We vote everyday. Of course, we don’t go to the polls everyday, but we vote nonetheless. Did you realize that there’s a government in your own home? There are departments of health, finance, food, public relations and affairs, communications, the status of women, labour and several others.
You are in charge of the entire government. Every day you make hundreds of decisions related to all those fine departments, decisions that will definitely have an impact on your life, your family and your business. As prime minister, you have to vote on the use of all your resources (time, money and energy) in all those departments.
For example, with regard to the food department, an important nutrition guru has demonstrated that we make 200 to 250 decisions a day about our food. Unbelievable, right? Should you eat eggs or only toast, how much toast, butter or a mess of peanut butter or not, one egg or two, no bacon, four slices or half the package? You get the idea. Of course, we are only aware of a small number of our decisions, but all our decisions, whether we are aware of them or not, have a major impact on our health regardless, cholesterol problem or not, diabetic or not, overweight by 20, 40 or 75 pounds or not.
The finance minister has not even started work, but he may have already blown or spent several hundred dollars. Do you pay your bills today or not? It’s such a nice day, but you’d rather go cut wood. (It’s not the time to renegotiate your credit line although you’ll have to pay $43 in interest for a past-due account). After two hours of work, the chainsaw breaks. You run to get it fixed. The salesperson tells you that it would be better to get a new one because it would take a good $150 to repair it. On the floor, there’s a nice new model on sale for only $749. You stop at the dealer to buy some oil, and you look at the new lawn mowers. It seems to you that this would be a good time to replace yours. You give in to temptation because it must be a good deal since your neighbour just bought one for $2,600. Finally, you stop off at Canadian Tire to buy some batteries, and there’s a little patio set that’s not too expensive. Your wife is going to be happy because it’s only $399.99 for all eight pieces, and then the new lawn mower will go over better.
Now for the health minister, he left for vacation a long time ago, so for now, he’s not bugging you too much. For sure, he’ll come back someday in sorry shape, but for now you’d rather forget about him.
Unfortunately for the communication department, there’s no budget, no resources and even less time, so communication is at a minimum with the other departments, the opposition and the public. In fact, the other authorities are not usually informed of the whats, whys and hows. Consequently, there’s irritation, latent conflict, dissatisfaction, errors and forgetfulness.
Every day we vote on resource allocation in each of the spheres of our lives, but we forget to think about where our resources are really going. If you say yes to going to bed at midnight because you go to a meeting or watch a good movie, then you’re saying no to being in good shape the next day. If you say yes to buying a lawnmower, you’re saying no to putting that $2,600 somewhere else. If you say no to taking the time to communicate with your son, you’re really saying yes to future conflicts. So, for whom and for what do you vote?
In conclusion, how’s your government going? Maybe it would be a good time to ask yourself the following questions:
- As prime minister, what promises did you make to your electorate?
- Have you kept them?
- If not, why not?
- Are you constantly tempted to blame previous governments, the opposition or even the people?
- When was your last departmental meeting, and what priorities were established?
- What is your electorate asking from you?
- Do you really know how to listen to them?
- Only you have the power to choose where to invest most of your resources: your time, energy and money. Do you do it with diligence?
- If you were really prime minister, would you be re elected the next time voters went to the polls?
Work Psychologist, professionnal speaker, author and business coach