Being Intentional About NOT Getting the Blue Ribbon

I received quite a look from a group of program participants last week when I asked, "What are those areas of your work or life where you are intentionally NOT working toward getting a blue ribbon?" After a long silence, one participant said, "Housework." Another answered with, "exercise," and someone gave the response of "the way my vehicles look."

Based on the idea that we have limits (which we do), it's important to be intentional about choosing the areas we are seeking the best results and the ones we will settle for something less. Always agonizing about how things aren't the best in all areas can literally be overwhelming and reduce our productivity and sense of accomplishment. When we make a conscious decision NOT to focus our best efforts on one area, it frees up resources for other areas, and psychologically tells our brain that it's okay not to focus on those areas. We reduce our guilt as well.

The key is to know how this choice will help you get better results somewhere else. For example, one of my "non-blue ribbon" areas is my yard and lawn (just ask my neighbors). I enjoy a green lawn free from weeds and flower beds brimming with color, but right now my focus on the weekends and evenings needs to be on my wife, my daughters and my parents. When those seasons of my "orchard" change, I'll turn my attention to my lawn and landscape. I'm also driven by one of my quotes in my book, Getting the Blue Ribbon, which is, Some things you can not grow again.