I told my kids at the breakfast table this morning, “The most important things are almost never urgent, and the urgent things are almost never that important.” I’m sure I’m paraphrasing the late Stephen Covey here, but it’s true.
Our thirteen year old daughter, Alison, is buying her first guitar today. A nice one, a steel stringed Fender. I told her how proud I was of her. She beamed. She chose to save her money for what mattered most to her. Now how do we do that with time? Is something taking us toward the mountain or away? Is something important, or just urgent? Is it just easy to get, or do we truly value it? Like my friend Whitney Johnson says: deciding means killing something. Homocide, fratricide, suicide, decide.
I love the ad that's running right now during the Olympics:
Why have they not done these perfectly fine, enjoyable, good things? Because something else was more important: the Olympics. They were moving toward Mount Olympus.
(If you think the odds are long and the pay is sporadic for artists, try being an Olympic athlete.)
So again, Neil Gaiman's commencement speech to the University of the Arts: