I just read a piece called “Six Ways to Become a Wise Leader” (good advice) and it reminded me of so many books, articles and presentations that create a numerical list. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People was a highly popular book with over 10 million sold. And then there is a more ancient text called “The Ten Commandments.” Why is it that the “top ten” or the “sweet sixteen” “elite eight” and “final four” carry so much attraction? Or do they? Who has the time, interest or inclination to review “the top 100 songs?” In fact there is a list of the top tens that list just about everything you can think of from the top ten cars to the top ten tips for staying safe online. You can find the lists here: http://www.the-top-tens.com/ Ten seems to be the preferred number when creating lists. It’s the same number of most telephone numbers including the area code. Maybe it’s what the mind can grasp and hold onto.
How about the top three? Let’s condense ten to three and force people to make some hard choices. Letting go may be as important as holding onto. It could be a revealing exercise to have to decide what is most important, according to your own values and beliefs and understand why one item is more important than another. What you discard may say as much as what you keep. I am facing that exercise in the coming weeks as I try to eliminate some stuff, especially clothes and personal belongings, in order to reduce what I perceive as excess. Why keep this piece and why eliminate that one? Shouldn’t be too hard if one is in the frame of mind to eliminate. A number of us have a tendency to accumulate without balancing accumulation with expulsion
Beyond possessions and material objects, how would you go about making a list of the top ten most important values in your life? What is that which you hold most precious, most valuable and and of greatest worth? As we move through this Spring, a time for growth and new life in our natural surroundings, at least in the northern hemisphere, we will have numerous opportunities to examine why, how and where we want to invest our time, energy and resources. Now, I need to get busy planning, sorting, finishing, planning, sorting, finishing and planning, sorting, finishing. It’s all a process of unfolding, evolving, engaging and celebrating. Onward!