Are these clear anymore?  For our personal lives, our profession, our community or our country?

Woman Screaming with MegaphoneThe approach our society now has for the holiday season is a great example of the overload and even confusion we experience all year.  Messages bombard us that each have their own agenda… buy, watch, attend, write, give, decorate, wrap, visit, drink, donate, mail, reflect, consume, volunteer, shop, send, relax, travel, call, eat, remember, cook, wear, share, conserve, exchange.

These are not necessarily bad things.  But the volume of action they collectively demand is not good.  Plus, these demands and requests are often someone else’s plan for you, not your plan or priority.  They can easily distract us to act as we are directed, not as we really prefer.  Mindless responses.  Bad habits.  Lack of priority.

I submit that while we may be aware of this message overload more during the holidays, it is with us everyday.  Messages, messages, messages.   Demands, requests, directions.  There are so many that we have learned to tune out most of them.  The problem with that is, without a focus on what you believe is really important, what you tune out or forget can easily be the most important things.

The loudest or most frequent messages from others, ourselves or society do not make them the most important.

Family LaughingI would not presume to suggest your priorities.  For me, I delight in my wife, pets and family. I enjoy my work and opportunities to help others where I can.  However, I never want the true joys in my life to be lost or postponed from any internal or external pressure to put my priorities last, to feel I must find perfect holiday gifts, have a perfect house, or the best clothes or meet every single demand and request made of me.

We don’t get today back to do again.  And we don’t get opportunities back to be kind and appreciative of those we love.  New opportunities.  Sure.  But the opportunities lost are not stored away to pull out “someday.”

Every day, people lose close family and friends.  If family and friends are your priority, let “everyday” be the “someday” you are going to be more appreciative and loving.  And it does not even require a gift.

I suggest that you practice each day actively thinking of the meaning, significance, purpose and reasons in your life that are the most important.   If you learn to do this consciously, the other messages will be less likely to overrun your true priorities.  Basically, create your own communication filter and use it actively each day.

I find that people that really know what they want and value in life are far less distracted by the bombardment of endless messages.   They also seem to be the most joyful people.

Joy to you and yours!

Happy Holidays 2009 from Doris and Glenn

Happy Holidays 2009 from Doris and Glenn



About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.