You might agree that Richard Branson has made a pretty fair job of being successful. He’s led a remarkably full life. Having long been a fan, I guess like many I’ve always been fascinated to learn more about what makes him tick, including how he operates from day to day.
He blogs pretty regularly on his company’s website – at Virgin.com – and although it could be that he gets a little support from others to write his posts, I’m sure that what gets published are authentically his own thoughts.
I know Richard Branson is an inveterate list-maker, so one of his posts on this subject made interesting reading recently. The first of his top ten tips? ‘Write down every single idea you have, no matter how big or small.’
It’s great advice. Which I must confess I don’t adhere to nearly enough.
What’s more, though, I’m sure the same principle – of writing down everything – can apply to assembling a To-Do list. It’s tempting to rush through this act, listing only those items which are top of mind, then diving in headlong to get started, way before some tasks even make it onto paper.
Getting going quickly has its advantages of course, but what happens to the stuff you neglected to itemise? Yep, it gets forgotten.
And this makes it all the more important to prioritise – to know what’s important to you, to know what you really want, as you set out to plan another day’s activities.
So what is important to you? What do you really want? Maybe there’s an item you’d love to check off every day, but perhaps rarely do, largely because you didn’t even put it on your list.
That item? Happiness.
Maybe, like me, you’re not always the happiest of bunnies? Perhaps you struggle through patches of low mood from time to time? I’m sure you’d love this not to be so. I’m sure you’d love to be happier.
Frankly, though, I wonder if by failing to actually make happiness a priority, we create a situation in which it’s unlikely to be achieved?
It may seem strange to you to put ‘being happy’ on today’s To-Do list. It may seem self-indulgent. But I beg to differ.
For we often only achieve what we set out to do, and without being happy ourselves how can we spread the good feeling to others?
So what will you place at the very top of your list next time you make one? You know, I honestly think it should be Happiness.
You deserve it.