The Main Thing

Alan Cohen
279 words, 6K views, 1 comments

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The sage Nasrudin stood on the bow of a ferryboat next to a pompous professor. "Have you ever studied astronomy?" asked the professor.

"I can't say that I have," answered the mystic.

"Then you have wasted much of your life," the scholar declared. "Knowing the constellations, a skilled captain can navigate a boat around the entire globe."

A while later the intellectual asked Nasrudin, "Have you studied meteorology?"

"No," answered Nasrudin.

"Then you have wasted most of your life," chided the academician. "Methodically capturing the wind can propel a sailing ship at astounding speeds."

Another while passed, and the professor continued to quiz Nasrudin, "Have you ever studied oceanography?"

"Not at all."

"My, how you have wasted your time! Awareness of the currents helps sailors find food and shelter."

A few minutes later Nasrudin approached the professor and nonchalantly asked him, "Have you ever studied swimming, doctor?"

"Haven't had the time," the professor answered haughtily.

"Then wasted all of your life. The boat is sinking."

Before setting out on a project, relationship, career, or life, you must set your priorities. You must decide what is important and what is a detail. Then, simple as it sounds, the success of your endeavor depends on remembering what is important and what is a detail. One of my favorite affirmations is: The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. What is your main thing? Are you living true to it?

--Alan Cohen

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