Each day we are challenged on how best to allocate our time and make decisions that drive success and happiness.  Earlier this week I shared a post “A Model to Prioritize and Measure Life” that described an approach I have used over the last six years to help reduce this challenge.  I am sharing another recent example of how this model helped me make a decision that aligned with my broader life goals.

My wife and kids have been wanting a dog for many months and the thought of a dog in the addition to all of the daily demands was stressing me out.  I could feel the tension month after month as I continued to say “no”.  The topic came up again on Father’s Day weekend and I was hoping that somehow the conversation would fade in our busy household of seven.  I could hear my wife and kids in the other room all excited as they viewed puppies online.  My wife came into my home office and repeated again how she and the kids wanted a dog and how that would make them so happy.   She said “the kids have never been this happy and excited, what do you think?”  It was at that moment that I had a quick decision to make.  Would I vault to “rock star” status?  The answer was obvious after I thought for a quick moment.

Earlier that Father’s Day morning I enjoyed a relaxing coffee in Starbucks reading How Will You Measure Your Life? and revisiting the “What’s Important” model I developed years back that has shaped my career strategy.  As I thought about my life purpose “live a happy, long and prosperous life while serving others as a husband, father …” and critical success factor “2 – Build a Happy Family” I quickly said, “sure”.  All along I was just considering my needs and not the other factors that I identified for realizing happiness and fulfilling life’s purpose.

This past weekend I was out of town and the day before I came home my wife picked up our new dog and surprised the kids with a “gift from Dad”.  I too was surprised when I returned home to see a big poster in my home office.  On this day my wife made me great and I made a deposit to “Build a Happy Family”.