What are the things in this world that you truly care about; the things that get you out of bed in the morning, excite you when they come up in conversation. What are the things that light a fire deep in your soul; a flame that no one can blow out no matter their questioning or remarks.
It’s important to recalibrate and assess your priorities throughout life, because things change. Life is crazy and if we don’t ever stop to consider what matters most, it is easy to get swept up into the whirlwind of what others care about most. Don’t let them define your priorities, just because they have thought about them and you have not.
At the end of the day, we all only have so much time: so much time in a day, a week, a year, a lifetime. There is no way that we can give a fair and equal amount of care to absolutely everything we encounter in life. It is important to accept that when you prioritize something higher on your list, you are deprioritizing something else, even if unconsciously. And guess what, that’s ok. No one ever became wildly successful, an expert in a particular topic or grew a functional, loving family by NOT deprioritizing something else in their life. It simply has to be done if you want to excel at your dreams.
Ultimately, if you have a clear picture of what you truly want out of life, the less important things will fall to the wayside and you will notice yourself saying “no” to activities that don’t align. But it is fair to say that for many, that picture is not particularly clear. Maybe you don’t have a clear vision of your ideal life, perfect job or goal relationship. If not, start by thinking about all the things you spend time caring about (with both your mental and physical energy) that do NOT align with your blurry vision of the future. Sometimes starting with “no” is the easiest way to get to “yes.” If you start saying “no” to the things that don’t align, you begin to free up more time for things that potentially do align with your best self. If anything, it allows you some thought-space during the day as you choose not to run from one activity to the next. Allow yourself to relish this time as you consider your priorities – journal, call a friend, eat your next meal without staring at your phone and listen to your thoughts instead. Great clarity can come from quieting your mind and your life.
Try thinking of it this way… if you were to start life with a clean slate as an adult – no current job, no friends, no significant other, no particular city you needed to live in – what would you choose to do with your time? And yes, I know that at first it sounds tempting to sit on a beach with a drink that has an umbrella floating in it, but I promise you that after a few weeks of that you’d want something more meaningful out of life. So let’s say you got a few weeks to decompress… what would come next? Where would you live? What would you do with your days? What kinds of friendships would you seek? Your answer to all of these questions gives you a view into the things you care about most; the things that you prioritize.
Now consider how you currently spend your time. Are you investing a significant amount of energy into those priorities? Or are you sinking your thoughts, emotions and time into things that really have nothing to do with your big picture life goals? Are you allowing other people’s cares to sweep you up? Remember that at the end of the day, this is your life. Though none of us have control over everything, we do have the power to make a lot of decisions in our lives and ultimately the power to control our own reactions and emotions toward life’s circumstances.
Take hold of the beautiful amount of responsibility that comes with lighting up your life with passion. Seek the most important things to care about and do away with the rest. Your mind doesn’t need the extra stress 😉