The Power of Priorities

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.



2 thoughts on “The Power of Priorities”

  1. Starting when I was about 40 until I was 62 my husband had me convinced we did not have enough money to have regular medical checkups. Foolishly I believed him. In the meantime he developed heart problems and because he is in the VA system, his medical needs were taken care of. One of his doctors did not like the look of a ‘blemish’ on my chin and ordered me to see a dermatologist. I was not eligible for Medicare yet, that’s when I was 62. That one comment resulted in my being diagnosed with several places of skin cancer, a visit to a primary doctor because my blood pressure was high and that resulted in a diagnosis of diabetes, a visit to an ophthalmologist and a diagnosis of diabetes related eye diseases, and a dental visit with a diagnosis of severe dental disease, caused by diabetes, requiring $60/mo for 3 month antibiotics, 2 crowns and 2 cavities being filled. Total out of pocket expense was close to $15,000 over just a 3 year period. Now I see my primary, dermatologist, and eye doctor every 6 months. I still have some medical problems, all under control, but had I just had those yearly checkups costing about $7000 over a period of 22 years I would not be in the physical shape I am in now. So, put your health first. Budget for the checkups, use the free health fairs for available tests, ask questions of your doctors for specifics on what to do to preserve your good health. You want to live a long, happy, productive life. You deserve it!

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