Mapping What Matters Most



We often make critical decisions and changes before doing the introspective work necessary to identify what really matters most to us. Being more intentional about identifying what’s most important to us in our lives and careers is the first step in creating a roadmap to get there. Listen and learn more.



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*Note: The following text is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors



Bill Berthel: Welcome to the Get Emergent podcast where we discuss leadership Team and organizational topics and better practices. We like to provide concepts and ideas that you can turn into pragmatic experiments to help you develop your higher potential in your work and leadership. I’m Bill Berthel.

Ralph Simone: And I’m Rolf Simone.

Bill Berthel: Rolf, this topic today I’m really intrigued to learn more mapping what matters most. As our title, what does that entail? What does that mean? Mapping what matters most?

Ralph Simone: Well, first of all, it implies that we’ve done the introspective work to identify what really matters most to us in our careers, in our lives. And then we create the map, or the plan, or the roadmap, if you will, to get there. And I think too often people are in action, they’re on the road before they even know where they want to go.

Ralph Simone: Right?

Ralph Simone: it happens at different ages and stages, but this idea of being more intentional, not only about what you want to do, but who you want to do it with. And I think sometimes people would benefit before they even make a career choice to think about the type of lifestyle they want to have.

Bill Berthel: Interesting.

Ralph Simone: What matters most then begins to drive the plans and the activities and the actions along the way.

Bill Berthel: So, this really starts with identifying what matters most before we go in action with a plan or a map. The map is a plan in a way, but first it’s really identifying what matters most.

Ralph Simone: Begin with the end in mind, where do you intend to end up? And then begin to create the plan to get there. We talk in a lot of other podcasts about why.

Ralph Simone: So why precedes what and how and why I want to do this. Is it something that really lights me up? Is it my calling? Is it my purpose? And so, we spend a fair amount of time in mapping what matters most. Identifying what matters most through having people reflect on their purpose, activities and things that provide meaning to them. The m things that they value. We’ve talked about in other podcasts, you value what you do, you do what you value. But really giving some thought to what are those five to seven self-chosen, self-selected values that you will use to guide your behavior along the way? Some intentions. What are your intentions for what matters most? And then ultimately creating some weekly plans to get there. Ah, I think it starts with a couple of key questions. I like to ask people to identify essential relationships and activities. So sometimes people get a little hung up on what their purpose is. We can certainly take people through the creation of a mission statement and values, but just simply sitting back and identifying essential relationships and activities that Manor most. Because those things will inform what’s most important to you.

Bill Berthel: I love this. I was just, coaching a young engineer the other day. And this is where he was starting. He was talking about the relationships that are most important in his life and the things he and they like to do together. Most. Really insightful young man.

Ralph Simone: So, he’s in the process of co-creating.

Ralph Simone: Right.

Ralph Simone: He’s engaging those essential relationships in kind of co-creating the plan to what matters most. I think the other thing it involves is establishing some fertile m mean, we can’t be all things to, all people. We can’t do everything. I remember Cubby in an early training I had with him. He said, if you see everything as important, you try to do everything, and what do you get? Either nothing or burned out or overloaded. And so this idea of really being intentional in making discernible choices around the things that are most important to you. Which also includes learning to say no to some things.

Bill Berthel: Yeah.

back to fertile boundary. What’s a fertile boundary? I’ve always heard of healthy boundaries. What’s a fertile boundary?

Ralph Simone: Well, I read this somewhere, and then I think I put my own definition to it.

Ralph Simone: Good.

Bill Berthel: You made it better.

Ralph Simone: Well, we’ll see. But it’s a boundary. When we have fertile soil, things tend to grow. And so if I have a fertile boundary around relationships, those relationships will grow and flourish because it’s a fertile boundary. And I guess healthy boundary could also, be used. But I like fertile because growth takes place.

Bill Berthel: Oh, I like that. Right.

Ralph Simone: For both individuals and the party. And I think it goes back to. Because I’m not just arbitrarily saying no. I’m telling you why I have this boundary and how it serves us in relationship. And I think that’s the fertile nature of it.

Bill Berthel: Love it.

Ralph Simone: Yeah. So those three things are important. And I’ve noticed we’ll do a lot of training or conversations with people and some of their frustrations overwhelmed. I have too much to do. I’m working all the time. I don’t have good work life balance. And if you step back, if you slow down to go faster, well, what matters most to you? And what is the end game and what is your mission? Well, I don’t have one. All right, well, let’s slow down to go. Let’s spend some time building that mission statement. And then let’s build that into some high-leverage goals and some values. Because these are the things that I think actually breathe life. You’ll never be able to do what matters most. If you’re not clear on what matters most to you and your key stakeholder.

