual life as well. It is important to be focused on the task at hand and not let other things become a distraction. Certainly, from time to time there may be minor interruptions, but for the most part we need to be where we are 100% of the time in order to have a W.I.N. experience. I struggle with this concept daily. So, I am not simply sharing a concept with you that I once read about in a book. I am sharing my heart with you.
Let me encourage you this week to focus on What’s Important Now. Do the next task that lies in front of you and do it with all your might. Then, when you move from one environment to another, you will be able to “change hats” or adapt to a different environment more effectively.
I am continually amazed at the peace I can experience whenever I do whatever I am doing with all my heart and refuse to worry about the other competing factors. It alleviates guilt and causes me to be more efficient and focused in what I am doing at that moment.
We all want to be effective in those different areas of our life. By applying the concept of What’s Important Now, I believe we will have a better chance at succeeding. I know it is working for me and I believe it will also work for you!
Tip: W.I.N…What’s Important Now?
Reprinted with permission from the "Tip of the Week".
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