Doing One Thing First

Doing One Thing First

Confession: Professionally I’ve allowed life and outside influences to negatively impact me. Being around distracted, fragmented people. I have only myself to blame. Now it’s time to stop, repent and correct my course.

 I have too many irons in the fire. I’ve talked about it here.

The remedy is simple, but not easy: lower the number of irons in the fire.

And make that iron (or those fewer irons) HOTTER (more impactful).

The parable of the starfish was inspired by a story by Loren C. Eiseley (an American anthropologist, educator, philosopher, and natural science writer) called “The Star Thrower.”

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed boy picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean.

Approaching the boy he asked, “Young man, what are you doing?”

“Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die,” the boy replied.

The man laughed to himself and said, “Do you realize there are miles of miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make any difference.”

After listening politely, the boy bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the surf. Then, he smiled at the man and said, “I made a difference to that one.”

Making a deeper, longer lasting impact is at the center of ALL my work. At my age, it’s different now. Time is short. Always. Diminishing quickly with age making my opportunities more limited. Which motivates me to consider how to best spend or invest my time, effort and work. 

I’m in the process of working out what my repentance in this area looks like. Repentance is not going back. I’m determined to stop and not go back. I just have to figure out how to make it happen. Which irons need to be removed? Which irons need even more heat?

Repentance is the first only step! It’s the one thing I’m doing, which will lead to a more intense focus on the one professional thing I should do where my impact can be intensified instead of it being fragmented. The fragmentation has persisted too long! 


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