Last year I had the flexibility to work on my golf game. An injury kept me from running and biking so I put lots of energy into chasing that little white ball. I made some new friends in the process and had a lot of fun. Now with the golf season gearing up, I have a decision to make. I want to play but circumstances have changed and I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do.
As I struggled with the choice, it occurred to me that there are only three kinds of decisions: 1. The things we have to do. 2. The things we should do. 3. The things we want to do.
The things we have to do are urgent. The consequence of choosing not to do them quickly impacts our lives. Going to work, going to school, and paying bills fall into this category.
The things we should do are important but not urgent. The consequence of choosing not to do them has no immediate impact on our lives. Working on a project that’s not due for several months, spending time with your children, paying attention to your health, and cleaning your house fall into this category. You can worry about them tomorrow or the day after that or… But be careful because the “should do” things determine your long-term happiness. They’re critical to your success.
The things we want to do give us pleasure and immediate gratification. Things like relaxing in front of the TV, eating a bowl of ice cream, playing video games, and working on a hobby, like my golf game, fall into this category. There are endless ways to fill your day with things you want to do.
That’s my problem. It’s easy to have fun; it’s important to have fun. However, it’s more important to make sure the “want to do” things in your life aren’t getting in the way of the “should do” things.
My injuries are healed. Running takes far less time so I’m opting out of golf this year, unless it includes one of my children. What gets in the way of your “should do” things?