Time is limited–Strategy is required: Wisdom from Bill Gates and Mike Tyson (yes, that Mike Tyson)

I recently watched an interview of Bill Gates after the passing of Apple CEO Steve Jobs.  Reflecting upon his adversary/friend’s death, Gates stated,

“It reminds you that you’ve got to pick important stuff because you only have a limited time.”

Bill Gates may not be a Christian, but he words remind us of the axiom, “All truth is God’s truth.”

“You’ve got to pick important stuff because you only have a limited time.”

That resonates with us as we conclude another year which—for many of us—passed rapidly.  However, we struggle to grasp that fact and find ourselves with some 365 days ahead of us yet again.  2016 appears vast.  So many days and months lay ahead.  But the reality remains:  We only have a limited time.

So what’s our plan?

A friend sent the following quote to me a couple of weeks ago:

“You need a strategy – not a plan. Like Mike Tyson said, ‘Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.’”

I like that!

I have a plan as I begin another year.  It’s a three-fold plan that those around me have heard me state repeatedly:

  1. Glorify God
  2. Bless people
  3. Prepare for eternity

That’s my direction!  That’s my passion.  But how am I going to flesh that out?  That’s where I need a strategy.

The term strategy can be defined as, “A method or plan chosen to bring about a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem” (www.businessdictionary.com).

Bill Gates has a plan.  He is on a mission to make the world a better place.  Many of us do.  But Gates gets specific.  He and his team find a need and utilize their resources to meet it.  They’ve accomplished some wonderful things, including almost eradicating polio in India.  Among other issues they are addressing includes the haughty goal of ending malaria.  That may seem audacious to most of us, but it isn’t to Bill and Melinda.  They settle on a plan.  They develop a strategy.  They go about completing step one of the process.

What about me?  What are my specific goals and steps (my strategy) to enable me to see my plan become a reality?

I’ve got some ideas.  I’ll be thinking about more.  My specifics include exercise, reading and writing with accompanying measurable goals for each.

What about you?  Are you simply going to allow this New Year to unfold before you without any thought for how you would like to live your life?

Remember, Gates’ assessment:  time is limited.  Consequently, we need to pick “important stuff.”

What are we going to do with our limited time in 2016?  Maybe Candy Crush and Netflix can be replaced with…(you fill in the blank).

I hope you have a great 2016!

Source for Bill Gates’ comment about time:



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