The Most Important Thing


The idea for this writing came from my conversation with one of my student's parent about a month ago. After teaching her daughter for several months, she realized how much improvement her daughter has made. So she asked me "Why don't you work at my daughter's school and teach there? It is a good school and you are a great teacher." And I said, "It's not because I don't want to work for a school, but the most important thing in my life is independence. Not my employer, title, nor status."

Too often people do not know what is the most important thing for them. Perhaps, unwilling to risk missing an experience, time, or money, they want many things simultaneously. Energy is finite though, and the more activities or ideas one spends it upon, the less available for each area of interest.

I have seen it over and over: people only attempt an activity once and moves on so never fulfilled their true potential, parents couldn't decide which area is most important for their child so the child never learned to master anything well, one cannot choose which job or career to pursue so only settled for the "most wanted job". And many simply just go looking for something that makes them happy. But happiness is fickle so they flit from one thing to the next, dipping a toe but never seeing or seeking depth, and never grasping that it is the process of mastering something, one thing, that grants access to deeper, universal understanding.

Tony Robbins writes:

"Too many of us do not make the majority of our decisions consciously, especially the absolutely crucial ones; in doing so, we pay a major price". Perhaps he said it best that, "Life is like a river, and that most people jump on the river of life without ever really deciding where they want to end up. So, in a short period of time, they get caught in the current: current events, current fears, current challenges. When they come to forks in the river, they don't consciously decide where they want to go, or which is the right direction for them. They merely "go with the flow". They become part of the mass of people who are directed by the environment instead of by their own values. As a result, they feel out of control. They remain in this unconscious state until one day the sound of the raging water awakens them, and they discover that they're five feet from Niagara Falls in a boat with no oars. At this point, they say, "Oh, shoot!" But by then it's too late. They're going to take a fall. Sometimes it's an emotional fall. Sometimes it's a physical fall. Sometimes it's a financial fall".

This, is what Tony calls the "Niagara Syndrome".

So let's keep things simple and realize that at the end of the day, if you do not choose what is most important to you and chase it like your life depends on it, the choice will be made for you. In that case, just sit back and "enjoy" the ride but keep your complaints to yourself.