You define what is important to you. How you define what’s important guides your steps and determines your direction. Until you know what’s truly important and you embrace it with bold purpose, you will not have the balance or focus you need to reach your success.
A boy went to the store to buy a rope.
“How much is a rope?” He asked the clerk.
“What does it depend on?”
“It depends on how long of a rope you need.”
“I need it to be long enough,” the boy replied matter of factly.
We all want our rope to be long enough. We all NEED our rope to be long enough. But how long is a rope?
Define What’s Important
We are all on unique journeys because we are all unique. Although we can be on parallel paths or even near-exact paths or even the same path, how we go will be different for each one of us.
That’s why you have to take time to define YOUR important because nobody else can know (without a doubt) what lies in your heart. As long as you continue to do things outside of your important, you will struggle to find the time to make your important come to life.
Only you can define what is important to you!
Make a list of all the things that excite you
1. What will you stay up late to read, or watch, or do?
2. What are some of the things that you lose yourself doing, and before you know it, the day has slipped away?
3. What do you make time to do?
4. What do you never tire of doing, seeing, or being a part of?
Make a list of all the things you know you are good at
5. What are some of the things that come naturally to you?
6. What are the things other people seek you out to get done?
7. What are the things you have trained to do?
Make a list of the things you dream of doing
8. What are the ideas you can’t shake?
9. What are the goals you won’t quit pursuing until you reach them?
10. What are the hopes that keep you going when all else seems to be crumbling around you?
If you need to, keep making lists of things that inspire, intrigue, or ignite your desire to do. The goal is to flesh out all the things that you think you should want so you can begin to uncover what is truly important to you and for you.
Once you have the lists, look for things that connect. Where do your lists intersect? Combine the lists into smaller groups of focus points.
The more you work through the things that excite, ignite, and inspire you, the more you begin to define what is important to you. The more locked in you are on what is important, the bolder you will be in pursuit of those endeavors.
Order What’s Important to You
Now for the real challenge. Rank the focus points from your answers to the questions above on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being because it’s expected or required and 10 being because you love it and would feel a little more empty not getting to do it.
Put your highest-ranking focus at the top of a new piece of paper. Write out why it ranks so high. Then, include what your life looks like and feels like when you allow this focus to receive your undivided attention. Also, explain how it makes your life better – and in extension, for the people around you.
You can continue this process through your full list. Not only will it help clarify what is truly important to you, but it will also help you see how other things aren’t important. You may still have to do some of the less important things, but you can find ways to make room for those things that hold your heart.
There is a story about an old man frustrated with the mountain between his home and the village determined to cut a path. Every time he made a trip to the village, he dug up a basket full of dirt from the mountain and deposited it away from his path. He repeated the process on his way home.
Once his children were old enough, he encouraged them to join him in his goal. They caught his dream of having a pass to the village that would eliminate the more treacherous mountain climb.
Eventually, one basket full of dirt at a time, they cut their path.
With focus and determination, you can have what you dare to pursue. But it has to be so important to you that you keep going even when the results aren’t showing up.
Life Lived Outside the Important
- When you do something you don’t have a passion for doing, you will burn out even when you are good at the task.
- When you do something because others tell you that you should do it, you lose interest in the pursuit.
- When you do something just because (because it’s the time of year for a resolution or because someone else was doing it), you will give in when results don’t show up.
- When you do something because you want the results (the fame, the fortune, the accolades), then you will stumble when the going gets tough – and it will get tough.
But . . .
- When you do something because you have locked on to the belief that you are supposed to do it, you will find a way to keep going until you do.
- When you do something because it means more to you than anything else, you will find a way around or through the struggles.
- When you do something because the desire has rooted in your heart, then you will continue to pick up the basket and go.
Define what is important to you. Dare to live your unique design and purpose. Create a path for stepping into your world of possibilities.
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Kathryn Lang believes it is simple, and as an award-winning author and natural-born hopesmith, she shares tips on how to find your why, pursue your purpose, and live a bold, intentional life – always with a dash of twisted encouragement.