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Daily Leadership Thought #156 – Build A Life Around What Is Important To You

There are few things more important than having priorities for what’s important in your life and how you choose to spend your time.  We are all the architects of our own existence, at times struggling with the design challenges, however ultimately the adult life we build is our own.   Happiness is a choice not just an outcome.  It should also be an expectation.  This doesn’t mean a life will be devoid of adversity or challenge, or that every day will be joyful.  It does mean that when bad things do happen we will have greater capacity to deal with them.  It also means that the path back to contentment will be less steep.

The first step is to know what’s important to you.  Prioritization requires using basic filters to help guide your decisions.  Issues such as what you choose to do for living, the talents you choose to cultivate in yourself, the people you surround yourself with (especially those closest to you), the role of faith and spirituality in your life, the value you place on education, whether or not you aspire to build a family, where you choose to live, how you want to spend your free time, and your attitude towards money and economic well being are all very important variables to factor into your life equation.  And, like most variables they need to be weighted to reflect their relative importance.

Secondly, if we choose to add a partner along our journey, it’s important that our values and goals are in concert with the other person and that we truly commit to their happiness as well.  There is no greater privilege and responsibility than having a front row seat to someone else’s life.  We can and often do make all the difference in how others experience their own voyage.   This is an especially critical point if children become part of the passage because they will ultimately form most of their important opinions and values from their parents.  Correspondingly, their own potential for happiness is often a direct reflection of the model of behavior their parents gave them.

Finally, it’s important to respect and appreciate that people and circumstances do change over time.  The pathway should be dynamic not static with necessary course corrections along the way.  Allow for periods of reflection and assessment, don’t just “wing it” and simply react to what’s happening.  We often hear of people reinventing themselves.  I’ve always found this to be a good thing as long as the process was a thoughtful one.  If you stay grounded in what’s important to you and those you truly care about then the right decisions will usually become apparent.  In addition, don’t run away from your circumstances just because they become difficult.  Managing through adversity builds characters and forms closer bonds.

Be courageous about your life.  Live it proactively.  Don’t conform to societal conventions that won’t work for you.  Design a journey that has the greatest probability of making you happy.  Everyone can have life balance.  People do have rewarding careers and experience committed relationships.  Spend the most time with the family/friends/colleagues that make you feel good about yourself and support them in-kind.  Commit to sharpening your talents and abilities on a regular basis.  Take comfort in knowing that financial success is often positively correlated with pursuing personal passion and your level of effort.  After all, it’s all up to you!


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