Posted by: 1of10boyz | June 2, 2014

Important Things In Life – Part 1

When I thought about what were the things that I have learned in the past 10 years, 10 years of post-brain surgery, I knew that one of those topics would have to be on what was and is important to me. I also knew that this was going to be the hardest one of the things that would be on the list to write about. I am at least hoping that the other topics I have in mind are easier to write about because this one has proven to be very difficult writing. A lot of that is because it sounds a little like “do what I say and not what I do” in so many ways because I am not very good at some of these things. It is often said that a personal crisis will reinforce in our minds what we really value and cherish. Well, that personal crisis was that little brain tumor for me. This exercise of putting these life altering ideas and concepts on paper 10 years later is an interesting experience. I can’t really blame this on George, the monkey that lives on my back, but I wouldn’t be doing this writing exercise without him either so he does get the credit for me doing it.

I try not to do a lot of in-depth thinking about life, at least not enough thinking about it to create a list of important things on a routine basis. In many ways deep thinking about life often seems like it isn’t very useful; I mean, there really doesn’t seem like there is much I can do about it. No matter how hard I thought about life in December 2003 there was no way I would have thought that on the last day of that month I would find myself holding MRI images of my head with a white blob on the left side that clearly didn’t look like it belonged. But then, this little exercise is more than just a list of things to do; it is a list of things to be. That “to be” idea is important regardless of the time we have left and those are things that need to be planned for. I suspect that there are lots of books that will tell me that if I don’t write down the important things then they will get crowded out by the other things that happen in life; that is why I should write them. I have read several of them in my quest to be successful and have even tried to create the habits and methods described to varying degrees of success. I know that the basis for a lot these things are simple and yet at the same time very difficult.

I know that when I have my to-do-list I do a much better job of meeting my priorities and accomplishing important things. I know that when I make these kinds of lists that I can focus on the things that matter to me and that I can act rather than be acted upon or just reacting. However, I also know that it takes time to do this and that sometimes the problem for me is everything has the same priority or seems to be of the same importance. I hate a to-do-list or a list of priorities that doesn’t have priority; where there is nothing that makes any one task more important than another. That kind of list makes me a little crazy and a little depressed because I get overwhelmed by the sheer number of things on the list.

To work around that I am going to put my important things into categories, since I will admit that categories of things are easier to prioritize while the things or details within them may be a bit more debatable. You see that is the real problem for me with the “important things in life” kind of list, how should it be prioritized? What makes any one of the items more important or less important? To my mind this is often a matter of perspective at any given moment and those tasks or purposes can easily be shuffled to the top or bottom or middle of the list without a lot of argument at any given moment. So in hopes of minimizing my all too likely OCD reaction to a list with numbers that might mean that one is more important than another, the important things in life are not given in any particular order of importance.

It is important to recognize that in the identification of these things it was necessary for me to come to an awareness of who I was 10 years ago and to understand how that changed. That is true for anyone that is going to understand why the items I selected are important; all of us need to obtain an awareness of whom and what we want to be through an honest, open self-examination. I have had to do that as I have wrestled with George to maintain control of myself and to keep him as the curious little imp that he is today instead of the troop of gorillas that I know he has the power to become when fear fills my heart. Those concepts that have come from my self-examination point me to these three categories: Character, Decisive, and Persistent.

This has turned out to be longer than I expected. So I am splitting it into at least three parts. Up next, the categories: CharacterDecisive, and Be Persistent will be coming later.



  1. […] on third segment in our continued discussion about the important things in life. Here are links to Part 1 and Part […]

  2. […] This is the first factor or category that I have learned from living with that monkey, George, on my back. It is a follow on to our continued discussion about the important things in life. Here is the link to Part 1. […]

  3. […] to be the final segment to my discussion of the important things in life. These are the links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. What I realized as I got to the end I wanted or needed to summarize, that will […]

  4. […] Life that I have learned from living with that monkey, George, on my back. These are the links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part […]

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