Penticton, BC blogger David Folstad’s recent blog post, Daily Choices and Math, got me thinking not only about what’s really important in life, but also how we might measure our success at living our personal values in that regard. It’s all about the daily choices we make, big and small. He starts by reminding his readers of how much time we spend on the Internet these days compared to a decade or more ago, and how many of us are never far removed from work thanks to the same Internet that provides so many hours of “entertainment”. The Internet is soaking up a frightening amount of our time.
He poses these thought-provoking questions:
What time and money will I look back on in one year or five and wish I had spent differently? What choices will I wish I had made? and you?
He then provides a simple, intriguing way we can each first identify what we engage in of a positive nature and not so positive nature and then cost-justify it. This chart illustrates the kind of items and actions an individual might come up with. Isn’t it interesting to see how much simple acts of kindness – and those actions we don’t give much thought to – can add up over a full year, and especially over 5 years? The first step is to decide what actions you think should go in your personalized chart. That’s what I’m working on at the moment. After that come the numbers!
Of course, as a happily retired old person, I have far more time to waste/misuse than when work took up most of my time. And being a happily retired old person with no responsibilities for small children, I have even more free time to waste or misuse. So my chart will look far different than it would have 15 years ago, or 40 years ago. Everyone will have their own list of items that they (want to) attend to, one way or the other. As someone who lives by to-do lists, making a chart is a step beyond, kind of like a to-do list 2.0!
While I’m working on my chart, I’ll leave you with some related food for thought. These quotes have been floating around Facebook recently; I think they’re useful reminders of what’s truly important and how focusing on what we can control (as opposed to what we cannot) can make a positive difference in these turbulent times.