"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". - Richard Koch - Author
I am at a point in my life where I have more going on in the external world than ever before. The kids are all grown up and raising their own families and I have become even busier than when they were at home. I have my fulltime job, BraveHeart Women, and my nonprofit LemonadeMakers launching soon.
When I read this quote, it reminded me of what I saw growing up and continue to see from friends, family and acquaintances. I think that lots of us got into the habit when we were in school and the class was boring. The subject or teacher didn't interest us in the slightest, so we just put in enough effort to get a passing grade. We may work at a job that isn't fulfilling, and so we put in just enough effort to not get laid off or fired. We have a marriage more of convenience than passion (passion dying out because of our average effort), and so again we put in just enough effort to get by.
We live a life of average - no passion, no fire, no dreams. We are just punching the time clock through our entire life.
This isn't the kind of life that I want for myself. When I find myself at the "average" effort, I really examine what it is that I want from this job, this marriage, this life? Then I look at where I am at and try to determine if this is something that I want to put the superior thought and effort into changing, or have I outgrown this job or relationship and it is time to move on. Whatever the answer is, it begins with "what do I really want here?" If I can get that by changing me, then that is what I put my effort into. If I can't get what I want by changing me, then it is time to let it go.
We all have only so many hours in a day. We spend them on something, and we can't get that time back. When you are lucky enough to find something in your life that you are "on fire" about, that you are passionate about, that is truly life fulfilling, then you need to look at the other areas of your life from a time commitment perspective. You need to let go of things that you may really like to do. I have cut back on the everything in my life that isn't about my husband, kids; or about my job; or BraveHeart Women and LemonadeMakers.
Life for me isn't about just getting a passing grade. It is about making a difference. It is about my life mattered, in that I did what I came here to do. All of my effort to do this life's purpose comes from leaving behind everything that was of "average effort" in order to dedicate myself to the "superior effort" of creating community for both BraveHeart Women and LemonadeMakers.
I was listening to an interview and the speaker commented that he had heard this story of a famous actor - he was at his uncles death bed and the uncle kept saying, "what a wasted life" as he was passing over.He said it was one of the greatest lessons of his life, to live your life so that at your death bed you are not bemoaning a wasted life.
If you find yourself at the end of the day, punching the time clock and then sitting on the couch - then now is the time to look back in your life and find the things that you used to dream about doing or being someday.
Find the last thing that you were on fire about, that you were passionate about.
Get involved in making those old dreams come true.
Dreams can and do come true and they make a life worth living.
As Billy Cox said "Never become comfortable with "good enough.It's time to stir up those dreams that you've given up on or pushed down."