Prioritizing Your Passions and Core Values: P&P Part 6

Posted: April 29, 2012 in Passion and Purpose
Tags: , , , ,

20120429-092019.jpg

In order to get anything done, we need to actually change our behaviors. We need to become experts at turning ideas into strategies, and strategies into action. But how can we do this if we keep getting pulled in all directions by the circumstances in our lives? Now is a good time to pull out your Discovery Guide and complete pages 12-17.

Danny Silk encourages everyone to write down a list of 100 dreams. These dreams can range from desires that seem trite, to high and lofty pursuits. This is a very helpful exercise that helps us flex our dreaming muscles. This exercise has another psychological purpose. When we write down the intentions of our hearts, what we are really doing is prioritizing. If you have a desire to sing the national anthem at a sporting event, you will want to strategically put yourself in a position where this will be likely to happen. The logical thing will be to work on your singing and practice singing for other venues. Eventually someone will hear about you and ask you to sing the national anthem.

We never know when God will surprise us with an opportunity to live our dreams. My husband had this experience recently. About 4 years ago, we lived in another state and Jake wrote down his 5 year goals. He wrote things down that were very specific and way beyond what he thought would be possible. He even wrote down specifics about his job and how much money he’d earn. At the time, he thought these goals were just dreams that, most likely, would not happen. Well, he found this piece of paper 4 years later and took it out. Every single one of those goals had come to pass… In detail! Even though he had forgotten it so long ago. It really encouraged us and others to get cracking on our next list!

Every hour of every day we are presented with opportunities. Each time we say yes to one thing, we say no to many other things. Every time we say no to things we are making a statement about our priorities. When we say that we don’t have time, what we are really saying is that we choose not to make this activity a priority in our lives right now. We have so many good things that are vying for our time these days. Our choices today are complex. For this reason, we need to hone our prioritizing skills.

Steven Covey explains a very important principle in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We can choose to attend one of four types of activities at any given moment of our lives.

1. The Urgent and Important
2. The Urgent but Not Important
3. The Important but Not Urgent
4. The Unimportant and Not Urgent

Think about these categories very carefully. Where do you spend much of your time? Are you a chronic time waster on number 4? Are you a stress junkie spending all your time in number 1? Are you spinning your wheels stuck in number 2? Or are you a rare gem of a person who has learned to harness number 3? Of course we cannot spend all our time in any one of the categories, but for most of us, learning to spend more time on what is important to us is a major step in the right direction. You see, if you begin spending more time on the things that are important, less and less will become urgent, because urgent problems will be headed off and avoided all together.

I encourage you to organize your life around your priorities. Discuss them with your loved ones. Create time and space for those things. Eliminate or seriously slash your time wasters. Refuse to become a slave to the “urgent” all the time. Someday the end of your life will come and you will not be able to delay it. Your legacy will be a culmination of the choices you’ve made. You want to create a life that reflects your core values, your passions, who you were made to be. Living from that place is living an authentic life, it is a place of joy and strength. It will take some level of discipline to achieve this kind of life. But discipline is on your side. It will lead you to some of the highest pleasures in life, pleasures that will slip by those who refuse to embrace the discipline along the way.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s