It's so damn easy to do things that don't matter. Inboxes grow to Godzilla proportions. Emails ferment into a slush pile of guilt and loose ends. Social media gushes content like a neighborhood full of broken fire hydrants. Happy hours and meetups whiz by like falling leafs in an autumn wind. Oh, and then there's laundry. The buzz is so seductive, so intoxicating, that it can suck away minutes, hours, days of your life. All it leaves behind are the skeletal vestiges of forgotten dreams.
Most people have a very short to-do list of things that really matter. Olympic athletes train to push the limits of their bodies. Doctors save lives. Sales people close deals. Inventors tinker. Here's my list:
- Craft stories worth reading. Write the sequel to Uncommon Stock. Publish posts that move the needle. Delight readers. Become a better storyteller.
- Help others excel. Accelerate my clients to radical success. Support creative projects. Help out friends in need. Improve people's lives. Engage with and inspire those around me.
- Live an interesting life. Cultivate community and serendipity. Spend time with loved ones. Pursue adventure in all forms.
Too often, I find myself messing around on Twitter or Gmail. I take meetings that fill my schedule without advancing the ball. I let calls interrupt my creative time. I allow distractions to dictate my day.
Doing what matters isn't just satisfying. When you do what matters the results speak for themselves. They become evergreen accomplishments, milestones that you and others refer to for years. When you do what matters, you become a center of gravity for excellence. Opportunities seek you out instead of the other way around.
If I'm not doing at least one of the things on my list, I'm not achieving my full potential. What's on your list? I've worked hard to keep this post short so that when you finish this sentence, you can go do what matters.