Bill Berthel: Group, I love it. This is the intention-setting portion, really getting clear on what matters most. You then started going into some intentional goal setting. What’s next? What happens in this process next?

Ralph Simone: Well, then it’s like taking a trip. Now, you just go, online, but you remember where trip ticks used to have aa. You start to map out the route that will get you to what matters most. Not necessarily the quickest, but in the most fulfilled way, in the most energetic way, in the most balanced and integrated way. And we like to refer to that as Emergent is that’s your weekly or success planning. Now that I know what matters most, and I know what my values are, let me make and keep commitments with myself over the next seven days to take steps that are aligned with my mission that will activate what matters most along the way.

Bill Berthel: Yeah, so you shared. It might not be the most efficient or the quickest route. it makes me think sometimes it’s the intention of taking the scenic route, like being present with that and living it day to day.

Ralph Simone: Yeah, absolutely. Being present with it and taking care of yourself along the way. I think part of the challenge that a lot of people have around, they don’t have the energy to work on what matters most. And because I think they’re dealing with a flawed paradigm around time management versus energy management. And so in this equation of mapping what matters most, you better put yourself at the top of the list of what matters most. And this idea of healthy selfishness, where we are paying attention to the four key sources of energy, and we are renewing these four daily in an integrated and holistic way. We’re paying attention to our spiritual development, which is the force of energy. We are investing energy throughout the day on things that are purposeful and meaningful to us.

Ralph Simone: Right.

Ralph Simone: we are taking care of our physical plant and equipment. We’re moving, we’re 10,000 steps. We’re stretching, we’re breathing. This is where I really, like LSD. Long, slow, and deep breaths. I don’t want anybody to think anything other of me. We’re working our aerobic activity to get our cardio, so we’re taking care of our physical plant and equipment so that we have the energy to continue on this journey. On what matters most. We’re challenging ourselves mentally through puzzles every day. I do wordle. In fact, I forgot to tell my wife I got it in two yesterday.

Bill Berthel: Oh, wow.

Ralph Simone: We’re doing wordle. We’re doing connections. We’re doing Sudoku, we’re doing crossword puzzles, we’re doing karate.

Ralph Simone: Right.

Ralph Simone: We’re challenging our mind in ways so that it never returns.

Ralph Simone: Right.

Ralph Simone: So that we can have high levels of concentration and focus. And then I’m surprised even at myself, at this. We are making the social and emotional connections, the quality of energy. Who are the people that actually make us feel better when we are in their presence? And are we investing enough energy in reaching out to them on a regular basis? One of a tip to our readers, and this tip, I don’t think, has changed much over the years. You should be spending at least an hour a day in the renewal of these areas, not an hour in each, because that will give us the energy to stay the course, to have the focus, to have the concentration and the persistence to achieve what matters most.

Bill Berthel: So I love it. You said, what should be near the top of your list, or maybe you said, at the top is what matters most is yourself. And I didn’t naturally go there. Thanks for that permission. Right. Because it is all about that. Not just self-care, but self-investment of, investing in our own energy.

Ralph Simone: I don’t think most people go there, and I actually think fewer women go there.

Ralph Simone: Yeah.

Ralph Simone: Probably because of their nature. Many as mothers, they’re natural, bound to be selfless. And I think everybody’s overused this example. But when you’re on an airplane with a young child, right, and there’s a loss of oxygen, what do they tell you to do? So, everybody intellectualizes this, but what’s the process and the support? You need to really put first things first, to put your Health at the top of the list, because we cannot lead people to levels of effectiveness that we’re first not at ourselves and really important.

Bill Berthel: That’s good.

Ralph Simone: So, we map this stuff out, and then we have fewer goals, not too many.

Ralph Simone: Right?

Ralph Simone: We talked about this earlier. Less is more. We get this cognitive overload with too many goals, too many choices. I’m starting to play around with the intention of being more of a minimalist.

Ralph Simone: If I have less things to keep track of, I have more energy and bandwidth to focus on what matters most. And for me, that’s a short list. You also have to have a process. You have to have a process to activate these things. We call it weekly or success planning, but this idea of making and keeping commitments with yourself and your other key stakeholders, and you treat each commitment as if you would treat any of your very important commitments.

