Nicole was a newly minted executive at a major credit card company. Thomas, her husband, was a busy VP. They were rarely in the same city and hadn’t taken a vacation together in years. One day, Thomas received a pleasant surprise: courtesy of a generous client, he was offered the chance to extend his work trip by a week and enjoy the Swiss Alps, all expenses paid. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thomas pleaded with his wife. “Nicole, please come. It’s only for a few days.” Nicole sighed and said, “I can’t. I have an important meeting that I shouldn’t miss.” Thomas hit the slopes with his sister Leah instead, and the siblings enjoyed what they both deemed “the best trip ever.

“Five years later, they still talk about this damn trip,” Nicole told me. “And, whenever they do, Thomas asks me, ‘Nicole, what was that meeting about again?’ ‘To be honest, I can’t remember.’ He always replies, ‘That important, huh?’ ”

Note: quoted from Time Smart by Ashley Whillans