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Ever find you say your priorities are one thing and then you do something completely different?

We all know that life isn’t neat and tidy where we always get to do what we want, even assuming “we” know what that is. So we can have days & weeks or even years where we feel obliged to put aspects of our lives somewhat on hold in service of other areas. This need not be work-related. I have some amazing friends who dedicated years to caring for elderly relatives 💖 That meant not pursuing a whole series of life and work opportunities.

And yet, the simple reality is that whatever it is we do today represent our priorities today. If they weren’t, wouldn’t we be doing something else?

This is important because:

  1. It invites us to take responsibility for what we’re doing today; and
  2. Also allows us to make peace with what we’re doing. This stops us looking ahead to some imaginary time when we will get to our so-called true priorities.

In many cases those true priorities may even be a little bit of a sham.

For example, saying you want to spend more time with family and kids. Not many people openly admit to wanting to spend less time but that is the truth for some. There can thus be a little shame around what our true priorities are. I have had clients in that exact scenario who started out saying they were working too much and wanted to spend more time with their partner and family only for them to uncover that work was their priority. It was what gave them purpose and made them ticked. Freeing themselves from the burden of what they thought they should be doing and embracing what they really wanted was liberating. By removing the sense of coercion, the time spent with family was also more enjoyable because they actually wanted to be there rather than thinking they should be doing this or that at work.

The challenge is that we have competing priorities that are in an eternal dance with each other but they can’t all be centre stage at the same time so compromise is required. Our job is to choreograph them!

So, ask yourself – based on what you are actually doing:

– What do my priorities appear to be?
– Are these what I want my priorities to be?
– If not, what am I going to do about it?

Our priorities are what we do!