By: D. A. Slinkard
What’s the differences between successful people and unsuccessful people? What separates the one from the other? What makes one group standout from the other group? How can a person down on their luck turn their life around? I have written before that success means different things to different people. In my studies, I’ve found the one thing people struggle with in finding their so-called success is they do not know their priorities and what matters most to them.
In the last article, I wrote about seizing the day and this made me think about what struggles a person might have that would prevent them from being able to achieve their goals. Many of us know what needs to be done; we know what actions need to be taken yet we still fail to properly prioritize our life in order to achieve high levels of success.
Life is about balance. Life is about properly nurturing our bodies, our minds, our familial relationships and even our work relationships. Sounds easy enough, but too often we do great at one thing and fail miserably at another. There are some people who do great with their home life and struggle at their work life or vice versa. How do we maximize on all levels?
Going back to the word priorities, what do we need to do in order to obtain life balance? Growing up in a Christian family and being a firm believer in God, I believe the first priority in our life should be God. You may be nodding your head in agreement right now as you read this, but let me ask you a question that was even tough for me. Do you really make God priority number one? Many times I fail here but guess what, the first step is to admit the problem.
The next priority on your list should be your family, and if you’re married, it should definitely be your spouse. I hear people all the time who say their kids are their main priority. These are married people saying this, and I think maybe this could be one of the problems with their marriage. My wife and I have two beautiful girls (not allowed to date until they are 35 years old), and even though we may fight because I said or did something dumb, regardless though, for our marriage to work, I must put her as priority number two. There have been times she hasn’t been number two and that’s shame on me. Maybe you’ve been doing the same thing to your spouse and if so, what are you going to do differently about it?
Priority number three then goes to your children and the importance of instilling discipline and respect into their daily lives. Discipline and respect are two words that are missing from many vocabularies of our youth. Parents, realize the importance of priority number three and build up our future leaders.
Priority number four now becomes our work. I’m guilty of putting this ahead of priority number three, number two and even at times number one. Hard to admit it, but very liberating even though I put myself out there. It is okay to admit we have faults even though we live in a world of Facebook in which if everyone’s lives were as great as their status updates, there would be no need for anti-depressants in our world. Yet, life isn’t grand, it isn’t as easy as the selfie picture would lead to believe. What we don’t see is the 99 deleted pictures in our efforts to make life look perfect.
Life will never be perfect. There will be struggles, triumphs, and even tears along the way. We have one shot at life – to make the most of it. Even though we will make mistakes, we must first learn to minimize our errors.
How we do that is to take the time daily to write out our priorities in order of what is important to us. Mine is God, Mindy, my girls, work. Yours will look different because we are different. When you make your list, don’t just write down words, but include what specifically you will do that day for that priority so you can come closer to perfection.
This is how we seize the day, this is how we get our lives back on track and this is how we know at the end of the day, we have done all we could possibly do for ourselves and our loved ones.
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store