So much of succeeding in life is staying focused. You have to navigate distractions, and make connections with your daily actions to your long term goals, your priorities, and your values. With the noise of the world, and the distractions that are so often pulling at our attention, it is more valuable than ever to have the skill of staying focused.
Connect Today to Your Tomorrow
However, to know where you are going, and to have the motivation to unapologetically chase after it, you have to understand what your true priorities are. Clarity is the key to making your dreams happen faster. All of us have priorities in life that serve as inner motivators. Our minds reward ourselves when we connect our actions to them, and fill us with guilt and other uncomfortable feelings when those connections aren’t there. To avoid the guilt, and constantly be filled with energy, always connect your current life actions and situation with your major priorities.
Identify Your Priorities
I have a simple exercise I lead people through to identify their priorities. Here are the basics.
- Write what is important to you: without any preparation, sit down and write out 5-10 things that are most important to you. These aren’t necessarily goals, but more like values. I don’t want to lead your answers, but think about what motivating factors are driving your goals. Ask yourself why you have the goals you do? Maybe the reason you have a high goal for yearly income is to provide your families with some kind of financial security.
- Take your list and line them all up in a column with one word on each line. Then take the priority at the top of the list, and compare it with the second. If you could only pick one, which would it be? Seriously. You have to remove one from your life entirely, which do you keep? Whatever your answer is, put a little tally mark ( ex: | ) to it. Then move on comparing the first on the list to the third, the fourth, and onward down your list.
- After you are done with the first priority on your list, move on to the second. Since you have already done the first and second, start with the second and third and then continue down your list (second and fourth, second and fifth, etc.)
- After you have completed the entire list, total up your tallies and write your top three on a separate list. This list holds your true priorities. Disagree? Reflect on why you made the decisions you did, and repeat the process if necessary.
Commit so You Will Continue
When people make their lists, they have a lot of clarity fill them. They have a fire inside that comes with excitement, passion, and motivation. Trust that moment. As you head out on your path, and move on from that moment, distractions will start to pull you away or frustrate your efforts. Go back to that moment in your mind, and push through. Reflect on your priorities daily at a minimum and as needed in between. This is a huge skill that if you develop, you will catapult yourself into your future, making an impact and seeing results much quicker than others who may have started at the same time, or are in similar life situations.
Identify your priorities, and go all in with them. Let them fill you up each day, and actively work on the offensive to make them happen. As you make your priorities your purpose, you will find that you no longer allow distractions to deter you from your destiny.