I used to have a friend who was a “one-liner” kind of guy.
One of his sayins was, “Join where you’re successful.”
I have a new twist on that:
BUILD where you’re successful!
You can apply this to activities, affiliations, relationships, personal habits or just about anything else that comes to mind.
A useful tool for this sorting job will be three basic questions –
1. What isn’t working? Lay those things aside. True, some may be difficult, painful or troubling; most likely relationships. Think about how best to do this. In the long run, everyone will benefit.
2. What is working, at least somewhat, and could work better with some tweeking? Put these in the “consideration” pile.
3. What works at least reasonably well? Focus on these.
I learned an important principle that fits here very nicely. There are things we can build on, such as strengths, dreams, ideas and qualities. Then, there are things we really can’t build on – weaknesses, anything we don’t want, things that are unhealthy or not right.
Add this idea to your sorting job and you have another question to answer:
Of the things on my “working” list or “consideration” list, which do I value the most?
This becomes your top priority. You can rank everything else behind that. Caution: You might have some things that are equally as important to you. That’s all right; simply write them down together.
Now that you have sorted things a bit, it’s time to build. That means time, energy, thought, commitment and possibly material resources will go into this most important priority. This also means that low or no priority items will naturally be laid aside. It is much easier to say, “No” to things that you are not invested in when you are focused on the things that matter.