“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost
Your life's priorities are whatever you spend time doing. Countless things demand your attention, now more than ever before. Think about what things you do in an average day. Whether you realize it or not, those activities are your priorities. Most of us never even think about what we spend our time doing. We just DO because most of the daily stuff is urgent. It must be done today. We get up, we go to work, we come home at the end of the day. We’re just going through the motions never really thinking about what we do or how we do it or even why we do it.
The result? You clear out the important stuff to make time for the urgent. But you didn’t do that consciously. It just…happens. Of course, you have been trying hard. The urgent stuff multiplies themselves. You complete one task and two more show up on your to-do list. And what is more disappointing is that when we come home at night and flop down on the couch and watch tv until time to go to bed, those hours spent watching tv are one of life’s priorities.
“Stop!” Sit down and think about what you are DOING. Think about your daily priorities. Are you deciding what is genuinely important to you? Once you know what your heart’s desire is, you can take the steps to achieve it. Through these precious moments, you are recognizing (and accepting) where you are right now, and where you would like to be within a given time frame. It is likewise crucial to realistically assess the underlying drivers to your decisions.
What are your strength and areas for growth? Come on, you know what those are! When you put candid energy into your personal awareness and development, a path of deeper meaning and greater realization will emerge. Perhaps what you once assumed as part of your everyday routine will now become questionable. Maybe the way you approach and solve problems will take on a new direction. Things that once brought you joy may no longer seem fulfilling. Whether you find yourself experiencing a positive, neutral, or negative period in your life at this very moment, remember that it will change. You can count on it.
Now that you are firmer about what goes and what stays, it’s time to start putting more of the important stuff in for you. Be patient and enjoy the journey. Be happy that you are moving closer to your dreams. Aligning your daily actions with what is truly important to you means you will become truer to yourself and will exercise more of your potential. A transformation begins to take place the moment you decide to make changes and you will know when something has shifted within your true self. You will feel different even though you may struggle to find the right words to describe what exactly is happening.
When you begin to integrate simple mindfulness exercises into your everyday life, the idea of facing life’s challenges won’t feel as threatening. You will trust your inner resources and capacity to handle what comes your way. Slowly, you can begin to feel the amount of freedom you have in choosing your response to the ups and downs of life. While you can’t always control other people or external circumstances, the way you think about them and behaviorally respond to them is completely up to you. This awareness is your work in progress.