The other day I learned a very important lesson. This is that as much as you to plan and try for a particular outcome, things are never completely in your control. I also learned though that as long as you are able to adapt and to be aware of your true motivations, it doesn’t really matter.
As long as you know where you are heading and what you need to do – you will get there. Sometimes it might just take longer.
To achieve personal success, it is vital to first know what this means for you. It is also important to have a clear vision of what you need to do. If you have this, it makes things much easier to move in the required direction.
Often all you need to do is allow this knowledge to guide you in the direction that you need to go. If you know where you are headed, it can be as simple as just taking action.
There will always be things competing for your time and attention. Sometimes they will be more important, sometimes not. Unless whatever you are doing is time critical (and I mean really time critical) it often doesn’t matter. The time constraints that we work to are often ones that we impose on ourselves. At times your path may not be the most direct, but it will still get you there.
Let me go through my personal situation that lead to this realization.
It was early on a Thursday morning and I had every intention of getting into some work early in the morning while everyone was asleep. Due to a range of reasons (including travel, illness and general life stuff) I have been a bit behind on a few things. I had every intention of getting up even earlier than normal and getting some things done before the rest of the house woke up.
I set an alarm… I even went to bed early… but I was woken up 15 minutes before the alarm by my daughter who refused to go back to sleep. I then spent the next hour and a half trying to convince a 2 year old that it was too early to get up.
Initially I was frustrated because I knew that this meant that the things that I wanted to get through were going to stay undone. I also realised though that this time with her was likely to be the highlight of my day. Instead of lying there feeling bad about the things that I wasn’t doing, I enjoyed the thing that I was.
Eventually she convinced me that it was time to get up and we started the day… With me nowhere near any of the things that needed to be done.
As my day progressed though, something truly awesome happened. Some of the things that I had on through the morning were moved due to things outside my control. My previously busy day became clear.
As a result I was able to take the opportunity and complete the things that I had intended for earlier in the day. Because I had already identified what I wanted to achieve and what needed to be done, I was ready to take action when the chance presented itself.
This resulted in the best possible outcome.
I was able to spend more time with my daughter. Real uninterrupted, quiet, quality time. Just being together and enjoying the moment.
I was also able to get through the other things that needed to be done.
This was possible as a result of appreciating that things don’t always go to plan but by also being aware enough to not be unnecessarily concerned.
If you are flexible and have an idea of where you are headed, it can be quite simple to bring things back on track.
Often what is more important is being present in the moment enough to enjoy the things that are actually happening… Not dwelling on the things that aren’t.
The morning reinforced a few really important personal lessons for me:
- Time spent with loved ones is by far more important than anything else. The work will always be there. The chance to spend time with loved ones won’t.
- Everything in life is a trade off. Any time you spend on something is time that isn’t spent on something else. This means that it is critical that you are spending time on things that are important to you
- Sometimes having an idea of your goals and the things that you want to achieve is all that is required to continue moving towards them. You just need to be open to the opportunities to progress them.
- If you have an idea of the steps that you need to take action, it can be as easy as taking the action when the opportunity presents itself.
- The things that are taking place at every point in your life are the real things. Everything else is either history or a maybe.