Randy Dean's Timely Tips

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Timely Tips(c): Volume 2, Issue 11; November 2005 -- Thanksgiving as an Analogy for Life

As many of you begin recovering from your post-Thanksgiving turkey food coma, this is a great time for me to share with you one of my favorite “bits” from my time management program. It is an analogy I give on how Thanksgiving dinner is a lot like life, and I think it cuts to the heart of effective time and life management. Here’s how it goes:

Life is a lot like Thanksgiving dinner. Here is how I see Thanksgiving dinner – first, you get together with a big group of family members, many of which you only prefer to see once or twice a year. ;-) Everybody brings too much food to eat, and it all gets laid out on a big family table. Once it is all organized and ready, then everybody comes to get in line, gets a plate and silverware, and then fills up those plates.

Now what is interesting is how the food table is laid out. As you walk through the line, you go past the stuffing, the potatoes, the gravy, the green beans, the baked beans, the cranberries, the Mexican dip, the veggies, the sweet potatoes, etc. etc. At the far end of the table, that is where you find the food everyone (save the vegetarians among us) really wants – the turkey, the ham, and the pies!!

What most people do is wait their turn and go through the line and get a little bit of everything -- stuffing, potatoes, gravy, beans, veggies, etc. They make sure a little bit of everything is on their plates to be polite so no one gets hurt because you didn’t eat granny’s cranberry surprise. But what often happens is that you get to the end of the table and have no room for what you really want – the turkey and the pies! So you throw it on top of the potatoes, and end up making a mess. Then you also end up eating too much, and not feeling too good about it afterward.

Now that is the polite thing to do. What is the smart thing to do? Of course – cut right by Aunt Ethel and go for that turkey!! Fill up your plate with the food that you really want, and then just fill in the few open spots on your plate with small portions of the other foods to keep things a little bit diverse and interesting.

It makes a nice analogy for life too, eh? No, I’m not telling you to fill up your life with a bunch of turkeys! What I mean for you to do is fill up your life and your time with the activities, events, and people that mean the most to you. (Of course, that requires you to figure out exactly what your “turkey” is in life.) That will help you create a life that you can really give thanks for.

Here’s hoping that you have a turkey-full holiday season! Until next month, Stay Timely!!


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