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365 Ways to Start Over: Day#7 – The Race for Stuff

On your mark, get set, GO! It starts with your early school memories and follows into your twenties. Your friends get the coolest computer, music gizmo, phone, car – you name it and “Zap!” you gotta have it. Then you get married and have children. Your friends enroll their three-year-olds in gymnastics or karate and all of a sudden you are shopping for a cute leotard or Gi for a child who still toddles into the dog. Your kids’ friends went on Spring Break to St. Augustine and you find yourself searching Priceline deals to Caribbean resorts you can’t even pronounce.

If you are not sure what to value in your life, American culture will be happy to remind you. Just check out television, radio, the internet, magazines, newspapers and you will find the all American boy and girl in the all American clothes driving the all American car around the all American estate with all American dept the size of Antarctica. Oops – that’s not in America but you get the picture.

Shift down and ask yourself this question – If you had six months to live, what would you be doing with your time? And if you are not doing the things on that list every day, then you are doing the wrong things. Nobody’s tombstone ever read, “He wished he had worked more.” or “She had more iPhone apps than anyone.”

Who are the important people in your life? When was the last time you told them they were important to you? What are you going to change today? Make sure you know what you truly value before the culture fills in the blanks for you. Start now!

Mary Lee Gannon is the president of Gannon Group – a full service executive coaching, training and consulting firm that provides productivity strategies for people and organizations by improving team performance, executive leadership skills, board performance, planning and project execution. Mary Lee’s personal turnaround came as a stay-at-home mother, with four children under seven-years-old, who endured a divorce that took she and the children from the country club life to public assistance from where within a short time she worked up to the level of CEO. Her book “Starting Over – 25 Rules for When You’ve Bottomed Out” is available in bookstores or at Amazon. Get her FREE ebook – “Grow Productivity – A Leader’s Toolbox” on her web site or her article on “Values” at www.StartingOverNow.com.