February 26, 2015

Begin Again and Be Selective

Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine

You have heard it said, “I’m spread too thin, I’m running on empty, I’m burning my candle at both ends and the harder I work the farther behind I get”. We all have at one time or another come to the realization we are not performing to the best of our abilities. What can you do about this when it happens to you?

I have a friend that is a psychologist and he is always asking “How’s your day going?” If I ever speak negatively of my day he will say, “You know you have the right to start your day over. Begin again.” Since he first spoke those words to me I have indeed started my day, many days, over. It seems to give you a new attitude and greater expectations for the remainder of the day.

The same is true for our lives. I recently had a friend faced with a terminal illness. He was given a short amount of time to live and immediately gave up on life. 3 days later he was on top of the world and optimistic about his future. The change came after he began again. He sought other opinions and made connections with the world’s finest doctors specializing in his disease. The big difference was his priorities had changed. His objectives were narrowed down to what really matters. The 101 things he had been trying to accomplish had fallen away and he now had only a few major objectives in his life.

I am familiar with this scenario. I and another family member experienced near death health issues. We came through not only healthy but focused on our priorities. Many things we were trying to do, people we were trying to please and objectives we were attempting to reach were no longer a priority. They have now been narrowed down to just a few.    

Author Richard Koch said, “Few people take objectives really seriously. They put average effort into too many things, rather than superior thought and effort into a few important things. People who achieve the most are selective as well as determined.”  As Koch stated a multitude of things can demand our best effort but with so many objectives only a few of us can do better than average. If we were to be more selective in our objectives and give them superior thought and effort we would achieve more.

I know we all have that mentality of wanting to do all and be all but we must consider, “Why not be more and do more with a few things?” It can be done as Koch says by being more selective and determined. If you seem frustrated or lacking in your results you may want to begin again and be more selective with your objectives. You have the right to start over and prioritize.  


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