3MN: The unavoidable question you will answer incorrectly.

3MN: The unavoidable question you will answer incorrectly.

Happy 3-Minute Thursday!

💬 In the next 3 minutes:

  1. The unavoidable question you will answer incorrectly.
  2. Be ruthless about what you ignore.
  3. An exercise for the overwhelmed from David Skidmore.

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💬 Minute 1 - "How have things been for you lately?"

You're going to be asked the unavoidable question over the next couple weeks, and you're going to be tempted to answer it the wrong way.

You cannot avoid it. Your crazy uncle and annoying cousins will come shuffling in from out of state. Your grandma will be there with her hunched back and homemade peach cobbler. Your mom and dad will be in town to see the grandkids. And every single one of them will ask you this question.

And you'll likely answer it the wrong way. How do I know this?

Because you'll say something to the affect of:

  • "Life has been hectic."
  • "Things have been pretty crazy lately."
  • "I've been swamped with the holidays."
  • "I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off." 

It may sound like harmless venting, but I don’t think it’s that harmless.

Here is what people hear when you say your life is busy:

  • “I am important because I’m busy.”
  • “Sleep and fun are not a priority.”
  • “I don’t have time for you.”
  • “I’m too busy to actually tell you how I am doing.”

God wants us to be in control of our calendar, not the other way around. So, we have to learn the power of a Yes and a No.

Every Yes is saying No to something else. Every No is saying Yes to something else. Never say Yes so many times that you are forced to say No to the need right in front of you.

🛑 Minute 2 - Be ruthless about what you ignore.

The master of simplicity and discipline, James Clear, reminded me this week about the power of ignoring things:

"Be ruthless about what you ignore. Time, energy, and resources are so precious. You have to be ferocious about cutting your priorities—more than you realize and certainly more than is comfortable. You can only deeply commit to a few things. One or two? Maybe three? Every pretty good, sorta nice, kinda fun thing you abandon is like shedding a weighted vest that lets you move at top speed. You were so busy focusing on how much you could carry, you never realized you could run this fast."

📝 Minute 3 - Focus on the list that is in your control today.

Here is an exercise from someone I learn from every day, David Skidmore. David is a keynote speaker on leadership and a fellow author on purpose.

He shared this exercise:

Most people I talk to right now are feeling overwhelmed. If that’s you, here is one simple step you can take.

Take a blank piece of paper and fold the paper in half vertically. On one side of the paper, write down everything that you feel anxious, overwhelmed, or pressured about. Take a moment and give these things that are outside of your control to God. On the other side of the folded paper, write down everything that is in your control. Focus on the list that is in your control today.

Here is my list.

Outside of my control:

  • What other people think about me.
  • Ways I have screwed up, wasted time, or said bad things in the past.
  • Terrible things happening in the world.
  • My impending death.

In my control:

  • My thoughts (specifically the ones I keep).
  • My daily routine (the things I choose to accomplish).
  • Who gets the most and best of my time.
  • What I take the time to learn each day.
  • My health (mental, emotional, and physical).
Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went.


L C T H Y W, N A U B A W, M T B U O T T B T D A E.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. - Ephesians 5:15-16

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Until next week,

Payton Minzenmayer


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