What Are Your Priorities?

What really matters to you?

Recently, I came across a list I made quite a few years ago of things I wanted to do in the future. Of the nearly fifty things I listed, five no longer apply. Several could be condensed into the same item. Some are probably unrealistic. Unfortunately, I have completed only two. Even with making allowances for why or why not something could or could not have happened, I am not proud of my “track” record.

I saw a challenge on Facebook just the other day that asked if you could give advice that you have learned over time – in two words – what words would you use? I’ve not yet reduced my words to two, but they amount to the same thought:  I would encourage a person to TRY even if he or she doesn’t succeed, and to keep on trying…facing fears…accepting the challenges that life presents. 

One of my fears is that of failing. By not even trying something new, certainly, I avoid the crushing feeling of defeat. However, by avoiding these things, I also don’t discover new abilities, talents, or loves, and I now realize I have deprived myself of these things. Sometimes, conquering a fear helps us to grow. It can make us feel stronger and more confident.

I’ve looked at that old list a number of times now. I began a “bucket” list a few years ago, too. As I consider what things are most important to me today, I’m finding that I now have different goals. It is becoming increasingly more important to be happy with the wayI am living my life, as opposed to how many items I can check off a list.

Sometimes being a friend takes priority over completing a particular errand or attending a special event. Other times, those “things” just aren’t that important in the grand scheme when, for instance, a loved one’s health is failing due to serious illness.

Life is so short! In the time I have left on this earth, I want my existence to really count for something. I have always wanted to make a difference. That feeling has grown over the years. Today, there is much yet to be done, but my new list will have different qualities to it. Today, a trip to New York City is no longer a “priority” that absolutely must happen in my life. Instead, I find myself looking outward, hoping to see a way to make a difference in the quality of someone else’s life. To whatever challenges that way of living directs my life, I am now ready to say “Bring it on!”

What is most important to you today?

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The Prisoner's Prayer Book

Louise is author of The Prisoner's Prayer Book which evolved as she became a volunteer in prison ministry. Retired from a career in social services, Louise resides in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

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