Forget the “To-Do” List, You Need a “Stop Doing” List

It’s interesting to think about the things you want to accomplish in life and work towards those goals. This is, after all, what we’ve been taught to do since birth. But over time we accumulate other habits and end up spending our time on things that aren’t important to us.

Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?

Whenever a person is not doing what he says he wants to do, he always has what sounds like a good excuse: ‘I haven’t the time’, ‘I haven’t the money’. Each of these, melts away as an imaginary obstacle when we shine the light of intelligence upon it.

Time is the key. Without time nothing is possible. Time is the only permanent and absolute ruler in the universe. But she treats every living person exactly alike every day. No matter how much of the world’s goods you have managed to accumulate, you cannot successfully plead for a single moment more than the pauper receives without ever asking for it. Time is the one great leveler. Everyone has the same amount to spend every day.

The next time you feel that you ‘haven’t the time’ to do what you really want to do, it may be worth-while for you to remember that you have as much time as anyone else — twenty-four hours a day. How you spend that twenty-four hours is really up to you.

We invest time consciously and unconsciously. Ask yourself these three questions as a personal guidance mechanism: What are you deeply passionate about? What are you are genetically encoded for — what activities do you feel just “made to do”? What makes economic sense — what can you make a living at?

Summing-up: The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” no almost everything. (Warren Buffet).

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