We all have priorities in life : work, money, family, health …
But perhaps not all of us stop to meditate on them, to see if we are really making decisions consistent with our values and objectives .
This lack of internal analysis often leads us to evade responsibility for our decisions and we end up making various excuses that only serve to deceive ourselves.
This is the first habit that Stephen Covey discusses in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People : Be Proactive.
Being proactive means that we have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.
#Proactivity is having the initiative and #responsibility to make things happen
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Do you know what the word responsibility means ? Ability to choose the answer . Therefore, if you consider yourself a responsible person, you can and should choose your response to each situation based on your values and not stand still blaming external factors.
- Language matters
Are you aware of how you speak or even how you think?
Think for a moment how many times you say “I have to” throughout the day. More than you can imagine.
It may seem silly, but this way of communicating with ourselves is saying things to us.
Never say ” I have to do this” but ” I choose to do this” based on a comparison of consequences. It seems not, but the vision changes.
It is not the same “I have to study”, simply, “I choose to study because it is the best choice based on my goals.”
In negative it works the same. Instead of saying “I don’t have time,” try saying “It’s not a priority,” and see how you feel.
“I have time to learn English, but I don’t want to.”
“I don’t do sports, because my health is not a priority”
“I don’t spend more time with my children, because they are not a priority in my life”
It is that simple and that hard.
If phrases like this remove you and do not sit well with you, that is the goal.
Changing our language reminds us that every moment is a choice.
If you don’t like how you are using your time, you can choose to change it, you can choose your priorities.
“The work absorbs me” – don’t kid yourself, you choose it.
“My boss exploits me” – you allow it, you choose it.
“I don’t have time to eat healthy and take care of myself” – you haven’t seriously considered it, it’s not a priority for you.
“I don’t have time to learn English” – how many hours do you watch TV a day?
And this “discovery” is as annoying as it is hopeful, since it opens our eyes to the possibility that we can change what we don’t like. It depends on us.
Your current situation is your choice based on a comparison of consequences
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- Exit the autopilot and reflect
Until you consider these kinds of reflections, you are not aware of the priorities you have chosen without realizing it.
Exit the day-to-day autopilot and stop to think, what are my goals? What are my priorities? Then “just” make the decisions aligned with your goals.
Here again we can quote Stephen Covey’s habit 2: With the End in Mind.
Once the responsibility for our life is accepted, we have to know what we want , what our values and objectives are, so that we can make the right decisions.
Accepted the #responsibility of your life, you have to know what you want to make the right #decisions.
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Imagine that they propose you a promotion in your job, you will earn more and have more responsibilities.
The immediate response may be:
“Of course yes! I’m going to charge more, who would say no to that? ”
Well, if your priority is work and your goal is to earn more money, the answer is clear.
But if what you really want is to spend more time with your children, then the thing changes and probably the right choice is to reject it.
This is also an example of one of the priorities on which almost everyone acts without having chosen it.
It seems obvious that we all have to want more money and work whatever it takes with that “goal.”
Not so, if you stop to think, perhaps you realize that you can live perfectly with less money , but being able to spend more time on other things that you like.
We should make aligned decisions based on how close we are to our goals , what we want in life. But for that, you have to reflect on them.
- Analyze what you do every day
Do you still not know on what priorities you move? Think about your day to day.
In the end, what you do on a daily basis is more important than what you do from time to time, or not? Then, there you have your priorities, whether you like it or not 😉
What you do every day matters more than what you do from time to time #GretchenRubin
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If after thinking about this, you realize that what you spend the most time in the day is not what you really consider a priority for you, there is something you should change.
- How much am I willing to sacrifice?
Of course here also comes into play the willpower and how much we want a goal.
This could be a conversation with yourself:
“I don’t have time to learn English”
“Okay, yes I do, but I prefer to watch TV”
“Well, I could turn off the TV for 1h at night to study English”
“But I just … I’m very tired when I get home from work, so I don’t feel like putting up with English.”
OK, you just realized that maybe, right now, it is not so important for you to learn English.
Nothing happens, they are your priorities and each one chooses them, but remember that it was your decision.
So it is important to spend time listening to ourselves to determine our real goals and priorities, and what we are willing to do or give up for them, so that we can make the right decisions.
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When you identify a priority and decide to bet on it, suddenly you feel fulfilled and calm, since everything fits inside you.
When you bet on a #Priority you feel calm since everything fits inside you
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Have you stopped to meditate on your priorities? Do you think you have chosen them consciously or unconsciously? Is it what you really want or what society imposes?