“Time has a wonderful way of weeding out the trivial.”
~Richard Ben Sapir

A colleague caught my ear the other day and recanted his horror story of a mishap at work. Everything had gone wrong; tempers had flared; fingers were pointed…at him. I listened attentively as he clearly needed to share what happened and to be heard. As he finished his account of what occurred, I then did my best to ask questions to pull him in a different direction.

“Five years from now will you even remember this?” I offered. He paused. “What’s really of importance here, of worth to you as a learning for moving forward?” I posed. He hesitated further. “How might you feel about this tomorrow, or even next week?” I suggested. He stopped, finally exhaled, and released the tension that had been coursing through his body.

Often we get so stuck in the immediateness and intensity of a challenge or an issue that seems about to blow that we lose perspective. Everything begins to feel like a life or death matter and our emotions kick in, with that wonderful fight or flight response. What we need is the ability to pause, to reflect, and to wait for time to offer us another point of view – this brings clarity and a new outlook on the situation, and often on ourselves. To quote one of my favorite lyricists, “Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny”. Time truly has a way of putting things in perspective and weeding out the trivial so that we can focus on what really matters, what’s important in the long run, and what we’ll remember five years from now and learn from.

Stop. Pause. Give yourself some time so that the trivial can become obvious and you can pay attention to the important things. And see what’s funny, if you can.

How do you get out of the trivial?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For support in weeding out your trivial, contact Robyn at rmcleod@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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