Ralph Simone: Yeah.

Ralph Simone: And I think lastly, you got to take some stuff out.

Ralph Simone: Right.

Ralph Simone: We talked about fertile boundaries earlier. We talked about saying no. We like to refer to it as activity filtering. If you’re going to focus on what matters most, there may be some things that you’ll have to filter out. And you can filter activities out of your calendar by delegating, automating, innovating, or eliminating.

Ralph Simone: Right.

Ralph Simone: It’s not just additive. And I think a lot of people, cross themselves up because they have this additive. Oh, I got to just do more. I got to do more exercise on top of all this other stuff I’m doing. I told this story once. I had a guy who I coach, coaching client, who I got into physical activity, got him running and working out, and he ran by my house. We used to live in the same neighborhood, and he yells out, you’re ruining my life. of course, I had to follow up with him, but he said, now I got exercise on top of all these other things. Wrong paradigm. Make that first, integrate it and see how that energy increase helps you deal with these other activities in a more effective way.

Bill Berthel: So, I love that. I’ve been known to have too many hobbies, and what I’ve come to learn is that if I allow the change of the seasons to be a forcing function for my hobbies, I can enjoy more than one interest, but really dive deeper into them in an essential way and have fewer in that time period.

Ralph Simone: Right.

Bill Berthel: So, I don’t necessarily have to give up some things. I’m fortunate to live in a part of the country that has four pretty distinct seasons.

Ralph Simone: Right.

Bill Berthel: But that forcing function, I think there’s a seasonality to this as well.

Ralph Simone: For us, there is great wisdom in less leading to more.

Ralph Simone: Yeah.

Ralph Simone: There is great wisdom in slowing down to go faster. There is great wisdom to radically exclude everything except those things that are essential. Absolutely. And I think having a process and activating that process is critical to, I think, a life of fulfillment and impact. We were joking the other day around we have AI in coaching, and people like you get people to lean in on that. But it’s applied impact. And I think the way that we have implied impact around what matters most is we have a process. We get first clarity on what matters most, and then we build a process to support our energy and activities in those areas.

Bill Berthel: So, what do we do if we start to get off the map a little bit?

Ralph Simone: Right.

Bill Berthel: We create the intentions. We’ve done the mapping work. I think I’m asking this for myself because I think I would occasionally, get off the map. What do I do.

Ralph Simone: Sure, you do. Just like you get occasionally off the route and in a gps system, it would tell you recalculating. So that’s a time to reset and to recalculate. And maybe you want to take a different route. Maybe you’ve changed what matters most. But recalculate that. Be intentional about it. Don’t let it just happen to you.

Bill Berthel: I love it.

Where can people start? Our listeners are listening to this. They’re inspired to do something. What action would you call them to start with?

Ralph Simone: I’ll go back to, two things I shared during the course of this podcast. One is I’d answer the question around what are your essential activities and relationships first? And then I would do a reset on renewal activities in the four sources of energy, spiritual, physical, mental, social, emotional. And I’d make sure I was investing an hour a day total in those four areas. I think that’s where I would start. Then, if you want to get really serious, let’s work on a purpose statement.

Bill Berthel: Nice.

Ralph Simone: Let’s identify five to seven. But I’d start with those two things. Ask and answer essential relationships and activities and recommit to energy renewal and those four sources of energy.

Bill Berthel: I think I would need to write those down. I think I’d want to journal on those two.

Ralph Simone: Yeah, yeah. Spend some time with it.

Ralph Simone: Right.

Ralph Simone: What matters most requires some thought and introspection.

Bill Berthel: Yeah, Rolf, thank you. Thanks, Bill, and thanks for listening. You can listen to a new podcast two times every month here at get Emergent or wherever you listen to your podcasts. This is where we bring you contemporary leadership topics and ideas balanced with what we hope you find are, better practices that you can apply directly to your work and your leadership.

1 Comment

  1. Anthony Pompo on March 8, 2024 at 6:16 pm

    Bill/Ralph – Good stuff. I love this idea of a fertile boundary.

    I’m reminded of this statement by James, brother of Jesus: The seed of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

    If we want good stuff to grow, fertile soil is needed. For relationships to flourish, peace is the fertile soil. And peace isn’t an accident; it requires an intentional peacemaker – who is willing to establish boundaries that encourage growth…

    Thank you…

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