What are your priorities today?

Sorry about yesterday. It was a 650 mile driving day that got us from Muskogee Oklahoma to Osceola, Iowa.  Stayed at a Casino hotel last night.  They had a Prime Rib/Crab Legs special in addition to their regular all you can eat buffet. I had six pacific oysters raw on the half shell, crab legs, snow crab claws, stuffed clams, mussels and shrimp in addition to a great piece of prime rib.  After we ate, we “joined” the casino and get free 5 dollars worth of play each on our casino cards. I parlayed mine on the penny slots into 20 dollars and left Karen to see if she could make us more. She lost her five dollars but managed to return an hour later to our hotel room with 18 dollars and change. So we at least paid for one buffet courtesy of the slots.  As you can see, we are not big gamblers. Big eaters more than big gamblers.  So today we arrive home and begin six months in Wisconsin. I hope to continue this blog until at least July but after that I am not sure if I will continue. I think my creativity and energy will need to change to something different.  I guess it is a matter of changing priroities which is the subject of this blog today.  Lets talk about priorities and what they mean to us.

Priorities, the average person spends 3 hours per day watching TV and less than one hour per week in any kind of regular exercise either physically or spiritually. Mark Twain said that the person who does not read good books is no better off than the person who cannot read. We admire people who accomplish great feats of skill, but do we realize how much time and practice went into these accomplishments. We are asked to help someone and we say “Sorry, I have no time.” We come to the end of the week and we wonder where all the minutes went. We look at our life and lament that we just do not have enough time to do what we need to get done.  How many times do successful people or people who are in good shape or people who have good jobs get told, “well, you are so lucky.”  Luck has been defined as “Where preparation meets opportunity.”  The unlucky do not see the preparation or the work that the “lucky” do. It all starts with setting your priorities and making choices.

The rich, the successful, the extraordinary people have the same amount of time we have. Every one of us wakes up each day with a new bag of minutes. The clock resets at 12 AM and we all start fresh with 24 hours. The average person leads an average life and wastes an average amount of time. The successful person does not waste a minute because they know that time is precious. Relaxation is important to each of us and needs to be included in our days, but excessive relaxation is a form of sloth and waste. It comes down to setting priorities. When I hear my students kibbinzing about the latest sports even they watched, I often asked them how will that help your careers? 

What did you learn from this week’s football game or the new TV series about sex and crime? How much do the latest “reality”show help you in your marriage or job or life goals? Which is more really important for your life? Do you fill your life with meaningless activities or do you fill it with activities that will enrich your life and those around you? Do you make choices that will create a great life for youself?  Do you set priorities and examine the time that you allocate to given activities or do you just let your time go by on whatever happens to grab you in the moment?  Do you aspire to be average or would you like to be above average in at least one area of your life? Are you willing to do what it will take to be above average? Do you wait until you really get lucky and hope each day to win the lottery?  Ask any successful person what they do to get lucky!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bgalbreath
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 21:25:06

    My priority for the past two years has been renovating a rental property I own (after it was severely trashed by tenants who I wound up having to evict). I've been taking an awfully long time getting it just the way I want it, and I realize it has been irrational (due to all the rent I have forgone). Was spending all those hours on it the best use of my time? Probably not. But, as aggravating as it has sometimes been, I have enjoyed solving the thousand and one problems that have come up along the way.

    I'm conflicted about self-consciously and deliberately setting out priorities for myself. I suppose it is neurotic, but making things so deliberate has proven a reliable method for killing the joy I had previously found in an activity. I understand that to fail to choose is usually to choose to fail, and that, as Socrates said, the unexamined life may not be worth living. But some wit retorted that the over-examined life is no day at the beach either. The middle way is the answer, but can the middle way be deliberately chosen, or is its something that we must unconsciously fall into?



  2. John Persico
    Mar 29, 2012 @ 13:15:57

    I think getting the right balance is the issue. Christ and Osho and Lao and Buddha all emphasized living in the present which seems to be at odds with planning and strategy and goal setting. I wonder how we find the right balance thought. I cannot imagine any successful people who do not plan, unless there is a difference between spiritual success and material success, but Osho says it is better to have money than not have money. The Lord may provide but I keep remembering the admonition to pray for the lord but row for the shore. John



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