How to Never Achieve Your Best

Do you struggle daily to achieve your best? Ever feel like you are drowning in a sea of unproductiveness? Do you ever get to the day’s end and want to shout,

“Stop the clock! Today was the day I was gonna crush it, but, instead, I feel crushed and over-whelmed.”

Just like this Cuckoo clock.

Celebrating our high school graduation, my friends and I hopped into our fathers’ “land yachts” (what we called their very large 1970’s cars) and headed down to Florida to test out our newly-sprouted freedom wings. (We were basically rule-abiding girls, so the trip was super-fun, yet very tame.) One of the last bits of advice given to us, however, was from a dad who shouted, “Don’t pull off the road into the sand!”

This is the group I’m talkin’ about. Nothing could go wrong… right?

Answer: Well, yep, something could go wrong. We pulled off the road… into the sand… and got terribly stuck. Oops. Glad someone’s dad had thought to join Triple A.

Have you ever done this? No matter how hard you hit the gas, the tires just continue to spin. That’s called being really “stuck”.

Life is the same way. Sometimes we think if we work harder and faster we will get the traction we need to get back on the road rollin’ in the land yacht. But, this is not true.

Being on-the-road to achieving your best begins with pre-determining your priorities and evaluating how you spend your time based upon those priorities. If we all have the same 24 hours in every day, then, why do some people seem to accomplish more? Why are some people able to be the crush-ers rather than the crush-ees? The answer is: They are able because they know their priorities and live their life accordingly.

Hmmmmmmmmm. What does this “priority” talk mean?

I think I can best illustrate the principle by saying: There are many good things to do, but there are only a few best things to do. Deciding your own personal pre-determined priorities allows you to have the ability to decipher the difference between good and best.

Being a “joiner”, a “fun-seeker”, and a “pleaser” at-heart, I naturally spent most of my life saying “yes” to everything. In my immaturity, I lived my life running from one yes to the other, always filling my daily schedule from dusk till bedtime.

Until one day, I said “no”

… to the head Church Lady, of all people. You may know her. She is super nice and is in charge of everything and is really good at directing people. I’m pretty dang sure no one had ever told her “no”… in the history of ever. And, to make matters more difficult, she asked me to do a very good thing, “Would you please sign up to cook and deliver a meal to this infirmed parishioner?”

My reply was simple. The look on her face was pure astonishment. “No, ‘mam,” rolled out of my mouth, and, with confidence on my side, I did not even feel the need to explain myself. Years down the road, as I have been in different seasons of life, I have been pleased to cook and deliver meals. However, for that season and that time, based upon my priorities, cooking a meal was a good thing, but was not the best thing for me.

I matured about 5 years the day I said “no” for the first time.

What are your top 3 to 5 priorities? Answering this question may be super-simple for some. For others, it might take a few days of pondering to make your list. For many years, my husband carried his priority list in his wallet as a reminder to evaluate time commitments through his personal filter of best vs. good.

In my next post, I am going to tell you a story about two sisters with very different priorities. Jesus had something to say about each of them. Surprisingly, He commended the sister I thought was a slacker. A life-changing thing had to happen in my life to make me see the story differently.

Please come back! I can not wait to tell you how this story changed me!

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