Good priorities are a powerful thing. Your priorities are what tell you what to do when you get up in the morning. If one of your top priorities is security for yourself and your loved ones, you probably get dressed and go to work. If your top priority was pleasure, you’d probably just dive into a pool of whipped cream instead. Priorities have the power to shape your whole life, and good priorities will shape your days and weeks and years into the kind of life you truly want, deep in your heart of hearts. Even if you don’t think that you have priorities, you do, so they’d better be good ones.
Take a minute and think about the three priorities you think are the most important in life. Anything goes– finding love, supporting the people you care about, winning respect, pushing yourself to achieve your personal best- anything you think is important. Truly important. Vitally important. Do-or-die important.
Now, think about how much you do on a daily basis to make each priority, each dream, a part of your physical reality.
How much do you do to bring your values into the world around you?
Is it everything you can?
If the answer is yes. . . congratulations. Stop reading. You’re perfect, and you’ve got the perfect priorities. You’re probably Superman, so you shouldn’t be reading articles online, you should be off rescuing somebody trapped under something somewhere.
If the answer is no, there’s probably a very good reason why. Your priorities probably reflect who you wish you were, instead of who you really are. Your priorities are built for Superman, but you’re only human.
Good priorities take into account your strengths and weaknesses are, so that you can always feel that you’re doing the most beneficial thing for yourself and others by using the talents that you have, and by developing the areas where you have room to grow.
Good priorities, priorities that are really right for you, can change the way you approach every aspect of your life. Suddenly, uphill battles won’t feel so uphill. Downhill slides will feel controlled instead of frightening. No matter what happens, you’ll feel more in charge and more excited about what will happen next, because you’ll be working towards the goals that are truly closest to your heart. Setting good priorities means naming what you think the world should be, and what your place in that world can be, and using every day to bring that dream realistically and practically closer.
If you don’t feel comfortable, confident, or justified in taking the actions that make sense to pursue your priorities, you haven’t got the right priorities! Good priorities take into account all of your areas of discomfort, all of your fears, all of your worries, and work realistically within their confines, and within the confines of who you really are, as well as towards the dream of who you’d like to be.
Good priorities start with introspection, so that you can determine what kind of priorities you want, and what role your most important priorities will have in your life. However, although good priorities start out as thoughts, they don’t stop there: they continue on to action. With good priorities, you’ll learn more and you’ll just quite simply get more done, because you’ll always know the next step in front of you, and won’t have to stop and wonder if it is the right step to take.
Good priorities will make you unstoppable. The challenges you meet will feel useful and engaging, instead of frustrating and demoralizing, so you won’t be thrown off course as easily as if your priorities were weak or vague. If your top priority is just an idea, like “help the world,” you probably won’t know where to start, and will end up feeling useless. But, if your top priority is an action, like “strive to improve the lives of everyone I meet,”, or “always remember those who are more in need than me,” you’ll know exactly what to do, and will feel empowered and energized. Suddenly, you’re a lot closer to being Superman than you used to be.
Once you discover your true priorities, the actions you’ll take to be faithful to those priorities feel inevitable, like a call to arms that you cannot refuse. The actions may be big or small, but good priorities, true priorities, will motivate you to get them done so effectively, you won’t even notice that you’re gearing up for something huge. You’ll just take off in the direction of your dream.