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“The struggle comes when we sense a gap between the clock and the compass – when what we do doesn’t contribute to what is most important in our lives.” Stephen R Covey

Which is a lot of the time.

In planning, the lovely people at Franklin Covey promote the idea that one should plan only 60% of one’s time because that allows for the minutiae of life to be properly dealt with. In my experience when I was a police officer that figure had to be nearer 40%. In either case it meant that around half of our time was therefore spent on activities that did not obviously reflect the important things. Reality was that it meant that some of that unplanned half WAS spent on meaningful stuff, it just wasn’t planned.

Which I found challenging, because one thing I have noticed over my years of reading and (badly) applying personal development advice is that when you don’t feel as though you are actively ‘doing’ something meaningful, you tend to conclude that you aren’t living in accordance with the values you defined as a result of your learning.

In other words, if I am washing the car and I can’t make the connection between that task and (say) being organised, then I feel as though I am not living my values. However, if in a moment of clarity I consider that a clean, well-maintained car IS an example of being organised, I am suddenly in the flow and feel great.

So there is not only a struggle when we see a gap between the clock and the compass, there is also a struggle when we DON’T see the connection between the clock and the compass.

Take the time – that single, valuable and inspiring moment – to see how what you’re doing DOES have some meaning.