Photo by Haundreis on FlickrYou  can’t be successful unless you have at least one thing nailed down.  You can do all the hard work you want.  You can learn from your failures.  You can even learn from the failures of others.  But without this, it’s nearly impossible to be successful.

You have to know what’s most important

Really, you have to know what’s most important.  If you don’t have a good handle on that, you can easily find yourself derailed in the pursuit of success.  You might find yourself working on things that don’t matter.  Or you might find that you’ve made trade-off decisions that are contrary to your goals in life.

You have to know what’s most important in a project

Let’s say for a moment that you’re working on an alternative energy engine.  I would say that your three main priorities are:

  1. It can’t use ordinary fossil fuels.
  2. It must be an engine.
  3. It has to work in the real world.

Now, of those three priorities, I’d say the third is the most important.  After all, if it doesn’t work in the real world, there’s no point in developing it.  And knowing that, you can save yourself countless hours that would have been wasted on developing leprechaun powered engines or trying to harness  the power of a hamster wheel.

You have to know what’s most important in life

Being successful – truly successful – is more than just closing a deal.  It’s more than developing squirrel power for bicycles.  It’s about being successful while also being true to yourself.  It’s about achieving what is truly most important rather than achieving something else while sacrificing what is most important.

You have to know what’s most important

Of course, I can’t tell you what is most important for you.  For me it’s faith, family, and community.  There are a lot things I’d love to do that would take me away from these things but I have to say “no” to those things because, in the end, I am more interested in being known as a wholly successful person to those closest to me than as an icon of success to people who will never meet me.

Sure, I struggle with that from time to time.  After all, I’d LOVE to be a wildly successful blogger and make zillions of dollars writing and selling books and speaking and having people sit in awe of the pronunciation of my name.  But I’d rather have a good relationship with my God, my wife, and my daughter.

That’s what’s most important for me.

How about you?

What’s most important to you?
If you don’t know, take some time to find out.
And, once you know what’s most important, do that first and most. 

Photo credit: Haundreis

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