Our priorities would vary based from what motivates us. It will also depend on what specific stage are we in life. If I’ll look back, as a kid (before attending school), my world (aside from minor house chores) revolved around playing with fellow kids in our neighborhood. My top most responsibility is to simply make sure that my clothes don’t get dirty while playing outdoors, or I’ll get in trouble with my Auntie (who takes care of me and washes my clothes). Lucky me (not the noodle brand), my ears (either the left or right, whichever my Auntie gets to grab first) normally gets into a form of stretching exercise whenever I get home from playing. Once I got started with school, I still enjoyed playing, but I made sure that I get to prioritize my studies. Not until I reached college, that my priority changed and I simply wanted to finish school, and the drive to do well was no longer there. I guess, at that stage in life, I let my circumstances and emotions got a better hold of me. I was distracted with other activities outside of school, and I would prefer activities that will give me instant happiness, like a bit too much of computer games, and getting into a relationship. Back then, I thought and perceived those activities as normal (for my age). However, the reality, and now that I’m (just a little) older, whenever I look back at that point in my life, I used to regret it, and I found out that some of those activities are unnecessary (and a form of distraction). Because during our graduation ceremony, it made me reflect that I didn’t fully realized my full potential.
With that realization, it was made clear to me that the absence of a definite and long-term priority, can waste our most precious resource (which is our time), our talents and also leave us more vulnerable to our emotions. Knowing that I am bound to make the same mistakes (as human, and if I don’t start taking action against it), that’s what urged me to emphasize the significance of setting and remembering our priorities. Hoping and wishing, that if somebody out there will come across this post, they’ll get to be reminded on how to equip themselves better in life. And please excuse me, if I’ll be sharing a personal belief, that the best way to be guided in setting our priorities, is if we’ll always put into consideration the verse in Matthew 6:33. To specifically remind us that our priorities should be rooted in faith and not out of fear. What do I mean by that? Well, when I was younger (and I still haven’t started with the habit of learning), I wasn’t aware and didn’t realized that I do things out of fear. How can I say that? Considering my experiences in the past, I normally listen and obey my Auntie, with the fear of being punished, if my clothes gets dirty (which happens most of the time). I’ve also developed an early interest in prioritizing my studies not because I was hungry for learning, but because I wanted to meet the “world’s standard” of being an above average student. I was afraid of not making it as an honor student, as it’s already expected of me. So somehow, what happened to me back in college was partly liberating (because I was no longer concerned if I’ll be a dean’s lister or not), but also a waste of God-given talents. Even in my early real estate career, what kept me going was the fear of being labeled as “below average” if I don’t reach my quota. There were even years when I can’t even afford (that’s what I was taught to believe in, by those around me) to take a day off on Sundays (to exercise my belief), because it’s what everybody else is doing and I thought that it’s what you normally call as extra mile.
I’m just glad and grateful that my mistakes in the past bothered me enough, for me to snap out of it. How did it happen? Honestly, I can’t explain it exactly? What I know of is that there are no accidents and we’re all given a chance to learn the lessons in life, only if we take time (to stop, look and listen), just like when we’re crossing a street (or crossroads in life). I was fortunate to came across different forms (books, audio, videos, real life experiences and observations) of lessons, when I got into the habit of learning and truly understood the concept that life’s a continuous learning (through personal development). Through those lessons, I started to put my priorities (or some may call it goals) on paper (technically it’s an illustration board, which you may see below as an example). By doing this, it helped me remember my priorities and it also allowed me to assess if my actions and decisions (to achieve or reach my priorities) are aligned or rooted in faith. It also motivated me to focus on “His eternal standards”, instead of simply relying on “man’s understanding” and complying with this “world’s standards”.
As I’ve said earlier, our individual priorities varies and life’s lessons may come in different forms. If you want an additional way for you to remember your priorities or discover the things that really matter in life, please allow me to leave you with the video below.
May you not only set and remember your priorities, may you also discover your purpose in the process. I appreciate you and your time. Thank you for dropping by.