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by Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"ô

(c) 2002, A Few Good People, Inc.

Unfortunately, most of us need a little reminder every now and then about what is really important. Something will happen in our lives and we just sort of sit up, slap our foreheads stupidly, and say "DOH! Of course! I knew that, but I forgot that I knew that!"

The trouble is that we never know when thatís going to happen and, when it does, it may be too late. If you lose a loved one in a tragic accident, how will you be able to say those things to them that you meant to say but never did?

My guess is that you probably donít have to think very hard to figure out your top priorities in life. Are you taking the time, however short, to think about it? And are you acting accordingly, spending your time and financial resources where it matters the most?

I just got a reminder of my own; my bride of 19 years was diagnosed with breast cancer. After we got the news I felt two profound emotions: fear and gratitude. The fear, of course, was about what the future held. The gratitude was for all the time we have been able to spend together by working at home for over 20 years.

After her first surgery we learned that it had spread. When the situation is dire, itís easy to drop the things that used to be soooooooo important and focus on the things that really are.

I was in the parking lot of a local market and I saw a man and woman arguing about something. I thought about how their anger was probably over something that, in reality, just doesnít matter a hoot. Someday they, too, may get a sudden reminder and they will hopefully realize how unimportant and insignificant those types of arguments usually are.

In going back over this article, it reads sort of negative, doesnít it? (SORT OF???) I donít mean to put you on a downer, I just want to make sure that you keep balance and perspective in your life. I want my reminder to serve as your reminder. Itís amazing how quickly Ďimportantí things can become unimportant.

Itís easy to work a lot when you own a small business (Iíll bet you didnít know thatÖ) which makes it hard to achieve that balance and perspective without some conscious effort. Are your priorities in order? Donít wait for that giant reminder to come and slap you in the face. The next time you get angry with a loved one, ask yourself if it really matters that much.

One of my favorite movie quotes is from "Mr. Mom", one of Michael Keatonís first movies. In it, he loses his corporate job, canít find another, and his wife (played by Terri Garr) ends up going back to work for an advertising firm leaving him at home to take care of the kids. She ends up working too much, so he says these eight words to her.

Now Iím saying them to you:

"Itís easy to forget whatís important. So donít."


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