Begin with the end in mind

oilcanThe squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? Oftentimes, we give our attention to the loud and the urgent. This can lead us to ignore the important and achievable. When working with the poor, there are plenty of loud and urgent needs. I call them blinding needs because they blind us from seeing anything else going on. We can easily spend our lives working on the endless queue of urgent and never move on to what’s truly important. This is why poverty never goes away, instead we seek more efficient and innovative ways to give food and apply band aids.

If asked, most humanitarians/missionaries wouldn’t say they picture a world where developing countries are dependent on the developed countries for their very existence. Yet, most international workers are creating this world every day. The urgent needs of poverty distract us and keep us from working for the long term self sufficiency of those living in it. Fifty years and trillions of dollars later, we’re still being distracted.

How can we avoid this alluring trap? Begin with the end in mind. Read a real life example.

What loud and urgent things are distracting you from the important and life transforming work you originally set out to do?

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