We are confronted with a myriad of choices all day, every day. Ranging from what time to set the alarm, to how to spend our evenings, to which organizations we support, every decision no matter how big or how small, has an impact on our life. Our most limited resource is time. Choosing to be involved with one cause means that we have less time to support another one. Taking on a particular project means that another project must be postponed or eliminated. Getting up earlier means that we should set an early bedtime or pay the price the next day.
When it comes to priorities, sometimes it feels like we are constantly trying to balance on a teetering see-saw with an unpredictable person on the other end.
This out of balance feeling seems to be impacting everyone lately from businesses to individuals. We are all under constant pressure to do more, to give back, to network, to Tweet, to eat slow food. We don’t want to be the lone slacker so we do more and more every day. But we soon find ourselves doing fewer things well (and waiting a long time for our dinner).
The solution, in my opinion, is clarity. If we will individually and collectively take a rest from doing and spend a little more time contemplating, we will be in a better position to identify the things that really matter. We need a sense of purpose that helps us prioritize not only our daily activities but also our corporate goals and objectives.
At BDCo, we have gotten some great insights from thinking about and articulating our firm’s purpose, which we call our “Why” statement. The idea came from Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why. The idea is a simple one but its power is quite amazing. Just by staying focused on those things that matter most, you start making better decisions. It happens when you start thinking about your core beliefs and then look for others who share them.
We have seen this approach make a difference in wineries, in charitable and civic organizations, and in businesses of every sort. But it starts with each one of us as individuals. Take a few minutes to first define your personal beliefs and then think about actions you can take each day in support of those beliefs. How do your personal beliefs line up with those of your company? What can you do today that gives you a sense of passion?
Define your beliefs and then use them to set priorities. I believe in you.