I wish I could give you the name of the creator of the questions that follow, because I believe the thoughts they provoke will be of great benefit to you.
First question: What are the names of the winners of the Academy Awards for best actor and actress in 1993?
Second: Who won the Most Valuable Player award in the 1994 Super Bowl?
Third: Who was the Most Valuable Player in the 1995 World Series?
Fourth: Who was the Most Valuable Player in the NCAA basketball tournament in 1996?
Fifth: Who won the Grammy Award for best song in 1997?
Sixth: Who was the Country Music Artist of the Year in 1998?
You probably missed most of these questions. To be candid, I can't answer a single one of them, and have no interest in inquiring who won those awards. Yet, at the time they happened, their names were all over the newspapers and on radio and TV talk shows. The reality is all of these celebrities — while we might admire and enjoy their performances — have little if anything to do with our long-term happiness and enjoyment of living.
Let's look at more questions: How long would it take you to identify three people with whom you thoroughly enjoy spending time, almost regardless of what you are doing (or not doing)?
Next, what was the name of your favorite teacher, going all the way back to kindergarten, until you finished your formal education? What was it that made this particular teacher your favorite? Name three people who made significant impacts on your life, and do you remember just what those impacts were?
Chances are superb that you can very quickly answer all of the last questions and expand on them considerably, because that second group of people we asked about are people with whom you had relationships that have made a difference in your life.
Yes, our relationships are important. They have a direct bearing on our happiness, health, financial well-being, feeling of security, peace of mind and virtually everything you can think of that we really cherish and treasure in our lives. Dr. Dean Ornish, after a 20-year study, said our relationships are more important to our physical health than the food we eat, the clothes we wear and even our genes.
I believe Dr. Ornish is right, and I believe on reflection that you will agree our relationships are extremely important. The question I ask of you is this: In your current lifestyle, do you spend as much time with the people you really love, those who have enriched and made a difference in your life, as you do with the celebrities you watch on television, in the movies or on an athletic field of endeavor? In other words, are you a spectator being entertained by a celebrity, or are you a participator, building relationships and memories that will last you for the rest of your life?
Isn't it strange we "don't have time" to have dinner with a friend or drop by for a visit, sit down for a cup of coffee, or simply pick up the phone for a little chat, and yet we will attend an athletic event involving several hours or watch hours of television every week as we sit almost numbed by what we are seeing and hearing? It doesn't make sense, does it? And the chances are pretty good that the behaviors I've just described will continue unless we develop a specific plan of action.
We must organize our time so that we will spend time with the people who are important to us. When we wisely invest our time in becoming more effective at what we do, we benefit not only ourselves but also our families, neighbors and society in general. Make a plan; prioritize your life so you will have time for the truly important people who have made a difference for you.
To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: biancamentil at Pixabay