Footsteps in Faith: Priorities should be set to be successful

| September 5, 2014 | 0 Comments


Chaplain (Maj.) Jeff Mitchell
8th Military Police Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command
One of the things I continue to learn in life is that I don’t have time to do everything.
Each of us only has 168 hours in every week. As we budget our time, we have control over setting the priorities.
When I try to do everything and try to accommodate everybody, it’s very easy for me to lose my bearings. I take on what I don’t need to take on and neglect the very things that are most important.
Have you ever been to the circus and seen the guy who spins plates on top of  sticks? He’s got plates spinning in both hands, balanced on his nose, his knees —everywhere. And about the time he gets one spinning, another one needs attention because it’s about to stop. Have you ever felt like that?
So many times, we’re like that … going off in 40 directions all at once.

“It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.”
 — Proverbs 19:2
In other words, so many of us are too quick to decide to do this, do that, go here, go there. We get enthusiastic about something without thinking through the ramifications that our involvement will have on our families, our children, our work, our spiritual life or our sanity. That’s why it’s so important that we learn to set priorities and then stick with them.
So many people spend their lives chasing fantasies, majoring in minor things to the neglect of what’s really important. It’s not that those things are necessarily wrong; it’s just that in the grand design of things, they’re not important.
The most successful people I’ve known in life have all had a clear sense of priority. They have prioritized the critical things and given their attention to the incidental things only after they’ve paid attention to their priorities.
Maintaining priorities is an important ingredient for success in every walk of life. Let’s just look at one example of this from the business world.
Why has the value of the stock in the most popular soft drink historically outperformed its closest competitor? Is it because it’s a better soft drink?
In his book, “Focus,” author Al Ries says that one soft drink company has historically outperformed the other primarily because the more popular company does mostly one thing; they make soft drinks. Years ago, its competitor started branching into the restaurant business, and along the way it lost its focus. Eventually, the company decided to spin off the restaurant side to focus on beverage operations.

“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
 — Proverbs 16:5
“When you try to be all things to all people, you inevitably wind up in trouble,” said Ries.
That’s why priorities are so important.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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