A Question We All Must Answer

In a training program last week with the fantastic people at Tractor Supply, a participant named Warren really rattled me with one comment. I've been involved in training for over 18 years, and have learned to ask some pointed questions that cause me and usually others to really dig deep within to find an answer. I think too many of us aren't willing to ask the hard questions, find the answers, and then make significant changes to our work or life. As Thoreau put it, "we lead lives of quiet desperation."

Back to Warren. We were discussing the need to prioritize because we have limits. Warren commented, "In other words, it's like the question, 'What are you willing to fail at?'" BAM! What an intriguing thought. We spend so much time on the success side of the equation that we fail to recognize that if we have limits and want to succeed at certain things, we will inevitably have to be willing to fail at other things-or at least be willing to settle for less than our very best.

On the plane on the way home I tried to make a list of those things about which I am willing to fail. It was the most difficult mental exercise I have had in a long time. To be honest, I am still working on it, and hope to have a more clear list in the coming days. I am finding that it's not something that we should create and then put away. We need to ask ourselves the question every day to help us better determine what our priorities should be.

How would you answer the question?