Growing up my Dad was about priorities. It used to make me angry that I couldn’t go play until the work on our property was taken care. My Dad truly cared about taking care of the small things before they turned into something big and unpleasant.
Priorities—Staying Ahead Of The Game
His passion was maintenance of our home and all that surrounded it. And, his priorities when he wasn’t being with the family, his first love, centered around, as he said, “staying ahead of the game.”
And because he had priorities for maintenance, very seldom did anything bad ever happen. If a tree limb needed to be cut because it was hanging over the house, we cut it. If the weather forecast was for snow and ice we would put the chains on the car. After the last mowing of the yard in the fall we winterized the lawnmower. In the fall he would check all our snow removal equipment to make sure it was functioning properly.
Priorities—Make Them An Emphasis
My Dad taught me many things about life that I carry with me to this day. But, his emphasis on priorities is one of the most important gifts he gave me. Also, he had passion. He cared. And he cared about doing things well.
I remember he told me a story that his father had told him. Back in my Dad’s day they did not have central heat. The winters in eastern Washington were quite cold. He grew up in a home that was heated by a wood stove. What was one of his Dad’s greatest priorities? If you guessed having enough wood chopped to get the family through the winter you are correct.
Here’s the story. It was a cold winter night. A man was sitting in his one room cabin and was angry at the wood burning stove. The room was very cold and the stove was not producing any heat. In his frustration the man yelled at the stove; “Give me the heat. Then I will give you the wood.”
Whenever I got off track with my priorities this story would come to mind. After my Dad told the story he would say; “Steve, always remember that you have to put something in before you get something back out.”
Happiness & Success—Align Your Priorities With Your Passion
My Dad, as a young boy, chopped a great deal of wood. Unfortunately, my Dad died suddenly when I was in high school. It turned my world upside down. My priorities changed drastically. I went from enjoying high school working and figuring out how to make it.
As I grew older I always had priorities but at times something was missing. What was missing was passion. I could have priorities and do a job well. I could create a successful business. Yet, this did not necessarily bring me joy.
It wasn’t until I was in my forties that I began to understand that my talent would be maximized and my potential realized only if I matched my passion with my priorities. I was spending too much time doing tasks for which I possessed neither talent nor passion.
I knew I had to make a change. When I aligned my priorities with my passion is when I experienced greater small business and personal success. Align yourself with what you feel strongly about and what you are doing. Are you looking for an awesome business and life experience? You can have it when you align your passion and priorities.