This is probably one of the most important subjects I could ever share with you as it relates to your Goals and how they
contribute to improving the quality of your life.
As we have discussed before, most people don’t have clearly defined Goals. It is estimated that only 3% of the population
have any Goals at all, and certainly of that 3% even fewer have Goals in relation to a total holistic life design concept with action plans, timelines and priorities for each the different life areas.
One of the most common mistakes that holds people back from achieving their Goals is having have a long list of exciting Goals, but no system for organizing the order of priority for them.
Imagine how many decisions you make throughout any given day. What time will you wake up? What will you do when your open your eyes? Will you hit the snooze button or will you get up and get moving? Will you be excited about the day? What will you do next, will you exercise, read a little, listen to a personal development audio? Will you rewrite and review your Goals Cards? Will you eat breakfast and if you do, what will you have? Will it be rushed, will it be nutritious? You see what I’m talking about? You have just opened your eyes for only a few minutes and already you have made several decisions that will affect your day and over time, those daily minute to minute decisions become habits that accumulate to create your life, whether you realize it or not.
If a Goal is worth setting, it’s worth examining it’s relationship to the values and priorities in your life.
The Goal is the what, the priority and value is the why, and where it fits into your life. When you know the what and the why, the how is easy.
One of the most common complaints today is overwhelm. In a world where information overload is a daily occurrence, the solution to overcoming overwhelm lies in knowing which
information and which opportunities truly matter. And you cannot know the answer to that until you examine your values and determine your personal life priorities.
The Priority Principle
I would like to introduce you to The Priority Principle. The Priority Principle means knowing your values and priorities and arranging your life so that you spend your time, energy and money on what matters. It means you qualify each Goal and action by ranking the order of importance in advance. In a world where your potential is infinite, but your time is limited to 24 hours each day, the only way to navigate intelligently through life is to know what is most important to you and then act accordingly. Only when you have taken the time to examine your values and priorities carefully, can you know which opportunities, people, inputs and actions align with them.
My first major lesson in priorities came was when I was 18 years old on the job working as a Firefigher/Emergency Medical Technician. I was an art student by day and Firefighter by night and on weekends. I know, quite the combination, right?
Most people don’t think about emergency responders until they need one. If or when you have a situation like a fire, an accident, an illness or some kind of extreme crisis, you dial 911. A trained professional like a police officer, Firefighter, Paramedic or EMT arrives to help and take over the situation. They have the tools and the access to whatever it takes to bring the emergency, big or small, under control.
There are small scale emergencies that are non life-threatening, like broken bones and surface cuts that are relatively simple and easy to process, for example, one patient with one minor injury. And then there are larger scale emergencies like car accidents that can have multiple
victims, with multiple traumatic injuries, as well as enormous disasters with dozens, hundreds or even thousands of victims.
When there are more patients than manpower available to handle every victim immediately, there is a process that has to occur and it has to occur very quickly. That process is called Triage. Triage means to sort. Triage as performed in an emergency situation means someone has to quickly assess and sort through all of the victims and prioritize which patients will be treated and in what order. Even with one patient who has multiple injuries, when you can only treat one thing at a time, you have to prioritize which injury to treat first.
When there are multiple patients, a person who has a gaping open would would likely command a higher priority than another person who has all of their faculties who can walk and talk with no signs of urgent distress. I don’t want to get into all of the different variations of injuries here,
I just want to clarify that some patients will have a greater need for urgency over others. There are guidelines for determining which types of injuries get priority over all others. Emergency responders are trained and practice disaster drills so that when a crisis does occur, they know
what to do. Because no two crisises are identical, this training and practice in advance is often the lifesaver for many.
In times of calm, instructors clearly outlined in advance what the parameters were for the different valuations of urgency and priority of care so that when we were faced with the day to day activities of constant crisis, it would be almost second nature to make the right decision amidst
whatever circumstances arose.
With regards to medical emergencies, seconds mean life and death and decisions are made in milliseconds. Fortunately with your Goals, you don’t have as much pressure unless you are in crisis and most crisises can be prevented if you take the time to carefully examine your life regularly over time.
