How do you define and determine your priorities in life? How would you define your values? Before you answer this question, you need to know what, in general, values are. Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to. When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good, you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your personal value that is when things feel wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness. This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important.
Because I know my values and know me better than anyone does I am open to both negative and positive criticism. I don’t feel discouraged or downcast when I am picked at. I know they don’t really know me and they don’t know my values. When you know yourself only you understand what your journey is like. You know your destination and you know the road and the ride is not that smooth. Your obligation is to get there intact but you understand that there will be adversity. No matter what life is throwing at you, you’re willing to hold on and continue to move towards your goals, vision, and dream as you uphold your values to guide you through.
You need to live a simply life, one that is not complicated. Some of us are too busy to live life to its very best.
“It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?” —Henry David Thoreau
In the world will live in today there are countless number of things that demand your attention. Because they demand does not mean you have to give it to them. The stuff that you devote most of your time to on a daily basis is urgent. It must be done today. You cannot postpone them for tomorrow or at least, it feels like that. What is the result? You clear out the important stuff to make time for the urgent. But you didn’t do that consciously. It just…happened. I think this is where you miss the train. Because something is urgent is not a guarantee they are important or have priority over certain things in our lives.
Just because you let the urgent stuff take control of your time and your life this is what you get:
• And you get fat.
• Your parents complain that you are not as close.
• Your kids are growing up—without you.
You are sensing something is wrong, but you are not sure what it is. After all, you’ve been trying hard! Of course you have been trying hard. The urgent stuff multiplies themselves like rabbits. You kick off one and two more show up. You need to stop now. It doesn’t have to be this way. There is another way to run your life, a more satisfying one. Cleaning out some of the “urgent” stuff and making space for the “important” stuff will allow you to live a life you love, a life that is closer to your dreams. This is what it means to have priorities, the important stuff.
You now need to take a break and think what is important to you. You need to establish what is really important. How would you like to live your life? Would you like to be healthy and vital? Write it down. Would you like to have more fun with your family and feel the love? Write it down. Write down the things that are truly important to you, the things that ten years from now will make you proud. Now is not the time to worry whether what you are writing down is feasible or not. Just write down the things that are important. And keep in mind that if you write down ten things or more, then you are probably mixing the urgent with the important. The important cannot be more than three to five things.
Think about the things you are doing every day. Write them down. For example, wake up, eat breakfast, and go to work. Highlight the tasks that you do daily that are in line with your priorities. For example, if you walk to the bus stop, then this step helps your health (which you mentioned in step one as important). Highlight it. Why not put the quality of your life at the top of your list of priorities? Why don’t you realise that money can’t buy your love? Why not wake up to the fact that without your own peace of mind, nothing else really matters? And, where do you find peace of mind? Where do you find mental calm? The answer is obvious - you find these qualities of life within.
Very few people give themselves the space to journey within – they’re too busy trying to win the next deal, or even just trying to make ends meet. The funny thing is that ends meet of their own accord if you give yourself a little space to get re-acquainted with the real you, within. Cut down on the urgent stuff. Or, else, clear out the clutter. Some “urgent” activities will need to be delegated. Your assistant, if you have one, could actually pay that bill. Or, you could set up auto-pay with your bank, so that the system does it for you.
Put in your schedule activities that match your priorities. You don’t have to go over-the-top with this. Don’t just jump to your dream right away, because sooner or later you might be finding out that you are biting off more than you can chew. And your dream will spit you out. Change is a gradual process and that is okay. Don’t be in a hurry. Be patient and enjoy the journey. Be happy that you are moving closer to your dreams. Aligning your daily actions with what is truly important to you means you are becoming true to yourself and exploring more of your potential.
“I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything... at least not at the same time. So think of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.” —Dan Millman
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” —Stephen Covey
“Nobody’s life is ever all balanced. It’s a conscious decision to choose your priorities every day.” —Elisabeth Hasselbeck
“Good things happen when you get your priorities straight.” —Scott Caan