The Meaning of LIFE. Rethink What Matters to YOU.
Rethink What Matters to YOU: Your Five Most Important Priorities in Life
What are the five most important priorities in your life right now?
Congratulations if you could answer the question instantly. Few people can.
Even fewer people can RANK the five most important priorities in their life at any given moment.
There are various reasons why people can’t list their current priorities.
Some are perfectionists who think they should be able to do absolutely everything in their life masterfully. From health to raising their children, advancing in their career to a home that could be featured at any moment in an architectural magazine, perfectionists want to do it all well, at all times. They are afraid of only setting five priorities because this means they would need to relax and let go in other areas. It would shake their sense of value and worth to pick only five areas at which to excel.
Mr. No Limits
Then there are those who don’t want a list of their top five more important priorities because it would limit what is possible. They are always on edge that they could miss out on a project at work that would be the extra edge they need, the party of the season, an adventure, or a beautiful experience with their children, wife, or friends.
Picture an ambitious man named John who is climbing the corporate ladder. He needs to work fifty-hour work weeks and invest time each week in continuing education to advance his skills and knowledge. With two kids at home, a dog, and a wife, its important to him to invest time in his relationships. He’s also training for a marathon and volunteers at the fire department.
John’s best friends from college text. They have just flown into town. Is he ready to go out for dinner and drinks, and then spend the next day going skydiving? His wife calls and reminds him that their family pizza and movie night starts in half an hour. What decision does he make?
Some people can’t list and rank their current priorities because they are people pleasers. People pleasers draw a sense of belonging, worth, or purpose by helping and supporting others. Setting five priorities, even if you don’t communicate them with anyone else, will draw a line in the stand.
Imagine a young mum writes down that their number one priority right now is health in general and losing weight in particular. She commits to banning all refined sugar from home and to working out every morning at six.
Someone from the school calls ups in the evening and asks if she can bake some cupcakes for the school function the next morning. What does she do? She is a people pleaser, so she can’t bring herself to say no. There will be emotional dissonance when she buys sugar and frosting and gives up her morning workout to bake cupcakes for the school.
can’t whip out your list of priorities and explain their order, you’re like most.
Then there are those people who don’t want to list their top five priorities. Relaxed or lazy, these people don’t want to record and rank their current priorities because they don’t see the point. Why set yourself up to be disappointed? Why try when you’ll most likely fail?
Why stress when you can chill? Amenable and sometimes aloof, the Mr. & Ms. Chills of the world have given up striving, growth, and chasing their dreams. They could have been a former perfectionist or a Ms. no limits who has burned out. Or Ms. Chill could be suffering from past trauma that is causing her laisse-faire attitude.
Some people can’t list and rank their current priorities because they can’t decide. They don’t know their life’s purpose, strengths, and weaknesses, passions, or what brings them joy. It isn’t that they go along with other people’s agendas because they are a people pleaser. It is rather that they are unsure of how they want to devote their time and energy.
Time to Decide Your Top Five Priorities
Did you recognize yourself in one of the top descriptions? Perhaps you are none of the above but just hadn’t thought of assessing your life and deciding on your top five priorities in life.
Either way, its time to get out a piece of paper, a pen, and assess your life.
Rank on a scale of 1 to 10 how happy and fulfilled you are in each area of your life:
Career / Business
Sense of purpose