As the new year of 2012 is approaching I was thinking back to a conversation that I had with a friend of mine, Michael, a few years ago which can sort of hit home with many of you at this time of year so I decided to share it with you. Michael and I at the time were pretty similar in many ways. We were the same age, at similar stages of life. We both had comparable jobs and just about the same amount of free time. The one thing that I learned that we didn’t have in common were our priorities.
Back in 2006, I starting learning about the online world a lot more in depth, I started a couple blogs and fell in love with blogging and the new world of social media which we were on the doorstep of. I was so excited about blogging that I told Michael all about my experiences and suggested that he start a blog of his own. I explained the benefits of clearing your head, getting your opinion out there, joining the conversation and recording your thoughts, insight and experiences.
Michael shared my enthusiasm but almost in the same breath said “it sounds great but I just don’t have the time for it”. During the same conversation, probably less than 10 minutes later, Michael told me about this great new TV series that he watched religiously (I can’t remember for the life of me what it was). He said that I absolutely have to watch it and without thinking, I answered back “it sounds great but I just don’t have the time for it”.
At that moment, it struck me. Wait a second! We both have exactly the same amount of time. This wasn’t about time, it was about priorities. We often confuse “time” with “priorities”. I’ve heard so many people complain (myself included) that they just don’t have any time. What they (and I) really mean to say is “I just don’t want to make that a priority”.
Once you get to that point, you realize that everyone has the same 24 hours in their day and yet some people do have the time for horseback riding or blogging or traveling or anything else. They just make them a priority in life. It’s completely okay to not have horseback riding, blogging or traveling as priorities, but just be honest with yourself and realize that they are priorities and not the lack of time. You may say that you need to work 3 temp jobs to pay your bills and there is no way that you can make the time to do anything else. That is actually commendable but that too is a priority. Paying bills is higher on your list than “anything else”.
Everyone gets to make their own choices in life and there is always an opportunity cost to whatever we choose. If you want to live in Manhattan, you won’t be able to live in as big a place as if you would in New Jersey. Just figure out what your priority is and be happy with your decisions.
Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to take a step back and look at our priorities. Is the way you are living your life in line with your priorities? Do you have your priorities straight? Is there something in your life that can be changed to better suit your priorities?
The new year is coming up and we all have a chance for a fresh start. Take a look at your life and figure out what your priorities are. Do you make it a priority to eat healthy? to exercise? to learn new skills? to move forward in your career? to relax more? to travel more? to meet more people? Spend time with family and friends?
Sometimes you know what is right for you but you have never taken the time to make it a priority. Now with the new year coming up, you have a chance to re-examine your priorities and live by them in the new year.
Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!