Currently, I’m reading The Next Right Thing, by Emily Freeman and I wanted to take today’s blog post to share an interesting chapter in the book. This chapter is called “Make the Most Important List”.
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I was the queen of list-making. A list of likes and dislikes. A wish-list for my home, for clothing, life goals … I mean you name it.
Chapter 9 – The Most Important List
This chapter discusses the advantages and disadvantages of pro/con lists because they’re not for everyone. Some good can come of them, and a list is one efficient way to help you sort and organize thoughts about a big decision.
Now if you’re like me, you collect lists because it seems important to record all the things. What happens in my case is that I make the list, and then I never look at it again. I’m pretty sure that’s not how they’re supposed to work.
Pro/con lists can have some major flaws because it’s assumed that every line weights about the same. However, if it comes to your health, family, or happiness they can outweigh any number of things on your list. [page 96]
If a choice was taking my dream job that doesn’t pay much, over a job I’m not in love with, that has benefits to allow me to take care of my family, and provide them with a better living environment, then you can imagine which one I’ll choose. The most important list we need to make one of intention that helps us to definitively decide YES or NO.
Life Energy List
Emily Freeman calls this a Life Energy List because it’s preemptive and not reactive. It doesn’t take away your decision-making process but it could act as a filter to help you with future decisions. The Energy List only asks two questions. What was life-giving? or What was life-draining?
[Excerpt, Do the Next Right Thing, Page 99] Scan the areas of your life, choose one to reflect on, and then ask yourself, Was this life-giving or life-draining? Overall, when you think of it, does your body lift when you imagine that time, or does it sink? Remember, there are no wrong answers, and what is life-giving today may feel draining this time next year.
In my heart of hearts, I feel like this is the most important list that I’ll make. The book mentions to break these list down into seasons, or 3-months at a time. I’m excited to list what I love during the summer, and what drains me during the summer because that time of year is stressful for me. What are the things I need to let go of? and What is not bringing me closer to God?
I hope you’ll join me in making your own list, and to sweeten the deal I’ve made a worksheet. Take some time this week, this month, or this year to make the most important list, and see if this brings you closer to your happiness goal.
Thanks so much for visiting my blog today, and don’t forget to comment, like, and follow. — Peace & Happy List Making! —
LINKS & DISCLAIMER
The Next Right Thing, A simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions.