There is what’s important, and what’s urgent, and then there’s what matters. Often what matters gets edged out by the seemingly important or urgent. How do we tell the difference?

• Time tested evidence
• “Big Data” forecasting
• Best case practices
• Survey driven
• Focus groups
• Profit and loss statements
• Balance sheets
• Legal compliance
• Sales projections
• Closing ratios
• Costs per thousand
• Profit margins

What do these all have in common?

They are all tangible by the nature of the fact that they are measurable. They also represent the things we base the majority of our business decisions on.

Here’s another list,

• What feels right
• What we feel passionate about
• What inspires people
• What has never been done before
• What feels scary
• What makes a positive difference in the world
• What matters

This second list represents those things which we consistently resist basing our decisions on. We feel the second list. We think the first list. And, all too often our minds rule over our hearts.

Yet, when we wield the mind as a tool of our heart’s desire, we can still follow through with the measurable and tangible evidence. It means we listen to the quiet inner voice that nudges us in the direction of doing work that matters, and then we do our research, our due diligence, maybe even a focus group or two, and then we make a decision.

This is using the mind as a tool, a most excellent tool that we are blessed to have and which makes us unique among all known life forms.

This is also how we come to know what matters and become true innovators.