Putting Your Priorities In the Right Order

I have asked this question here before, multiple times, and in multiple ways:

  • If one were to watch a video of how you spent your time over, say, the last week, would they immediately recognize your goals?
  • After watching the video, what would they believe is important to you from looking at the objective evidence of the physical actions you take throughout the day?

In a workshop I was delivering, a young man told me that in order to do better work, he’d have to be provided a financial incentive. When I inquired as to why he would have to be paid more to do better work, he said, “I am money motivated.” He was taken aback when I insisted he wasn’t money motivated, and that he just wanted more money and was lacking the motivation.

There is this old cartoon of a man standing in front of a wood burning stove, holding wood in his arms. The stove is saying to the man, “Give me more wood, and I will give you more heat.” The man replies, “Give me more heat, and I will give you more wood.”

There is a certain order of things in this Universe, a law that we recognize as cause and effect. As far as I have been able to discern, there is no law of effect and cause. You don’t get the heat before you put wood in the stove, meaning you have to grab your ax and chop wood if you want heat. This law cannot be broken, but it is possible for you to break yourself against the law.

For some, last week’s video would indicate comfort and entertainment was their greatest priority. For others, the video might indicate their goal was winning arguments about politics on social media. Most videos would show the individual drifting, being carried by invisible forces, with no real aim or goal.

Watching the video of those who are motivated would provide evidence of their having blocked time, eliminated distractions, and doing the things that moved them towards the life they want for themselves and for their people. While there would surely be some comfort and entertainment sprinkled in, on balance, their week would look very different from the majority.

The average lifespan for a man in the United States is 79 years, or 4,108 weeks. For women, that number is 81, or 4,212 weeks. I will allow you to do your own math here, but I will be very clear about the point of this exercise:

Whatever your goals, whatever your dreams, whatever it is you want, whatever is most important to you, spend the few weeks allotted to you pursuing them with vim and vigor!

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