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Pause Gem #26 – Lift Up Your Eyes

Pause Gems-wReflection & Action: The motto of the University of Calgary (where I studied for my Masters degree in Continuing Education) reads  “MO SHUILE TOGAM SUAS”. It’s a Gaelic phrase taken from one of the psalms. Translated, it means: “I will lift up my eyes.” What an inspired call to action!

Participants in the seminars that I lead tell me their overloaded days are often spent heads down – not eyes up. With noses to the grindstone, preoccupied with tasks and details, they wade their way through each day’s responsibilities, fretting about the details.

If that’s true for you, try shifting that practice just a smidge. As you move through your day, take a moment here and there to lift up your eyes. Step out of the car – lift up your eyes. Step out of a meeting – life up your eyes. Tune in to the bigger picture and the reason you are about to pursue the tasks at hand. There is always a broader, higher, deeper purpose.

A realtor is not just brokering cash and property, he is helping someone make a home. A nurse is not just checking blood pressure, she is helping someone live a long and healthy life. I’m not just writing tips and sharing tools, I’m helping people find perspective and peace of mind.

Again and again, research in time management effectiveness shows that those individuals and organizations with a clear concept of their purpose have an easier time focusing on priorities. The biggest returns lie in wrestling down or teasing out the answers to those big, important, underlying questions of values and direction.

What larger purpose do you see when you pause to lift up your eyes?


Quotes Of The Week: “Strong reasons make strong actions.” – William Shakespeare

“If you must live an unexamined life, please don’t inflict it on others.” – Parker J. Palmer


Readers Write:

Pause reader Doug G writes: People want easy tips on how to better organize their work or home lives, and so day planners and systems become the focus.  But sometimes what they really need is to reflect on what are the real priorities, and why. If you clarify values, you can clean up your to-do list. Yet more people will seek the help of a ‘to-do technician’ than a ‘values coach’.


Pause reader Lisa T writes: One way I take time to pause during the day, is to purposely watch my screensaver on my computer for a few minutes. I have photos of my family on it. This reminds me what my priorities are in my life, and helps me focus on what’s important.

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Life Balance, Miscellaneous, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines

2 Responses to “Pause Gem #26 – Lift Up Your Eyes”

  1. Lia Pas

    I completely agree with needing to look up and out to come back to what is actually important in life. Our family had a rough year with me having an emergency appendectomy and taking twice as long to recover and our son becoming ill with chronic headaches soon afterwards. Through some innate necessity I started to begin my journalling practice each day with the following outline:
    Today’s focus is…
    This week’s focus is…
    This month’s focus is…
    This season’s focus is…
    This year’s focus is…

    This has allowed me to see both the microcosm and the macrocosm of importance in life and in work.

  2. Pat Katz

    It takes a commitment to do so, Lia. But, as you note, it’s well worth the effort.

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