We don’t think much about priorities. We’re usually too busy putting out fires in our day-to-day existence that we shove them aside.
This is a serious mistake. When we don’t set priorities, we set ourselves up for failure.
My personal goal is to achieve complete financial freedom. In order to achieve that goal I set a series of smaller goals like researching various avenues of passive income and targeting them one at a time. I’ve been working on them but I forgot about something that is very important:
It won’t do me a bit of good to become financially free if I’m not around to enjoy it.
I focused my time and energies on studying and working instead. I created a plan to develop a second source of passive income (my first source is my book royalties) through investing in the stock market. I spent every moment I could spare working towards this goal.
When my energy began to wane I rationalized that I was pushing myself too hard. I just needed to slow down a bit in order to recharge. That didn’t work. Despite taking extra time to rest I was growing more and more exhausted, to the point that it was a chore just to make it through my shifts at my public job.
I assumed it was because I’m getting older and kept slogging forward.
That was when my tooth shattered. Within days the remnants of that tooth turned black and began to hurt. The pain began to keep me up at night so I used the time to continue my studies. Might as well do something productive, I reasoned. When the pain became too much to bear I finally worked up my courage and went to the dentist.
He promptly pulled five of my teeth.
Within days my energy level began to increase. It wasn’t up to normal levels but it was enough to get my attention. I was sabotaging my own success because I didn’t set my personal health as a priority.
It is time to correct that. By the time you read this I will be back in the dentist’s chair getting the stitches removed and having a serious discussion about correcting the issue. If I am going to achieve financial freedom in my lifetime I need to have the energy to do what needs to be done–and the health to enjoy it in the end.
It won’t be fun to go through my day looking like an Internet Meme while I sort this and save for a pair of dentures. To be honest, that’s one of the main reasons I’ve allowed myself to procrastinate for so long. It won’t be fun acknowledging my physical limitations even as I take steps to deal with it. It definitely will be frustrating to slow down, if not temporarily stop the physical pursuit of financial freedom during the process but that’s just how things go.
I know that I will be much better off in the end. I’ll have more energy and focus once the process is complete. Hopefully that will allow me to make up for the lost time.
There is a lesson in this for everyone. You must take care of yourself first. That means not only getting proper rest, but taking care of health issues before they become a major problem. It also means giving your goals precedence in your life. You’ll never achieve financial freedom if you spend your time watching television or playing video games, or run a marathon if you spend most of your time sitting on the couch.
You have to take definitive action and set priorities.
Do you have any priorities that you’ve shoved aside? Please share your stories in the comments below.