Monday, March 24, 2014

Life Priorities - Got Yours?

What are your Life Priorities?

No... not your to-do list.  I'm talking about the true gut-wrenching priorities, the 'things' that you would sacrifice all else for, that you measure your success by, that you put your energy toward, that life isn't worth living without.

Got them?  Hmmmm.

For some of us, this is a challenging question.  Sure, we have some work priorities (you know, those files piled up on the corner of our desks) and we have some financial priorities (fixing the leak in the bathtub) and we may have some family priorities (coaching our kid' soccer team) and we may have some personal priorities (didn't we just renew that gym membership?)...  but what about at least one true, overriding, it-influences-everything-else priority?

I don't think that many of my clients would be able to articulate one and, if they did, would be very success when they measured their actions and choices against it.  Paying lip-service to a priority is not the same as using it as the target against which all choices are measured.  And yet, this week, while coaching in Switzerland (I know, I know, but somebody had to do it!) I have had the privilege of meeting some people who not only are extraordinarily clear about their life priorities, they have made choices and sacrifices in support of those priorities.  Willingly.  Unfailingly.  Without complaint.

It was their joy and pleasure to work in support of that priority, even if it meant delaying their own personal gratification, because it was in clear service of that higher purpose.  A powerful lesson to me as i listened to the intensity with which they felt this, the passion that filled them, the clarity of their mission.

It struck me that, working primarily in North America as I do... that we are sorely lacking in a clear sense of our Life Priorities and what having them implies for the way in which we live our lives because, if we really believed fully in one Priority in our Life... we would live in service to it.  We would make choices in support of it and derive happiness and satisfaction from the opportunity to do so.  I don't know about you, but I don't think I remember having these kinds of discussions with my friends.  And yet... why not?

In a time in which most people seem dissatisfied with their lives, their careers, their choices, their purpose and calling, it seems that there are those for whom it is simple and clear.  In the movie City Slickers,  Jack Palance holds up a finger and remarks that life is all about 'One Thing'.  What's yours?  What's that one priority in your life that gives it meaning, purpose and shape?  What your One Thing that serves to define your choices and is your yardstick of a life well-lived?

I've experienced first hand the beauty and power of having clarity over your Life Priority.  If you lack this, spending time discovering your 'One Thing' and making choices that serve it, is likely your best key to living your best life.

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