Priorities control time, money, relationships, emotion and effort.
Our choice to prioritise one activity over another can shape the course of our future and we, as humans, are constantly trying to balance our priorities in order to remain in control of our own destiny. However, the quest for balance means that we must sacrifice activities we value most in order to find ourselves where we want to be.
“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” William Ernest Henley.
Priorities drive both our conscious and subconscious decision-making. They inform our beliefs, character and worldviews. Either we are in control of our own priorities, manifest in our ability to review and define them, or external factors (people or events) become the benchmarks by which we set and review our priorities.
In nature, those elements that have managed to survive for countless generations are defined by their ability to function in the “order of nature”, while maintaining an ability to respond and adapt.
Which priorities, in our lives, would respond favourably to an ‘order’ stock take where we must be prepared to adapt?
To ensure priorities are in our control, we must regularly ask ourselves the following questions:
- Am I able to read the current season of my life?
- Oftentimes people will cling on to the past in order to manage the present. In the face of uncomfortable or risky situations, we may perceive it to be the safest option, but we must remember that what has worked in the past may not work again in the future.
- What are my top three ‘legacy priorities’ and what are my top three ‘seasonal priorities’?
- What are going to be the hallmarks or values of my life?
- Not subject to change.
- What positive impacts am I going to have on other people’s lives?
- In this period of my life, where should my focus be?
- Don’t short circuit a season simply because it is too tough.
- Never sacrifice a ‘legacy priority’ at the expense of a ‘seasonal priority’.
- Which of the above priorities will compete against each other?
- Legacy priorities should never compete with anything else.
- Seasonal priorities, by contrast, may compete against themselves.
- Which of the seasonal priorities have you determined to be the winner?
- When, on the surface, all priorities seem worthy, which is most likely to help you fulfill your ‘legacy priorities’?
- There is risk associated with not asking the previous four questions. What could this risk entail?
This risk can manifest in four different areas:
- Can you predict some potential roadblocks? How will you respond to them?