William James said that the art of being wise is the “art of knowing what to overlook.” The petty and the mundane steal much of our time. Too many of us living for the wrong things. Dr Anthony Campolo tells about a sociological study in which 50 people over the age of 95 were asked one question: “If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?” It was an open-ended question, and a multiplicity of answers constantly re-emerged and dominated the results of the study. These were their answers:
If I had it to do over again, I would reflect more.
If I had it to do over again, I would risk more.
If I had it to do over again, I would do more things that would live on after I am dead.
A young concert violinist was asked the secret of her success. She replied, “Planned neglect.” Then she explained, “When I was in school, there were many things that demanded my time. When I went to my room after breakfast, I made my bed, straightened the room, dusted the floor, and did whatever else came to my attention. Then I hurried to my violin practice. I found I wasn’t progressing as I thought I should, so I reversed things. Until my practice period was completed, I deliberately neglected everything else. That program of planned neglect, I believe, accounts for my success.”
[Taken from Developing the Leader Within You (2005) by John C. Maxwell. Published by Thomas Nelson Inc.]
Put first things first today
And neglect things that don’t really matter.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.