Path Management Question

Group Genie’s favorite question is: What is the best, most loving use of my time, right now? We think there’s a lot of wisdom, kindness and beauty stored within that question.

The question is a modification of a question that Alan Lakein asked in his 1989 book How to Get Control of Your Time and Life. His question was “What is the best use of my time, right now?” Either question helps you focus on the present. We like the Path Management Question better.

It’s called the Path Management question because we invite you to think of yourself on a physical path through life. Any time you do the best, most loving thing, consider yourself on the path. When you lose focus or are tempted to pick non-loving actions or very poor uses of time, imagine that you’ve moved off the path.

Once you begin to experiment with the question, you will probably realize two things: First, it’s very hard to stay on the path! Many things from strong emotions to tempting forms of entertainment distract will pull you off the path. Second, it’s hard to know what is the best use of time. In some cases, there’s no real way to know. Often we don’t have enough information to know what’s best for us or others.

Here are our thoughts about the above two problems.

Think of this as a discipline or art form that you are learning. No one becomes a master overnight. It takes a lot of practice. Don’t be harsh with yourself every time you move off the path. Instead, celebrate the time you were on the path, and just get right back on the path by re-asking the question. Wasting time in self-recrimination is simply time wasted. Each time you ask the question and even stay on the path for a little bit, your life is becoming better than it would have if you had never tried!

As far as the problem of not knowing what’s the absolutely best action is, we think that it doesn’t matter. The point is to make your best “good-faith” attempt to get at the answer. But there are three things you can do to increase the quality of your answer:

First, look over the CLEAR Actions Menu. It will help you come up with a good action. Even if you don’t like the actions, they can help you think of even better actions.

Second, ask others, observe others who are trying to lead loving lives, or even ask people who know you what you might be doing differently. If you ask sincerely, without any defensiveness they might have some insights for you.

Third, check out the Add-Ons and the Insight pieces. Many of these will help you upgrade either your actions or your attitudes.

One of the Add-Ons contains more about the idea of walking the path of the best, most loving use of your time. It’s called Path Management.


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