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We’re part of Accelerent, a business development organization. Every quarter the organization hosts a breakfast event and brings in a keynote speaker to share words of wisdom to the upwards of 400 attendees.  This quarter’s speaker was Hyrum W. Smith, creator of the Franklin Day Planner.   Rachel wrote the other week about the concept of planning out your day.

Some of you may remember the Franklin Day Planner – it was popular in the days before our computers and cellphones kept all our important records, phone numbers, calendars, etc.  I was a big fan of the planner – carried it with me wherever I went.  Every year my mom and I would go to the store at MetroCenter to purchase the next year’s inserts. Oh happy day!

Smith is now the chairman and CEO of 3Gaps, a training company.  Basically, there are three places where gaps exist in our lives.  And when there is a gap, we feel guilt, frustration, pain and have difficulty moving forward.    The three gaps are:

  • The Belief Gap – the gap that exists between what I believe to be true and what is actually true.
  • The Time Gap – the gap that exists between what I did today and what I said I would do.
  • The Value Gap -- the gap that exists between what I do and what matters most to me.

He shared some anecdotes about each one, but focused the majority of his discussion on The Value Gap.   He asked each of us to write our personal constitution, focusing on The Values Gap.  In order to do that you need to identify your governing values (the things you’ll risk everything for), develop a clarifying statement for the values and then prioritize those values.

So how do you decide what are your governing values?  He said think of it as the one thing you’ll “cross the I-beam” for.   He set up a few scenarios to consider:

  1. What stands between you and $100 is your ability to cross an I-beam, in less than two minutes without falling off the beam, would you do it? Most of us would probably answer yes.
  2. Now imagine the I-beam is suspended across the Grand Canyon and you had to cross it in less than two minutes to get that $100, would you do it? How about for $10,000, $100,000 or $1,000,000?  Some might still do it.
  3. But now imagine that instead of a $100 bill, I’m holding your baby and if you don’t make it across that I-beam in two minutes, I drop the baby. You can bet everyone’s answer is yes!

An exaggeration to prove the point, perhaps, but he wanted us to really consider what is important to us, important enough to risk everything.  That is how you know what your governing values are and the basis for your personal constitution.  He closed his talk with this video about a father and son.  The father put into action his personal constitution and shared his experiences with Hyrum.  Fair warning:  you’ll be teary-eyed when it is over.

So what will your cross the I-beam for?

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio