Updated: Jul 6, 2020
In 2012 I was in the middle of designing a group coaching experience for leaders on the topic of clarifying your personal values. I was using the quote, “teach us to number our days.” I had to pause to go to Milwaukee.
I hopped in my car and headed down to my mom’s house. She had recently passed away and my sister and I were sorting through her things. That day I opened a closet, and there on the shelf was a large stack of calendars! That stack represented 30-40 years of my mom’s life! I sat down and flipped through the pages, glancing at all the notes she had jotted down . . . thousands of everyday choices that shaped her life! And each small square represented one full day. I pulled out my phone and calculated that she had lived through
31,725 squares in her 87 years!
That experience impacted me deeply! I mean, here I was, getting ready to inspire others, and I was being challenged to be even more intentional with my own life! I really want to leave a strong legacy, starting with my family - there are 23 of us now! Bob & I have multiplied - we have 4 married kids - 13 grandkids - and my dad will be 99 on Sunday! My legacy also extends to the leaders I invest in everyday - I really want to encourage and strengthen each one - passing on all that I‘m learning.
Well, as of today, (January 2019) if I’m blessed to live as long as my mom - and of course there are no guarantees, - but if I do - I’d have 6,540 squares left. Yikes! Kind of sobering when you think of it that way, isn’t it? Suddenly 6,540 didn't seem like such a large number!
Thankfully I no longer see the days as "slipping away." God had me reframe my thinking—instead, I'm choosing to visualize each new day as an "add on" rather than a day subtracted from my life. Each new day I'm given fills me up with new experiences and great memories.
You know, I’m realizing that other people will be happy to "fill up our squares for us" if we are not careful! It's so important to make wise choices; to be intentional about where we want o invest our time.
So what about you? What’s written on your calendar these days?
Clarifying my values has made a huge impact on the choices I make - especially in the area of where to invest my time and energy—my calendar squares. Values serve as filters for my decisions. I've realized that my everyday choices will shape my “one and only life.”
If you are interested in learning more about clarifying your own personal values, please contact me. I've got some great tools to help you get started.