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160 – Your Time And Attention



So, it’s Monday now, and the weekend has just passed.   The weekend’s are kind of a big deal.  Some of you listening had the time of your life this weekend.  Others of you may have had a so-so weekend.  While still others of you just sat around and did nothing at all.

look, if you are working five days a week, then the weekend is the time to get out and celebrate the week you just went through.  Or…it’s the time to get stuff done that you didn’t have time for during the week, or it’s a time for needed rest.

I’ll tell you how I spent my weekend…even though I am a little behind on my podcast episodes, even though I have a ton of other things I could be doing that would move my life forward…I spent the weekend pruning my dad’s fruit trees.

This weekend I personally pruned six apple trees, two pear trees, and two cherry trees.  It wasn’t a light prune either, these trees have not been attended to in over six years, each one was like a jungle unto itself.

So there I am up on a ladder with a chain saw all weekend, pruning trees.

It was very hard work, but thankfully we had friends and relatives helping out, dragging the cut off branches over to the fire, holding the ladder, and stuff like that. 

The whole time I’m thinking about all the other things I could be doing;  I could be working on my book, I could be recording new podcast’, I could be answering emails and engaging on social media…but there I was, up in a tree with a chain saw. 

Some people might look at this situation and say that I wasted my weekend because I didn’t get any thing done that will move me forward…and, I would be inclined to agree with them.

However, as I was up there in those trees there was another thought I kept having.  I kept thinking about my dad, and the fact that he is too old to do this stuff himself. He will be 81 in February, and everything has gotten bigger than he can handle.

I also reminisced about all the times when I was a kid spent playing in the same tree’s I was pruning now.  I thought about the adventures played out in their branches and the overall connection I had with these trees, and this property.

It became pretty clear to me, pretty quickly that the priority immediately before me, trumped all other perceived priorities. 

It’s important for us as men to be able to sift through all the BS and focus on things that really matter. 

Us men have a huge inclination to focus on things that will move us forward socially or economically…at the expense of other things that matter intimately, relationally, or spiritually.  It’s unfortunate, because true happiness only comes from the latter. 

I gotta tell you…there was an enormous sense of satisfaction at the end of the day, sitting with my dad in front of a glowing pile of coals two feet high…what was left of the fire that consumed all the wood we cut off the trees.

It wasn’t just the accomplishment itself, it was knowing that my dad felt a sense of security, that people he cared for his entire life were in fact returning the favor.  He was being cared for, without asking, and that awareness gave him peace that I could see and feel.  That alone made it all worthwhile.

This episode is a reminder to everyone to check in once in a while and determine what really matters.  We all default to our careers and our social agendas most of the time.  It’s good to check in though, and see if there isn’t someone, or something that will advance our life in other  more meaningful directions.  Maybe there is someone that just really needs your time and attention…maybe that should be the priority once in a while.

Whenever that happens we are almost always paying back something that has been given to us at some point.  It’s reciprocal; a gift for a gift.

Ultimately we will all be the target of that same kind of attention and care, or lack thereof…it matters how you live, and what you put into life.  It’s hard to receive, without first giving.

Now head out into the world being the best man you can be.  Along the way stop and look for those people who may be in need of your time and attention…and give it to them.  Whenever you do it will be obvious to you and them, that you are a better man today than you were yesterday.

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