Life is About Priorities

July 9, 2012 in , Explaining Adam , Philosphy , Thinking Outside the Box by Adam Dunlap

I’ve been saying it for a decade but I constantly realize even more how true it really is: life is about priorities. We can often understand concepts by expanding them to extreme examples and then repealing them to common situations. So here is one:

You are planning to go to a Super Bowl party in two hours. It’s being put on by your best friend, and you’ve been planning to go to this for 8 months. Then all of a sudden your wife goes into labor. So you rush her to the hospital and you miss the party.

Now here is another example: you are supposed to go out on the town with a friend. Then thirty minutes before it’s time to go, you start feeling tired, and you text them and say you don’t feel like going, and you don’t.

So now let’s look at the two situations. If the reason you didn’t go to the SB party was because your wife went into labor, do you think anyone would have a problem with your excuse? Absolutely not. And why? (Now this is the clincher so pay attention) The reason WHY they wouldn’t have a problem with you going to the hospital is because they would all understand why and how the birth of your child could be a priority and could take precedence over a football game. And I say this is the clincher because the whole mess of life and relationships and most conflicts result when this breaks down when people don’t understand this concept. Take the second example: you bailed on a friend because you were…tired? Or was that lazy? Or maybe you were being a bad friend? It depends who’s analyzing the situation, and only you know the true reason.

Everything we do in life is a product of ranking priorities and choosing the higher one. When your priorities don’t match someone else’s priorities, or when someone else doesn’t understand why you have a different priorical structure than they do, that’s when they usually cease to understand you, become upset, disappointed, angry, frustrated etc. But there is no reason to feel any of that. Because we all have different priorities in life.

When someone bails on you, or doesn’t make time for you, or chooses someone else, or changes their plans, or shows up late etc. etc. just realize it was because they had something that was more important to them. And that’s not bad, that’s just how it is! Don’t hold it against them. You have the same things too that would take precedent. Instead of becoming frustrated with others when they do this just understand that at the very best, you weren’t priority #1 (you will very, very rarely ever be priority #1 to anybody after the age of about 6 months unless you go into labor). And on the other side of the spectrum, at the very worst you could have been priority ‘dead last,’ but even if you were dead last, it’s not that bad! Keep an open mind and simply accept the fact that someone else’s universe doesn’t revolve around you. The only universe that does revolve around you is your universe, and you can’t impose that on anyone else anymore than someone else can impose their priorities on you.

Next time you have a choice between any two things, realize that you will choose the most important thing to you. Admitting this is one of the first steps you can make to becoming who you want to be in life.