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Larry Lilly's Letter Monday April 4, 2011
What, in your opinion is the most important thing you have to do today? This is not a loaded question, but it is designed to reinforce a truth in my own mind and perhaps help you along the way.
My thoughts turned along this area of thought and action when I read a statement by Jim Barnes on FaceBook. Jim quoted President Calvin Coolidge on making wise use of time and effort:
"We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once." Doing Something at once is better than doing nothing when you get around to it, but taking the time to decide what is most important on a list of things to do, people to call etc is a good way to get the day off to a good and productive start.
Industrial age tycoon, Charles Schwab, was known as a savvy, tightfisted man and a story has it that one time during the development of Bethlehem Steel he was having problems with the production of his flag ship plant. Ivy Lee, a noted PR/ management expert was called in and after a month or so laid out a program to solve the problems. Schwab was ecstatic until he received the bill. After wrangling he paid.
When Ivy Lee received his money, he thanked Mr. Schwab and said, "I like you and I'm going to write out a brief plan for you personally. Use it for 90 days and send me a check for what you think it is worth." Schwab agreed.
At the end of 90 days Charles Schwab sent a check for $25,000 to Mr. Lee. In those days that was an enormous amount.
Ivy Lee had written on a piece of paper,
"Each night prior to retiring write out the ten most important things you have to do in the order of their importance. In the morning get to work on the most important and finish it if possible; if you must wait for more information etc, move on to the next task. Follow this procedure through the list."
I used this story about 10 years ago and I was caustically reminded of Mr. Schwab's later years spent in poverty. I replied as humbly as possible that while Mr. Schwab used the formula he built one of the greatest corporations in American History, and I reasonably asked the critic if he knew of any verse in the scripture that encouraged the wasting of time? In my dotage I seldom bother with critics and I do not include, "answer critics" in my top 10 to do list. Life is sweet when you are committed and aged.
A man known for living/writing for Jesus, the Apostle Paul commented on the wise use of time when he wrote in Eph 5:15-16:
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Larry Lilly Copyright © 2011 Use with credit.
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