Choose the Best Over the Rest

by Mary Ann on July 20, 2010

It is good to be back and I hope you have all done your homework and put some time into your Master Inspire Plan. My reunion was wonderful, as always. However, it sure is a lot of work. I really thought about not going this year. I felt too tired to gather all the camping and cooking equipment together. But I went anyway.

As I drove into the Gooseberry Administration site, by Salina, UT, where we hold our annual get together, I was overcome by the sensation of being in the right place at the right time. Each day throughout the event I had that same feeling of having made the best and right choice. I was reminded as I worked with the children in the activities area how fragile a family can be and how resilient at the same time.

I was reminded how important our families are and how we have to make time to nourish them and our relationships. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about reunions, our spiritual activities, family reading, or family learning time. All these small parts fit together to create a family culture that can nurture esteem, teach core values and create joy. All of these parts that go into a good family culture take time and rarely are accomplished with any real success unless we are willing to commit time to them on a regular, consistent basis. That is why one of the Five Rules of Engagement for using the Closet is to structure time and be consistent. It is just a principle for success in everything.

Many parents lament that this or that in their families just isn’t working. I would ask them to answer this question: are you consistent and have you set aside time to accomplish the thing, are you committed to it? That is many times the crux of the problem. It has always amazed me to see how often what appears to be a child’s problem is really a parent’s problem. As we analyze why this or that isn’t working we need to focus on our selves and make sure that we are living by principles that work; that we are committed to the really important things in life.

I always hated the idea that what we have and how things are working really does show where our heart is. In the middle of my parenting things weren’t going all that well. Our family culture just wasn’t joyful and our children were not having the life success we had hoped for. Then someone made that comment to me. It made me mad. I didn’t want to be responsible for the trouble we were having. After all those kid’s did have their own ability to choose and they weren’t always choosing well. Right! Wrong. When I got serious about making changes I had to take a look inside my own heart. Was my family my first priority? Was I clear about what I wanted? Was I committing enough time to the things that really mattered?  Was I being consistent? Was I paying attention to principles?  I found that I was lacking in many of these areas and I had to change. I had to get serious about time and consistency. I had to unclutter my life. I had to jettison a lot of good things in favor of better things.

It has all turned out well. We have seven bright, well adjusted, loyal, honest, hard working children who are making good lives of their own. They periodically have to ask these same hard questions in order to stay aligned with what maters most. We all have to do that. Reread success ingredients one, six, seven, and eight from Leadership Education: The Phases to help you. Make and use your Master Inspire Plan and your personal Family Mission Statement.

This applies whether you are public schooling, private schooling or home schooling your children. This is about living life, not just education. It applies to all of us. Steven Covey wrote a  book called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Habit 3 speaks directly to this issue of not getting stuck in the thick of thin things but in making sure that we are putting the best and most important things in our lives first .

I was reminded of all of this as I sat with my extended family and relived the past, discussed the future and enjoyed the present. I am glad that I made the effort to be with my family, to be consistent in my commitment to them. I am glad I choose to be  present with them, to enjoy them. It was an act of choosing the best over the rest!

To really jump start your education and get to building a stellar family culture take part in the Leadership Education Family Builder Live Webinar and The Closet Live Webinar.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Leah Spencer July 20, 2010 at 10:58 pm

How incredibly insightful! Thank you. Thanks for the reassurance that putting in effort really does pay off…we are rewarded. I very much look forward to the upcoming webinars. You have so much to offer stumbling families like mine. 🙂 See you tomorrow.


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