Recently I was given a copy of “The Seven Minute Difference“, along with a soon-to-be-released companion daily planner. I smiled, automatically relegating these things into the “won’t really impact me, but I’m forced to write something about ’em so I’ll give it a go” category. I was somewhat wrong.
Turns out, the “7 Minute Difference” is simply using a few short moments a day to make sure what you’re doing with your day is connected to what you ultimately hope to do in life…both short and long term. The planner itself is organized in such a way as to remind you to be taking those small steps on a daily basis, and staying on task with them on your mind. Being honest, the planner was too much for my ADD. Anytime you need 11 pages to explain HOW to use a planner, you’re over my head. Turns out, it’s easy to use…if you use planners. Maybe there will be an app for it someday…I might try that. For more information, I encourage you to check out the Seven Minute Life System yourself.
One of the things that frustrated my wife over the past several years, is my lack of “dreaming” when it comes to our home. Sure, I would agree when she asked me, I want a house where our girls can have closets. I would like a house with sidewalks so we can teach them how to ride a bicycle. I’d love a street with less traffic…etc.
But none of my actions/words ever conveyed that I intended to do anything other than live where we were for the rest of our lives.
This book pointed out to me, I may be doing the exact same thing in other areas of my life. Allyson Lewis points out the importance of putting our “Life Purpose” into words, and then making lists of Goals and Micro-goals that move toward that purpose. Although I will confess, I had a hard time coming up with a “Life Purpose”. Mainly I think I was trying to see through her lens, which seemed optimistically too much about the vague notions of “success”, “security”, and “growth”…all business-oriented phrases that I’m not really motivated much by.
My “Life Purpose” would probably sound something like “My purpose in life is New Creation. To experience being made new by God, & to be involved in His making all things new in Christ. Desiring the same for my wife, our marriage, my children, my family, my relationships with those I love, and those I need to be reminded to love. I pray the ministry God allows me to be a part of to be actively growing New disciples of Christ, and connecting believers in relationship across families and generations…toward the coming of God’s Kingdom.”
Now…that’s always been there in the background. But not really in words. And even now that it’s in words, I find myself critiquing and wanting to reword it. Yet, there is a solid beginning. A purpose that my daily actions, large and small, should be united by and part of.
I love the ministry God allows me to be a part of. But I’ll be honest – I would probably be just fine if it looked very similar 10 years down the road. Just as I’d be just fine if I lived in the same house. But “just fine” doesn’t imply that’s what I want. I want stronger relationships with my volunteers. I want to be more connected with the families, and see teenagers deeper connected to the discipleship happening at home.
I think that often because I fight the mentality seen throughout this book of professional “success”, “growth”, and “security”, I forget that “content” doesn’t necessarily mean things have to remain the same. I am thoroughly content, and thankful for where I am in so many areas of my life. But I desire what can be…
One thought on “How Many Minutes Do You Have?”
The problem I have with this kind of goal-oriented thinking is its implication: that we (as people) are only valuable based on whether or not we accomplish particular things.
Thus, our time/actions/energy is only valuable if it's “accomplishing” something.
The implication is that our time/actions/energy is not valuable in and of itself–it's only valuable if it's producing something.
Following this train of thought, we see that people's value can only be measured in terms of the things they produce–what's really valuable isn't people themselves, but things.
I'm not sure I want to walk down the road of commoditizing people.
Of course, I doubt the author of the book would agree with that philosophy…and for that matter, rejecting that philosophy is a good excuse to be really lazy.
Still, somethign to be careful about.