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Take Stock of Your Time
Your most precious commodity; you never know when it'll run out.)

By Del Albright

The World Trade Center disaster is fresh in our minds as I write this. The magnitude of this outrage nearly hides a lesson we should all learn from this kind of event. I'm reminded of learning this same lesson when I got on the plane to come home from the Vietnam war. The lesson is simple and I can best put it this way: Take stock of time , your most precious commodity; you never know when it'll run out.

When you look at how we spend our lives, our priorities, successes and failures are set by where we spend our time. It is the final determining factor of what you do or don't do in life. In a sense , it helps determine who you are.

Time is everything. Where you spend your time tells a lot about you. You can talk about objectives, expectations, priorities, goals and anything else, but the bottom line of this formula is how much time you spend on any one thing. If you devote your time to work, like many of us have to do, then what suffers in your life? Does your family come second? Do you come last? I would hope not.

Allow me to offer some insight into life at my tender age of "mid" fifties. I've been through two wars, divorce, family tragedy, and terrorism at its worse. I've lived in 16 states and 3 countries. I've fought for this country on two continents. I've seen life and death too many times. I have learned one big secret of life: time runs out before you want it to.

The lessons I've learned, and the way I've lead my life since August of 1971 when I got on that "freedom bird" to come home from my last war, are summarized in three basic rules: 1) Be happy; 2) Enjoy every day; and 3) Do treat others as you would be like to be treated (the gold old Golden Rule). These are not just words to me. I've learned that I, Del, must be fit, healthy and tend to my well-being before I can help or be of use to others. YOU and your personal well-being should be your first priority in my way of thinking.

Find something to smile about every day, before going to bed. Before you go supine, make sure you feel fine. Make yourself find that something to smile about. I suggest you try with all your strength not to allow someone or something else dictate your happiness.

You have the right to choose in this country how you react to bad stuff. Yes, there will be times, like the World Trade Center, that shock you to your soul. But inner strength comes from a basic foundation of wellness and an ability to cope with ugliness.

Then when you've taken care of your self, you should take that extra step to ensure the happiness of those around you; your family, friends and co-workers. You'll be much more effective at helping others when you yourself are in a state of top notch emotional well-being.

So, you might ask at this point, where does work come in? In my opinion, work is after you, your health and well-being, and your family. Work is a third priority. If you live up to the first priorities, you'll be a better and happier employee.

A person who is taking care of his/her personal life is so much better suited to take care of their work life. In this state of mind, you'll find that work is also more fun. The less we are distracted by life's ugliness, the better we can do our job and the happier we'll be while doing it.

It takes practice to keep yourself happy. In fact, you may have to work very hard at it. But the outcome is worth the work. You'll find you have more time to do the fun things in life than you thought. Choose and allow how you live your life. Let no one dictate your personal happiness. Take stock of time, your most precious commodity; you never know when it'll run out.

Tips on Time Management -- Monkey Management

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