Half way around the world, either you are planning to spend a calm Sunday or you are perhaps already preparing for the approaching Monday- well irrespective of that bit, no matter what you do or not, whether you are opulent or not and whether life has been fair or not, the game really is all about your real priority! Join me here as we take a quick paced walk down this route and decipher why most of us run the risk of running into and carrying further conversations which are more about “what could have been” rather then allowing it to be about “what can be”! So here we go!
Whether it is through the upbringing years at school, the formative years at college or the years spent through the corridors of the corporate world- we almost always end up leading a life – knowingly or unknowingly that is run and directed based on the priority listing methodology of someone else- who ever that could be and this is where the divergence commences!
If you are able to step back and embrace the pause, you will observe that many a things that “were high priority”, “so called defining moments” all tend to fade away and become meaningless or irrelevant with time as contexts change and things move ahead. Sure enough you may argue that, this is what hold true for almost everything and anything around us! Sure it is, but we don’t end up sabotaging ourselves the way we normally end up doing while we pursue the “so called priority” which almost allays is a case of someone else’s dream, requirement or necessity! It is this disconnect that ends up creating students graduating each year with ever more confusion about what they want to do next, with companies re-visiting their corporate strategies every now and then and wondering whether they should continue a product or service or not and governments who end up delivering what is not promised and never seem to deliver what has been promised. The whole social maze around strife and struggle is a whole lot because of this space of misplaced priorities and conformation narratives!
Through the student days, marks and grades are a priority – for that bit is sold to you- as the only assurance for an opulent life and only way to beat the race and stay ahead- well I am not saying this is not correct, the problem is this is not entirely true! You see if there are top 10 students across the thousands of universities then there are the next 20 from each one of them- so even for that visibly small variance of percentage or grades – as far as marking goes -which will never be beyond 10%, to believe that , this 10% difference can create such a wide and un-breakable barrier to earn and live an opulent life- simply doesn’t make sense and neither is that true! You have back benchers leading firms, business and doing exceptionally well, by the simple fact that they are able to hire the top performers at the price that they demand! So if the priority while being a student was only to get good grades or marks- why does this logic fail to deliver beyond an eclectic top 10-15% of the millions of students that exist at any given time?
If this was not enough, see what unfolds in the corporate world- you walk into that grand office each morning- or in today’s context, you hit your WFH desk to open up emails each morning only to find that “new priorities” have come in and as the week and month’s go by- if you ever reflect on what actually has happened- the corporate world end sup being a scene of accidental priorities and misplaced strategy- which often ends up achieving quite less when what could have been- simply by the latent power of the human potential that exists within each organization! You may want to say, that as organizations respond and react to market conditions things are bound to change- sure- but what is the meaningful variance- what’s the whole point of calling something “a priority” if the next market situation is going to ask you to throw all of that into a dustbin and sack half of your team? What does this speak about the whole approach to setting up and defining what a priority is, should be or can be? Think around this!
If you thought, this is limited to only the world of corporate and things that impact socially, think again, just see what has unfolded closer to you- your inner circle- your relations, ideals, mentors, coaches and what not! If you think that anyone or any of them were a priority for you- the essence of the word priority would imply that irrespective of what has unfolded or not- whether things have worked for you or not- you would still stand by them, their guidance and so would they too! But is that how it really gets played out? Well chances are they will not get played out that way and if they do, trust me and count yourself to be the luckiest among the lucky people to have some support system like that going around for you! So what is real priority then? Why is it vital and what makes it so encompassing and omnipresent? Read on!
Well, the real and perhaps the only meaningful and enduring priority that you will ever have in your life is “You”. Unless you make it a practise and a directed effort to place yourself and your core priorities first, no matter how successful you are or not, how rich you get to be or not, end of the day, all of that will be hollow and things will crumble at some or the other time sooner or later- simply because you have no control as you keep working and slogging for external priorities which are perhaps of core importance for someone else- a person or an organization and the trick in that space is, if you are not willing to stay enslaved for that, there will always be someone else to get that done and hence whether you like it, hate it or are good or bad,no one really cares a damn and irrespective of what you gain through that association, you will always end up loosing yourself from the context of failing to give priority to yourself!
Giving yourself priority is not about being self-centred, selfish or being disrespectful or disconnected or disengaged to working for others, with others or anything around that! On the contrary, once you are able to give priority to yourself, you know the value that you carry at an intrinsic level and that becomes a formidable push to achieve more in less time- especially when you are engaged to fulfil something for someone else- simply because you know that- only once that is done, will you be able to act upon what really matters to you at an intrinsic level – that is to work on your priorities! This is the real essence of moving ahead with a meaningful existence- being able to strike a balance between your real priorities- your intrinsic priorities and the external tasks and assignments that you race ahead to complete by virtue of your worldly engagements!
It is only when you begin to arrange the world around you by placing your priorities- which need to be aligned to your urge for expression, creativity and brilliance will you be able to contribute in any meaningful and uplifting manner to anyone else! You see, all of us want to be leaders and lead, but before we do that, what we must first and always do is lead ourselves! Unless you decide to lead yourself- why would anyone else even want to follow you, let alone being lead by you! No one likes to be lead by leaders who don’t have stories to share or who don’t have a compelling narrative and clarity- and for the leader in you to behold these aspects- you need to first put yourself at the highest priority. It is only when you act with clarity, decisiveness and meaningful directed purpose- will the others around you begin to trust and believe in your abilities and willingly surrender to follow you! Unless you don’t chart a course for your own life, you will not be able to make a great headway to lead a business, a nation or anyone else for that matter- simply because you too would be as lost as the person whom you are supposed to lead- only because you failed to recognise your real priority- which is no one else and nothing else but “You”!
I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to think around this and do take some time off and think around”what is your real priority?” Shouldn’t it always be you? The world is replete with examples where people keep racing ahead in a straight line along a circular track, to reach the same point where they started year after year, instance after instance- all simply because of missing the essence of who they really are!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe and stay wise! Remember, it all begins and ends with “You”!