Freedom from Urgency by Denis Waitley
Freedom from urgency…. That’s what will allow us to live a rich and rewarding life. You may have thought your problem was “time starvation,” when in truth, it was in the way you assigned priorities in your decision-making process. Have you allowed the urgent to crowd out the important?
Each day we will continue to encounter deadlines we must meet and “fires,” not necessarily of our own making, we must put out. Endless urgent details will always beg for attention, time and energy. What we seldom realize is that the really important things in our life don’t make such strict demands on us, and therefore we usually assign them a lower priority.
Our loved ones understand when we are preoccupied with our urgent business, but it’s hard for us to understand, many years later, why they appear preoccupied when we finally find some time for them. Harry Chapin’s classic song, “The Cat’s in the Cradle,” is still a mirror reflecting our priorities.
All the important arenas in our life are there awaiting our decisions. But they don’t beg us to give them our time. The local university doesn’t call us to advance our education and improve our life skills.
I have never received a call or email from the health club I joined insisting that I show up and work out for thirty minutes each day. My bathroom scale has never insisted that I lose thirty pounds. The grocery clerks have never made me put back on the shelves the junk food I put in the cart, nor has a fast-food restaurant ever refused me a double cheeseburger and large fries because of my high cholesterol.
Nor have I ever been subpoenaed by the ocean or the mountains to appear for relaxation and solitude. Yet I receive hundreds of urgent phone messages and emails each week from people with deadlines.
You see, it’s the easiest thing in the world to neglect the important and give in to the urgent. One of the greatest skills you can ever develop in your life is not only to tell the two apart, but to be able to assign the correct amount of time to each.
Beginning tomorrow, throughout the day, and every day thereafter, stop and ask yourself this question: “Is what I’m doing right now important to my health, well-being and mission in life, and for my loved ones?”
Your affirmative answer will free you forever from the tyranny of the urgent!
What’s trying to chase you down?
by Joel Boggess
Even though he had a love for the stage and a passion to make music, when he got out of school, he stowed away his playthings, donned a suit, and joined the family real estate business.
Very quickly, his father could tell that his son was incomplete without that which gave his life meaning and joy (his music). And, unbeknownst to Walker, his dad persuaded a waitress at a local bar to give him his first shot.
Knowing only a handful of songs and nothing about the music business, he began showing up every day, taking his spot on the bar stool, and playing the five songs he had committed to memory.
In a show we recently did together, Capitol Records recording artist Walker Hayes said no matter what he tried to throw himself into, he always ended up “finding the music.” Pushing him on that statement, my question back was, “Did you find the music; or did the music find you?”
His answer: “Music was something I couldn’t outrun.”
Today’s reflection: What keeps trying to chase you down? Is it an activity? An idea? Maybe it’s a cause? Whatever it is for you, it was most likely God who allowed it to break free into its full pursuit.
The Importance of a Smile
By Zig Ziglar
The dictionary says that to smile is to “look joyous,” or “to have an appearance to excite joy; to contract the features of the face in such a manner as to express pleasure, moderate joy, or love and kindness.”
Generally speaking, the first thing we notice when we meet a person is the smile—or absence of same—on their face. A favorite compliment is, “You certainly have a beautiful smile.” Factually, there are very few things that influence for the good and give more encouragement than a sincere smile. Henry Miller said, “There is power in a smile. It is one of the best relaxation exercises I know of.” Joseph Addison said, “What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. They are but trifles, to be sure, but, scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”
Several years ago a study revealed something that most people have known for a long time. After weeks of testing the appearance, personality and attitudes of subjects and their influence on others, the professors at Yale University discovered that a smile is the single most powerful force of influence that people have. That’s good news, because all of us can generate enough energy for a smile.
A smile has been identified as the “little curve that sets a lot of things straight,” and we’re often told that if we see someone who does not have a smile, we should give them one of ours. However, we must do more than smile if we’re going to be successful in having a long-term impact on other people.
If we’re really going to influence people after we’ve gotten favorable attention with a pleasant smile, we must communicate with sincerity and honesty. Now, obviously, a university study should not be required to know that, because the saying is still true that you communicate what you are. In summation, a warm, friendly smile is a very fine thing. Think about it. Better yet, try it and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. They are but trifles, to be sure, but, scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable. ~Joseph Addison
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