In one of Seth Godin’s blog posts, he talked about setting our own priorities rather than using someone else’s to guide our work. “Your boat, your compass.” he advocates. And then…💡!
It got me thinking about how many people have their hands in our daily and life agendas. Whether on a personal or organizational level, our time, and subsequently our accomplishments and fulfillment, are under constant assault. People, consciously or unconsciously, are imposing their priorities on our life. Plus, we have been under this barrage for so long that we are conditioned to think it’s normal.
So when we say to ourselves we are on track, the better question might be, whose track are we on exactly?
I am not advocating for some narcissistic world view of self-fulfillment to the detriment of everyone around us. Quite the contrary. I continue to believe that being of service is the common mission of all of humanity.
So how do the two thoughts co-exist? It starts with awareness.
Awareness of all the competing pressures for our time. Making a choice to not abdicate control of our life to these outside pressures by becoming both intentional and brutal with our time. Intentional in the sense of only making time for what is truly important to us and to the fulfillment of our mission. Brutal in the sense of becoming our stoic gatekeepers of each precious moment of our day.
Awareness of what we are here to do and the mission that has been bestowed upon us. It is about unearthing that inner genius and finding out how to honour that gift by sharing it with the world. And I don’t mean this in an esoteric kind of way. At a very concrete level, one of our most fundamental missions is that we become the best version of ourself so that we may be the best possible parent, spouse, partner, colleague, and friend. From there, it is our duty to dig deep and become clear on what we are destined to give back to our community and the world.
Awareness of our thoughts and how we are showing up. This is a longer discussion for another time, but it is essential to become aware of how our thought patterns influence our actions, emotions and decisions. Some of them we are conscious of, some are just running on autopilot and we have never taken the time to challenge their legitimacy.
Long story short, if you take a look at an average day, how many of the priorities for that day were set by you and how many were dropped unceremoniously in your lap? How can you give your best to your family, your organization or the world if you are constantly a pawn in someone else’s game?
Waking up is hard to do. Taking control is hard to do. But life is too short to be a puppet in someone else’s story.
So what are YOUR priorities for today?