It's hard to believe that we're coming to the end of another calendar year. It seems like the days just fly by. When I was younger, each day seemed to stretch on forever. I remember having a hard time going to sleep without knowing what events were planned for the coming day. These days, it seems difficult to find the time to do all of the things that I WANT to do, while keeping up with the things I HAVE to do.
I realize that one of the most important things I can do with my time is to prioritize those things that really matter to me. I just finished reading a book called "Talent Is Overrated" by Geoff Colvin. In it, he explores what the determining factors are for excellence in any given field. What he finds is that regardless of any myths we have been told about being "born with a gift" in a particular area, without exception it is those individuals who put in countless hours of practice, research and study in a given field are the ones who rise to stardom and notoriety. But beyond just putting in the hours, the type of practice that these people do pushes them beyond their current abilities and outside of their existing comfort zone. They have to be willing to fail repeatedly in order to achieve their highest ambitions.
What would it be like if we applied this philosophy to our relationships? What if we had to go beyond what we knew we were capable of in order to communicate with and support the ones we love? Or what if we applied this same philosophy to the workplace? How many of us are willing to put ourselves out there for possible failure and rejection in order to stretch the boundaries of our professional life? How much time, effort and risk are we willing to put into these areas of huge consequence in our lives?
Perhaps the more important question is: what if we DON'T take the risks needed to become the best possible spouses, siblings, parents, creators, workers, human beings we can be? Is playing it safe really that safe in the long run? I encourage all of us to think about not just the time we are putting in, but also how much of our SELVES we are putting into our everyday activities. Perhaps we would be richer for the experience...
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you have something to add to the discussion, I invite you to comment on this post and let me know what you think.
For those of you on the East coast, I will be traveling to Connecticut in a couple of weeks and then to Boston at the end of January. Please check the tour dates below for more information. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and I look forward to seeing you soon!