“Don't be a time manager, be a priority manager. Cut your major goals into bite-sized pieces. Each small priority or requirement on the way to ultimate goal become a mini goal in itself.”
I had breakfast this morning with a professor friend who is on sabbatical. I always enjoy our visits as she has a unique world view that comes from years of research as the co-director of a University based center on global health, escorting students to other countries for hands on experiences in non-US clinics, partnering with community based organizations to help improve the status of the economically disadvantaged, and of course years of teaching. My friend is using her current sabbatical to explore how those in the health professions can contribute in our new globalized societies with their instant communication and cross border health challenges.
Her vision is strong and her skills are great. Ideally her work will result in curricula enhancements that can be used in institutions both here and abroad to stimulate students to think and act globally as well as to learn how to deal with the ever changing global health challenges.
In my view she has a problem, one that is often experienced by smart and motivated people -- too many opportunities, too much to create, too much yet to see, too much to learn and never enough time. My friend is like so many others; she says yes more than she should, she uses time that might be more valuably spent in other pursuits bog her down to the point that she could almost use a sabbatical from her sabbatical.
My friend is at a point in her life where she is positioned to make a significant contribution to the future, but that will require the setting of priorities. Far too many of us spend our time documenting the trivial and not nearly enough time in thoughtful creativity. Certainly my friend has proven time after time that she can make valuable contributions, the difference is that she is now positioned to empower others to greater heights by taking what she has learned and offering the results as a plan of action.
The great create, while others only emulate. It is like the artist that sculpts the masterpiece while the rest of us are copying or spending year after year in practice. I pray that my friend has the strength to make the choice to let nothing keep her from what she can do as she says no more often and allows herself personal time to think.
So my dear friends I believe that it is perfectly alright to pick what will make you happy and to make sure you set aside enough time to do it. What is not alright is for those with a dream or unique capacity to contribute who are kept from doing so because they are too busy running in place wasting time keeping other folks happy.
The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
The "Bird Lady" was a difficult independent 75 year old who sat in the park feeding the pigeons every day. One morning she brought with her a whole bun of fresh bread just to feed her daily company. Little by little, pinch by pinch, she fed each pigeon with joy. She sat there without being noticed by anyone in the rich suburban neighborhood.
Then suddenly a man in his early 40's rained on her parade by telling her that she shouldn't throw away good food on a bunch of pigeons that can find food anywhere... when there are a lot of people starving in Africa.
Without hesitation the Bird lady replied angrily: "But I can't throw that far!"
The world is not moved only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
Boss: "I saw you arguing with that customer. I am going to fire you. You know that our policy is ' The customer is always right. ' "
Employee: "Yes boss, but he insisted that he was wrong! ...What was I supposed to do?"
Tips for Husbands...
DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
DANGEROUS: Are you wearing THAT?
SAFER: Gee, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: Wow! Look at you!
DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's fifty dollars.
DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?
DANGEROUS: What did you DO all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't overdo today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe.
The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but the fly comes close.
The boss ordered one of his men to dig a hole eight feet deep. After the job was completed the boss returned and explained an error had been made and the hole wouldn't be needed. "Fill 'er up," he ordered.
The worker did as he'd been told. But he ran into a problem. He couldn't get all the dirt packed back into the hole without leaving a mound on top. He went to the office and explained his problem.
The boss snorted, "Honestly! The kind of help you get these days! There's obviously only one thing to do. You'll have to dig that hole deeper!"
"I'm officially middle-aged. I don't need drugs anymore, thank God. I can get the same effect just by standing up real fast."
The following was in The Atlanta Journal. This has got to be one of the best "singles ads" ever:
SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good looking girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. Rub me the right way and watch me respond. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Kiss me and I'm yours. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy.
Over 15,000 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society about an 8-week old black Labrador retriever. Men are so easy.
"Never ruin an apology with an excuse." Kimberly Johnson
Some members of a health club were having their first meeting. The director of the group said, "Now, I'd like each of you to give the facts of your daily routine."
Several people spoke, admitting their excesses, and then one obviously overweight member said, "I eat moderately, I drink moderately, and I exercise frequently."
"Hmm?" said the manager. "And are you sure you having nothing else to add?"
"Well, yes," said the member. "I lie extensively."
"The man who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides."
A friend of mine is responsible for alumni relations at his high school alma mater. Last fall, a member of the Class of '86 returned the standard alumni questionnaire with this response:
Marital Status: Not good
Wife's Name: Plaintiff
We are too busy mopping the floor to turn off the faucet.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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