The mark of the superior thinker is his or her ability to accurately predict
the consequences of doing or not doing something. The potential consequences
of any task or activity are the key determinants of how important it really is
you and to
. This way of evaluating the significance of a
task is how you determine what your next frog really is.
love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made
~ Bruce Lee
When you throw pebbles into the water,
watch the circles formed by them, otherwise the throwing will be
just a wasteful fun.
Long Time Perspective
Edward Banfield of Harvard University, after more than 50 years of research,
concluded that "long-time perspective" is the most accurate single predictor of
upward social and economic mobility in America.
Long-time perspective turns out
to be more important than family background, education, race, intelligence,
connections or virtually any other single factor in determining your success in
life and at work.
time, your "time horizon," has an enormous impact on your behavior and your
choices. People who take the long view of their lives and careers always seem to
make much better decisions
about their time and activities than people who give
very little thought to the future.
Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed
nothing else can be managed.
Think About Your Future
have a clear future orientation. They think five, 10 and 20 years out into the
future. They analyze their choices and behaviors in the present to make sure
that they are consistent with the long-term future that they desire.
work, having a clear idea of what is really important to you in the long-term
makes it much easier for you to
make better decisions about your priorities in
Determine the Consequences
definition, something that is important has long-term potential consequences.
Something that is unimportant has few or no long-term potential consequences.
Before starting on anything, you should always ask yourself, "What are the
potential consequences of doing or not doing this task?"
clearer you are about your future intentions, the greater influence that clarity
will have on what you do in the moment. With a clear long-term
vision, you are
much more capable of evaluating an activity in the present and to assure that it
is consistent with where you truly want to end up.
Make It a Top Priority
there is a task or activity with large potential positive consequences, make it
a top priority and get started on it immediately. If there is something that can
have large potential negative consequences if it is not done quickly and well,
that becomes a top priority as well. Whatever your frog is, resolve to gulp it
down first thing.
requires motive. The greater the positive potential impact that an action or
behavior of yours can have on your life, once you define it clearly, the more
motivated you will be to
overcome procrastination and get
it done quickly.
Thinking continually about the potential consequences of your choices, decisions
and behaviors is one of the very best ways to determine you true priorities in
your work and personal life.
1. Review your list of tasks, activities and projects regularly. Continually ask
yourself, "Which one project or activity, if I did it in an excellent and timely
fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on
2. Whatever it is that can help you the most, set it as a
make a plan to
it and go to work on your plan immediately.
Fortune favors the brave! Remember the wonderful words of
Goethe, "Just begin and
the mind grows heated;
continue, and the task will be completed!"