At the Academy Awards since 1981 not a single film has won Best Picture without at least being nominated for Best Film Editing. Why? Because good editing makes for a better film.
Good editing makes for a better life, too.
Editing is eliminating that which is non essential so the essential can show through. Lin Yutang wrote, “The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” When we stop trying to do it all, stop saying yes to everyone, then we can make the highest contribution towards what really matter. Editing is not about getting more things done; it’s about getting the right things done. It doesn’t mean doing less for the sake of less. It is about making the wisest possible investment of our time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.
The Apostle Paul, the man credited with turning Christianity into a movement that changed the world, understood editing’s power. He said, “One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Phil. 3:13 ESV). He did not say these many things I dabble at. He was a man of singular mission and purpose. Of all the things we could do, he concentrated on the one that made an eternal difference.
You and I need to understand the power of editing. We need to eliminate the trivial, the unimportant, the irrelevant, the unnecessary, so the important, the relevant, and the necessary can show through. It means there may be a thousand things we could be doing, but only one or two are important.
As we age and approach our final breath then we discover the power of editing. Then, we know what matters most. We know what will stand the test of time. We know what is essential. Wouldn’t it make more sense to edit our lives now, determining what is most important, rather than waiting until the end of our life?
My new eBook, Chapter 13: The Excellence of Love, is now available.