Pat Katz Pat Katz




PAUSE – 14.18 – What Do You Think Matters Most?

wise owl-wReflection: Places to be. Things to fix. Stuff to do. The lists grow long and the burdens grow heavy.

That’s why, every so often, it helps to pause and step back from the fray – to tap into a fresh perspective on the countless should’s and pressing have-to’s of our lives.

In my presentations on balance and renewal, I often challenge participants with an exercise that invites them to generate their own life wisdom and insights. I invite you to take ten minutes and give it a try yourself. Here’s how the exercise goes.


Action: On a blank sheet of paper, write the date and year of your 80th birthday. (Hopefully you won’t need a calculator to figure it out!)

Next, bring to mind a ten-year-old boy or girl sitting at your knee looking up at you with admiration. Give that child a name – real or fictional. Imagine the youngster saying, “You’ve lived a VERY long time. What can you tell me about what really matters in life?”

Your task is to put pen to paper starting with the words:

Dear (insert his/her name), You’ve asked me to tell you what really matters in life. Here’s what I’ve learned so far…

Give yourself ten minutes to jot down every idea that pops into your mind. Don’t edit. Don’t rethink. Just write as fast as the ideas flow. If you find yourself on a roll and need an extra sheet or two of paper, just keep on going.

Once you’ve run out of ideas and/or time, sit back and review what you’ve written. Add any other ideas that come to mind.

Then take a moment to compare your advice to all those items on your to do list that are awaiting your attention.

See what light your own wisdom sheds on where you are spending your time and energy. Rethink what’s really worth the stress and worry.

Every time I do this exercise, it delivers a strong reset to my mindset. I hope you find it helps you, too!


Quotes Of The Week: The years teach much which the days never knew. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I believe that all wisdom consists in caring immensely for a few right things, and not caring a straw about the rest. – John Buchan

It is more easy to be wise for others than for ourselves. – François VI de la Rochefoucault

Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it. – Doug Larson


Resource Of The Week: Speaking of wisdom and insight, I want to let you know about the newest release in Tyler Hayden’s Message In A Bottle series. Tyler is a fun-loving, big-hearted, living-life-large speaking colleague of mine who lives in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Mother’s Message In A Bottle – Loving Letters For Life’ is a collection of messages written by 56 real life mom’s who were asked to share their life lessons in letters to their children. I’m honored that Tyler chose to include my own message to my two grown daughters as part of the collection. It’s a great read and a thought-provoking Mother’s Day gift.


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Appreciation, Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

No Responses to “PAUSE – 14.18 – What Do You Think Matters Most?”

  1. Lia Pas

    Great suggestions, Pat.

    I recently came across this “urgency vs. importance” matrix that I’ve found helpful. I have a number of large-scale projects this year and this has helped me keep focus on what is really important in the midst of other demands.

  2. Pat Katz

    Hi Lia: The Urgency/Importance matrix is such a helpful classic in the world of sorting out priorities. So glad you are finding it useful, and thanks for the link. Pat

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