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"What's Most Important to you?"

        By Susie and Otto Collins

One of the biggest issues that people ask us about and we experience ourselves is how to find the time for our families, our jobs, our community and our partner.  How can we do it all?  We are pulled in so many different directions!

The short answer is to determine what the "First things" are in your life and live your life according to what you have predetermined as the most important things in your life. In Stephen Covey's book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," Habit 3 is "Put First Things First" and we have found that this is key to living our lives the way we want.

The first step to living our lives the way we want them is to consciously determine what is most important in all areas of your life.  After determining what you value most, compare these values with how you actually spend your time.

Brian Tracy says, "It's not what you say or what you intend to do but what you actually do reveals what's most important to you."

We fill our lives with so many activities and often place our priorities in alignment with what's not very important to us.  As Mona Lisa Schulz says in her book, "Awakening Intuition," "You can't have it all.  You have to choose."

We think this can be a glorious, freeing experience but can also be a scary, unfamiliar place to venture.  The challenge is to choose what you do and how you live-- consciously.

We've found that your values can change and that's why constant communication is so important.  Earlier in Susie's life, she placed a higher value on her job and community activities than she does now.  She spent more time on those activities away from home and invested more energy in cultivating relationships with many different people. Now, she is spending more time with family and her partner Otto.

Before we got together, we consciously determined what we wanted from our relationship--what we valued.  Our values have been clear and we have tried to live and spend our time according to them.

We're not saying that everyone should adopt our values but we are saying that it is important for you to determine what your values are and to understand the most important things in your partner's life from his/her frame of reference.

We suggest that you have a family discussion about what each person values. You'll find that understanding will be fostered and resolving conflicts will be easier in the future.

A great way to determine what's most important to you in your life is to make a list from the answers to the following questions--(we're sure you can make up more)

"What's most important to me in my relationship with my partner/spouse"?

"What's most important to me in my career"?

"What's most important to me in my relationship with my kids"?

"What's most important to me in my spiritual practice"?

You get the idea--Take a few minutes this week and consciously decide what's most important in your life and your relationships.  Set a family meeting and ask your family members to do the same.

As Stephen Covey says, "Things which matter most should never be at the mercy of things which matter least."  Make sure you know what things matter most to you.


Susie and Otto Collins
P.O. Box 14544
Columbus, Ohio 43214
(614) 459-8121

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