The bigger picture (1): Cutting Down

Hi guys, so as I promised, here's another post. Today we're going to talk about big picture thinking. Why is it important? and most importantly what my twist on it is.

So lately I've been thinking about life and how we generally waste 70-80% of our time (yes including people who have jobs). I've read a numerous amount of articles on this subject and I hear pretty much the same set of "empty quotes" with no follow up guide whatsoever. Frankly, I believe it's better to leave a man without hope than to give him hope without possibility. The only time such a man is ever rich, happy, content are in his dreams. Sadly, this covers 80% of all motivational material out there today.

As with most matters I discuss here, it starts with some form of introspection on my part. One thing I've always hated right from my youth was idleness. I hated waiting around doing nothing. This drove me to often ridiculously plan eevry 30 minute period in my day. While that might sound obsessive, there's something I'd like to point out; "Time wastage is the greatest killer of human potential I've ever seen". However, it is not enough to keep busy as "undirected busyness is the second greatest killer of human potential." Imagine a child who was secluded and rasied to believe he was a polar bear, if he is reintroduced into society as a 30 year old man, he is very unlikely to regain his ability to properly fucntion socially talkless of becoming anything of use. A tad extreme, I know but I believe it drives my point home as bluntly as possible.

The First Step is to identify your endpoint

What is this endpoint? simple really, it's your destiny. Have you discovered it yet? or are you living an aimless life hoping that through some magical twist of fate, what you are supposed to be would fall right into your laps? I believe God destined every single soul on earth to have a unique destiny but most of us never ask Him what it is. We claim to believe in a creator. "A Supreme Being" but never ask Him for our manual. Instead we scamper about for decades groping blindly as in the dark, searching for what it is we are to do.

Step 2: Cut down to the Essesntials

This particular point is especially difficult for people who are naturally good at a varying number of things. All of which would collectively require lifetimes to master. However, knowing what it is that you're on earth to do gives you a certain edge when selecting what to occupy your days with.

NOTICE: This is not one of those "walk in the park" self help methods. This requires commitment and hardwork.

Moving on

Cutting down to the essentials is one of the greatest things you can ever do for your self on a personal level. However, at this stage, there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach here but what is required first is honesty. Once you know what your "destiny" is, you need to evaluate your current state of affairs;

~ Your activities

~ Your possessions

~ Your friends & Relationships.

On activities

You need to take an inventory of every activity you engage in, no matter how trivial and "cross out" those that are either irrelevant or harmful to your future destination. If you're going to be the president, it probably isnt a clever idea to be a skirtchaser. We've seen presidents fall due to such. If your'e going to be a great athlete, DROP that pizza slice for crying out loud. Leave that to the rest of us ;).

On Possessions

No great man became so without discipline and restraint. That being said, it is now more important than ever to be cautious in the aquisition of possessions.

"Spare money is to be saved, not splurged".

You are constantly barraged by the media and friends and such to buy, buy, buy but armed with the knowledge of what your future holds, you need to make clever purchases that will speed up your journey as it were. In this case there IS a "one-size-fits-all" approach: BUY GOOD BOOKS. Nothing beats a good book... trust me. Remember, "Leaders are readers."

On People

This is the least obvious of the three but it is important that you come to terms with the astounding effect other people have on you and your life's direction. If you study the lives of great men, they are men of few, carefully handpicked friends, many acquaintances and even more admirers. You can never become anything... yes, anything in life if your aim is to constantly make friends with any and everyone you meet.

You need to review your current friends list, have a chat with the ones who survive your scrutiny and find out just how many of them are willing to go as far as you are in life. Avoid people who have no life goals like a plague. While there is nothing wrong with offering them advice to get them on the right track, ensure first that they aren't dragging you down at the same time. Remember, "A drowning man cannot save another drowning man."

Cheers,

Josh.

See you next time!