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Hitting the Pause Button

It's been brought to my attention that my wife and I are full of great ideas and good intentions, but that all too often the ideas that we do have are not getting carried out. It's true that my wife and I have carried out a good number of our ideas, many of them becoming successfully competed projects. Our home improvement projects have been successful ones, for example. However, it seems with every good idea that we went forward with there are three more that only stayed in the idea stage and never had any effort applied to them.

Jodi got a revelation last week that led to us committing to stop saying the word "need." It must be extracted from our vocabulary. We've said it hundreds of times. "We really need to (fill in the blank with a great idea)." We would say it over and over again, yet no one ever acted on the declaration.

Saying that you need to do something does a couple of things, neither of them beneficial. For one, it takes the joy out of the proposed action that is being talked about. No one wants to do something that needs to be done. All of a sudden that idea's follow through became a task. We have enough of those. We don't want any more.

The other negative outcome from saying "need" is that it automatically and inherently gives you an excuse not to do what you are "needing to do." The word 'need' implies that it is something that must be done, of course. However, in America, our basic needs are generally met with overflowing abundance. Therefore, when we use the term 'need' we are generally referring to a large list of back-burner tasks that we can start and stop at our leisure. When we say, "I need to go to the DMV and renew my tags," we're really saying, "At some point, maybe even the last minute or even after they have expired, I'm going to find a time that is most convenient for me and I'll renew my tags. And, if I get a ticket in the meantime, I'll complain to everyone I know about how I was wrongfully ticketed since, unlike everyone else, I didn't have time."

Farley Lewis gave the message on Sunday morning and confirmed this change of vocabulary. The sermon was about our time, what we choose to do with it, and how we will be judged on those activities. An analogy was used that really put it into perspective for everyone. Farley and his daughter went to Incredible Pizza, a pizza buffet that has an elaborate arcade room in the back. Money was spent, tickets were acquired, and time was spent deciding on what to "buy" with the acquired tickets. In the end, the daughter was able to trade her tickets for an old-fashioned child's helicopter. It was the kind that is just a wooden stick with a plastic propeller that you spin in your hands and it flies. I didn't catch what exactly was wrong with the helicopter, but it didn't work. Maybe it broke, I'm not sure. Anyway, it doesn't matter. The point is that all this time and money was spent to acquire this worthless piece of garbage.

Farley likened the tickets to our time. If a day were a ticket, we are trading it in for something. But, what is that something? Are we "buying" something with our tickets (time) that in the end will be worthless? It was a great and challenging message, one in which I have taken to heart.

One of the ideas that we have is huge and will take a lot of time, creativity, and mental dedication. So, in order to actually take this idea and turn it into the amazing thing that it should be, I'm going to have to rein in my time spent on other activities, including this blog. I really enjoy writing blogs, but I'll also really enjoy writing for this new project. One holds me back from the other, so I'm choosing the one in which I feel I'm supposed to be dedicated.

I'll still blog every now and again, but they'll be less wordy, less time consuming, less creativity-zapping, less thoughtful, ... less of me.


I really like the "no need" rule - great idea! I also understand focusing your efforts, can't wait to see what it is!

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