Defining Lists and Check-Offs Pt. 1

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January 3, 2012 by Thomas McGregor

   

As you are aware, 2012 is in full swing pretty much on it’s own. Being now the second full day into January in the new year, we might feel as though we should start with the ever famous “New Year Resolutions” or bucket lists, so that we may complete the goals we set out to achieve. But before we do this I think its very important that we start by defining our weapon or tool of choice for our goal completion mission. What is a “list”? According to Webster’s Dictionary: List, a noun

1. a series of names or other items written or printed together in a meaningful grouping or sequence so as to constitute arecord: a list of members.
As you may want to pick apart this delightful definition, the first word that might spark your interest is the word “meaningful”. For this is true, we wouldn’t probably make a list if the series (or grouping) of items didn’t have meaning. Think back for just a second to the last time you made a grocery list. Even though you threw the list away as soon as you exited the store, the purpose of the list was fulfilled – the reminding you of what you needed at the grocery store. Let us take that same grocery list and hypothesize that you forgot the list at home, we’ve all done it. In this senario we might find ourself at the store, listless, thinking, “Man! I wish I had my list!”. This rings true to the importance we place on the simplest of lists, projecting right out of the definition that the list we make, no matter how small they seem in significance, are “meaningful”.
Expanding, we find that the meaning to each list is something we place upon it. For a grocery list that I make may not mean the same to you. Why? This is due impart to the fact  that you don’t place as high of importance on the things on the list as I do. This is very important to note, and yet simple. When seeing that we place the importance of the list on the list ourselves, we can have the presence of awareness to choose the level to which our lists take precedence. Sometimes, we make these lists and they end up ruling our lives. We think, “I must follow this list!”. Well ultimately, that is not entirely true. For the clearer statement should be, “I must follow this list, if I want to!”. This places the joystick in your hands again. For we make these lists to follow, and to some extent, they end up taking control – not by their own doing (this is to assume that the lists we create have their own mind to project their will on us) but by the same implied importance we gave them in the first place. Yes, you read that correctly; for the same importance level for which you give your list can change. Paradoxically, due to the ability to change (implemented by you), it can (and most of the time does) rise as you become fixated on the end result.
So as I simple suggestion I say the next time you make a list of long term goals, make a little note in the corner saying something like, “I made this list, and this list is as important as I make it.”.
In Part 2. of this article series, I will talk about the importance of staying present with your list and how the fixation on goals can actually delude the end result for which you want so badly.
By Thomas McGregor, Interconnect-Interactive
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