Important things


About 10 days ago, I was having a very enjoyable meal at Sushi Tei (try the ikura (salmon roe) chawanmushi) with a long-legged friend and we were talking about ambition and priorities.  And she had me do this interesting exercise.  She tore up the folded piece of paper that the wooden chopsticks came in into eight bits and told me to write down the eight things most important to me, one on each bit of paper.

I wrote:

  • Comfort
  • Family
  • Doing well at work
  • Being knowledgeable
  • Writing well
  • My bolster
  • Reading good books
  • Food

And then she asked me, if you had to take away two of these important things, which would they be?  Not too difficult.  I took away my bolster and reading good books.  So six were left.

  • Comfort
  • Family
  • Doing well at work
  • Writing well
  • Being knowledgeable
  • Food

And then she told me, take away two more.  And I took away food and writing well.  (This is as best as I remember it.  I could have removed comfort… but anyway, here’s what I think I took away.)  And so, four were left.

  • Comfort
  • Family
  • Doing well at work
  • Being knowledgeable

And then my long-legged friend told me to remove two more.  And I took away comfort and being knowledgeable.  And two were left.

  • Family
  • Doing well at work

And so it seemed, to me, the most important things in the world are my family and doing well at work.  And then my friend asked, are you spending enough time on the most important thing in the world to you?  And my answer had to be that I was, at work, and I was not sure I was, with my family.

And I thought, it was good to be made to think in this way.  I shall do this exercise again, but seriously, and by seriously I mean in a state of mind that would not involve my bolster – significant part of my life though it is – as one of the eight most important things in my life :)

P/S.  Today at about 3.45pm I was on a high after doing a presentation to an important person who was very enthused about her work.  Then at 4.00pm I reminded someone to do a very important thing.  And at about 5.55pm I thought I saw someone dab at tears on his/her face, because of a very important thing, of course, for otherwise why would he/she shed tears?

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Author: lichone

Ethics by Enid Blyton; physique by deep-fried things. I think we all have an instinct to tell stories and to build things and relationships,

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