I’ve always admired people who managed achieve in very different fields. Just like
Boris Vian, an engineer, inventor, writer, poet, translator, critic, actor musician, singer – who died before 40 or
Albert Schweitzer who was a theologian, organist, philosopher, and physician.
But Vian or Schweitzer didn’t have more than 24 hours a day. They just spent it differently than we do. Partly by eliminating non-important stuff. When you are in a classroom and you listen you do not have the chance to care about your loved ones. When you focus on your work it’s the same. When you turn your brain off by looking at TV channels it’s still the same.
While Vian never had a child, Schweitzer left his wife and 5 year old daughter behind to found a school in Gabon, Africa to serve humanity.
Probably you want to spend your days differently than Vian or Schweitzer did. But I’m sure there is plenty that’s important for you. Let’s think about that.
You don’t need to be a thinker to know what’s important for you. Just think of your actions for the last week. If it’s a regular week, you’ve done what your actions show, is important for you. (“What’s important?” is a question you answer every day rather than once or twice in your life.)
Give it a moment. What have you done the last seven days.
do think about it for a moment
don’t just scroll down, give it a thought
end of brief pause
Forget about Vian and Schweitzer. Now you are in the focus.
Are you happy with what you’ve done?
– If things go very well, you shouldn’t change anything.
– If things go well but they could be better you should change a bit.
– If things go bad, you should change some bigger things.
– If things go terrible, you need a radical change.
So here you are, a human being with uncertainties, doubts, thoughts, actions and reactions. How to get a grip on what’s important for you?
You are a lot. Trillions of molecules. And thoughts and chemical reactions. And what-not.
But you are, for the outer world, a:
– best friend
– person in the audience when a Tarantino movie comes out
– radio listener on Tuesdays
– public transportation user from Monday to Friday
– online news portal follower daily
– part-time caretaker of your grandpa
– part time caretaker of your dog
– reader of Cosmopolitan
These activities fill up 24 hours of your days. Some are more and some are less important.
If your survival is covered and you had to choose one and only one of them which one would it be?
It certainly is a difficult choice.
We can get rid of many options instantly, some easier and a thought choice at the end.
Still, choose one.
What is the most important action of your life?
make the choice
if you don’t make the choice this article is senseless for you
brief pause ended
You’ve chosen honestly and now you have a number one priority.
Give it a timeframe: “I need ~40 hours weekly to be as good of a sister/carpenter/student/partner as I’d like.”
Don’t forget: “Doing something 95% well might take you 3 month of applied learning while doing it 98% well might take you 10 years.” (via Tim Ferriss)
Cut activities with no or little meaning. And you’ll get closer to what’s important for you.
Will you become like Vian or Schweitzer and will you have your own Wikipedia site and a lot of Twitter followers? Probably not. But the goal is nothing more than be a better version of yourself!