Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sacrifice, Desire and What's Most Important in Life

Sacrifice & Desire

A few years ago, I came accross an article while searching LDS.org and found a reference to a book by James Allen.  The book was entitled after the Proverb: As a Man Thinketh.

You can read that entire book and many other books by James Allen by referencing the link to the James Allen Library.

Much of the book As a Man Thinketh is very quotable.  But there is one quote that I read and recite almost every day.

It goes: "The man who shrinks from self-crucifixion can never accomplish the object upon which his heart is set ... the sole and supreme use of suffering is to purify; to burn out all that is useless and impure."

The world is full of distractions and attractions.  If we are not careful, we can be easily led astray from our real goals - our deepest desires - what's most important to us in life.  If we are not careful, useless and impure things can creep into our lives.  If they already have, then we must shift our focus and then maintain our focus on our desires.  It takes commitment and sacrifice.  To shed our lives of useless and impure things will take sacrifice, but we will be the happier for it as we purify ourselves and maintain focus on what's most important.

What's Most Important

The author of a blog I read recently wrote a post entitled On Remembering What's Most Important.  His post was spot on.

Last year, I spent several months thinking about what is most important to me in my life.  I wanted to think about and document what I want my life to be.  I used a mind map (Mind Manager) to brain storm and then refine my thoughts.  Next, I created a scorecard in Excel to track my daily, weekly and monthly performance.  With these two tools, along with my weekly journal, I keep a sufficient focus on the things that are most imporant to me.

As is often the case, when I see myself beginning to drift from the path, I simply review my mind map and scorecard more regularly and my course is corrected.

The mind map has since morphed into my "to do" list, but it still has retained the core of my desires in life.  But now, all the big, medium and daily goals are tracked.  I read another blogger's post about this "to do" list (link here) which is based on Personal Kanban.

In the spirit of sharing, I wanted to pass along these nuggets and lessons I've learned over the past year.  They have been extremely helpful for me and I've seen a large improvment in my life and search for happiness.