I transformed my life when I applied The Priority Principle.
In my 20′s I went through an interesting phase where I went from poverty to earning enough money to support myself and enjoy some of life’s luxuries. I didn’t really know what to do with the money. I had never had any before! But I was learning how to earn it and could breathe a little easier. I bought a new car and 2 motorcycles. I was making more
money than I ever had before but there didn’t seem to be enough cash to invest in the things I needed in order to grow my business. There is always a next level and I wanted to reach it. I wanted a bigger business, more income, more financial security and a big house.
One day I looked out at my motorcycles and thought, look at the money that is tied up in those bikes. They also served as a distraction as my biker friends were police officers and firefighers and worked all different shifts, so I would get invitations to go riding together at all hours of the day and night. I had not yet fully developed the habit of discipline so there were times I was riding motorcycles when I should have been working on myself and my business.
When I paused and thought about my motorcycles, in the scope of life, I realized that they are toys. I needed to rearrange my priorities. I figured if I valued my financial future more than my toys, then I should sell the motorcycles. After all, I could always buy another one in the future. So I rearranged and re-clarified my values. I needed to start valuing my financial future more than I valued those motorcycles.
So I sold them and invested the money into my business. Things grew so fast I could hardly keep up. Within a few months I moved into a 6,000 square foot house in the White Eagle Country Club in Naperville, IL. The girl who grew up in a 2 bedroom ghetto shack was suddenly living amongst CEOs, NBA stars and some of Chicago’s social elite. I am not trying to impress you, I just want to illustrate how quickly you can change your life when you become clear about your values and priorities and back it up with your actions. I went on to become a millionaire by ag 30 and never looked back.
You have got to invest the time into Triaging your Goals, dreams and life responsibilities. In a major medical emergency, if you don’t Triage properly, people die unnecessarily. In your day to day life, if you don’t Triage your Goals and apply the Priority Principle, your dreams die. I want you to Live Your Dreams.
I outline my own quick process of how to determine your values and priorities in simple terms, and great detail in Chapter 3 of http://www.TheTimeCommandments.com where you learn how to become crystal clear on your Goals and priorities in only 2 hours. Whether currently in a crisis or not, it is so important to take the time to look at what matters most to you in life. If you don’t, you will spend an awful lot of time feeling overwhelmed, putting out fires and responding to crisis after crisis, wasting your energy, instead of achieving your Goals with ease.
The good news is that when it comes to goal setting and life design, you have the luxury of deciding what your priorities are in advance IF you will invest the time and effort into learning the success system for doing it.
You are already deciding which Goals will be achieved and which ones will not whether you realize it or not. But now, by learning a new level of consciousness with regards to your priorities, you can achieve your Goals faster and have a lot more fun in the process.
I once had a Goal of owning a motorcycle. But in the scope of life, at that time, it meant nothing compared to my other Goals and priorities. Because I clarified that, I was able to take decisive action and move forward to more important, long lasting matters quickly and easily .
Don’t major in minor things. -Jim Rohn
Don’t focus major time and attention on Goals that are minor in the scope of your life.
It’s not our abilities that define who we truly are, it’s our thoughts, choices and our actions.
If you have never consciously thought about it, you might be wondering, “How do I know what my current values and priorities are?”
The answer, whether you like it or not, is that they are revealed in your current actions, patterns and habits. If you value time, you don’t waste it. If you value honesty, you don’t lie. If you value money, you invest it wisely. If you value growth, you work on self improvement. If you value
family, you invest your time and attention on nurturing them. If you value your spouse/partner, your words and behavior reveal this too. You are not what you say you are, you are what you repeatedly do.
Ultimatey, what you spend your time, energy and money on is a clear indicator of your values and priorities.
And if what you are currently doing is not working for you, you can change that and rearrange your priorities today in the next 120 minutes. You will increase your focus and productivity in every area of your life.
If you have never done this before, it’s worth the investment of your time. It will change your life.
To get clear and create your own personalized plan as it relates to balanced life design, learn how at
Live Your Dreams,