What’s the most important thing you can do today?


I am fortunate to be able to spend time with my 5 year old grandson two days each week. I realize the time is precious because he begins full-time kindergarten next fall, so the days are numbered. We have a routine… after breakfast every day, we go to our basement to build cities, worlds, and other imaginary creations with an assortment of Legos and Lincoln Logs. Just a little boy playing in the floor in a make-believe world with his Grandpa. Yesterday, my wife (Grandma) came downstairs to ask me something to which our grandson stated, “Can you go back upstairs, Grandma, because you’re breaking the mood of our game when you talk to Grandpa.”

He says a lot of funny things. However, this one made me think again about priorities and what is truly important. It is tempting, occasionally, when you have retired from 40 years in the corporate world to wonder if you are just wasting your time. After all, you spend 40 years driving hard every day to add value. Then, suddenly, every day is Saturday (except Sunday). If you don’t want to accomplish anything today, no problem, there is always tomorrow. Yesterday, my grandson reminded me again that sometimes, the most important thing I can ever do is something small. Pouring your life into that of another is never wasted time, whether it is your grandson, coworker, spouse, or someone you’ve never met. I’m sure that someday, my grandson will think back to those days that he and Grandpa built the most remarkable buildings with those Lego blocks. But, more importantly, I hope he remembers that his Grandpa loved him enough to spend that time just with him.

What is the most important thing you can do today? It is easy to get caught up in the hundred things you have to do. It is easy to let the routine of the day to obscure that “most important thing” that you know you need to do. Perhaps, we need to develop the habit of asking ourselves early each new day, “What is that one thing, above all else, that I need to do this day?” Sometimes, that “most important thing” is completing a project at work, making a new business contact, or taking that evening call. When it is, don’t feel guilty and just get it done. However, when the most important thing you can do is to pour your life into that of someone else, don’t neglect it.

So, what is today’s most important thing for you? Is it breaking away early to attend that special event at school? Is it calling your aging parents just to say hello? Is it doing that little project that your spouse has been asking about for the last six months? Or, could it be that someone just needs you to get on the floor to help build a castle? Whatever it is, don’t let life become so busy that you miss the things that are most important.

And, don’t forget that today could be your best day yet!