What are you prioritising in your life? On the surface, it may seem like an obvious question with an obvious answer; but scratch below the surface and you’ll see a whole mechanism at work that cannot be seen, understood… or even fathomed.
We netizens are all glued to our devices and gadgets. They’ve become an extension of us. And yet, most of us have no idea how these devices work. Our brains–and the way we choose to live our lives–follows a similar trajectory.
We put our dreams on hold as we get caught up in cookie-cutter lives. We’re too busy for the things that truly matter to us. We have time for the things that don’t matter at all. We go down pathways that will never lead us to our goals. We prioritise people who treat us like an option. We even build sandcastles in the air and wonder why everything came crashing down.
If we humans are–as the story goes–selfish by nature; then why do we struggle so much in prioritising the people, activities and events that will enrich–as opposed to deplete–our lives?
Why are we caught up in tolerating less than what we want; less than what we deserve; and less than what we are worth?
Priorities, by definition, refer to one’s primary concerns. The key to sorting out our priorities is figuring what our priorities are in the first place.
Make a Commitment
In a world of ceaseless options, it is easy to be commitment-phobic and spend the rest of your life doing nothing but accessing options without making a decision. Or worse–make a decision with no real commitment of following through; or keeping your options open even after a commitment has been made.
I remember when I was living in Japan, there was only one family-owned restaurant in my neighbourhood. At the end of the work day, you either ate there or you cooked at home. So I had no choice but to make a commitment to cook pretty much everyday. I ate simply and my health was good.
Since I moved back to Singapore, there are an endless stream of restaurants, franchises and god-knows-what-else competing for my attention. It takes ages for me to make a decision about anything. From price to quality to coupons and deals–it is all a headache really; trying to make a decision about anything.
Our attention span has shortened; our focus is all over the shop. Our ability–and willingness–to commit to anything or anyone is simply not there. Our lives consist of a ceaseless array of options that lead everywhere and absolutely nowhere. And yet, we glorify this life of attending to temporary wants and short-lived desires; instead of focusing on long-term needs and commitments.
The first step in setting any priority in your life is actually committing to it. If you don’t actively choose your commitments, you will either fail to commit to anything at all; or find yourself in the precarious situation of having a commitment forced onto you.
What–and who–do you want to commit to? Why are you making that commitment? Is it in line with your priorities?
First things first, figure out what your priorities are. Then, commit to them.