This Sunday evening, I will be speaking on ‘First Things First’ – How do we chose good priorities for the new year. I recalled a very thought-provoking piece by Tim Sanders—former chief solutions officer at Yahoo! and author of Love Is the Killer App. Here he shares the following thought about establishing priorities:
Take your life and all the things that you think are important, and put them in one of three categories. These three categories are represented by three items: glass, metal, and rubber.
The things that are made of rubber, when you drop them, will bounce back. Nothing really happens when these kinds of things get dropped. So, for instance (and I enjoy sporting events, so don’t take me wrong here), if I miss a Seahawks’ game, my life will bounce along real fine. It doesn’t change anything and nothing is lost—my missing a game or a season of football will not alter my marriage or my spiritual life. I can take ’em or leave ’em.
Things that are made of metal, when they get dropped, create a lot of noise. But you can recover from the drop. You miss a meeting at work, you can get the cliff notes. Or if you forget to balance your checkbook and lose track of how much you have in your account, and the bank notifies you that you have been spending more than you have—that’s going to create a little bit of noise in your life, but you can recover from it.
Then there are things made of glass. And when you drop one of these, it will shatter into pieces and never be the same. Even though you can piece it back together, it will still be missing some pieces. It certainly won’t look the same, and I doubt that you could actually fill it up with water, because the consequences of it be being broken will forever affect how it’s used.
The thing is, you’re the only person who knows what those things are that you can’t afford to drop. More than likely, they have a lot to do with your relationships. Your marriage, your family, and your friends.
Can I encourage to take some time and evaluate 2010. This is a good time to reflect on both the failures of the past and the possibilities of the future. I will hopefully add something else in the next few days.