Sunday, June 17, 2007

Curious about Priority and Priorities: Does and Do the Ones You Set and Pursue Serve You Well - Or Are They a Bit Ridiculous?

Getting in touch with your true self must be your first priority.” - Tom Hopkins, American businessman

Don't be a time manager, be a priority manager. Cut your major goals into bite-sized pieces. Each small priority or requirement on the way to ultimate goal become a mini goal in itself.” - Denis Waitley, American writer

This past week I attended a networking event that is sponsored monthly by the local Chamber of Commerce that I recently joined. They work together with a member organization to offer a two-hour evening get together at the organization’s location. A good number of members attend. There is a great opportunity to meet others and find out about their businesses and exchange business cards. I have made attending these a monthly priority.

One of the “old-timer” members asked me if I attend the monthly luncheons sponsored by the Chamber. I told him that, “No, they are scheduled at the same time I teach two of my fitness classes.” He suggested that I have my priorities wrong, should give up those fitness classes and make the luncheons a priority. He pointed out that the true movers and shakers attend and that if I want to meet them I should forget the classes where my income is low.

He is probably right about the “movers and shakers” and is definitely right about the ten fitness classes I lead a week not generating a lucrative income, but the more I thought about his words I realized that I agree more with the athlete Jim Otto who said, “You must also give mental and physical fitness priority.”

Yes, I teach my classes because I love helping my participants with their physical fitness, but I also do it for me. It keeps me fit and filled with boundless energy. I do work hard at generating fun and education in all of my classes and the idea of disappointing my students by not teaching would seem like a ridiculous choice of priorities!

So, how do you prioritize? What are your priorities? And, are they serving you well?

When I searched for quotations from the experts, many were similar, so I will include a sample here:
  • Not upon politics, not upon who's pressuring who, but upon good, thoughtful science, always remembering that human health is our top priority.” - Mike Johanns, American politician
  • My priority is to turn people - especially kids - on to sports and being active so they don't even have to think about it being good for their health. If people participate for the fun of it, and believe me - it is fun, then fitness programs will be much more successful.” - Alan Thicke, Canadian actor
  • We have the most flexible and adaptive economy. Making sure we sustain the ability of the American economy to perform well is really the priority of economic policy.” - John W. Snow, American economist
  • My first priority is growing this economy in the long term, and stimulating it in the short term.” - Robert Menendez, American politician

Here are some with a different twist that should get you thinking:

  • You can't move so fast that you try to change the mores faster than people can accept it. That doesn't mean you do nothing, but it means that you do the things that need to be done according to priority.” - Eleanor Roosevelt, American First Lady
  • So at the end of the day, our number 1 goal, our top priority, is to motivate American youngsters to reject the abuse of illegal drugs, tobacco and alcohol. All three of them are illegal behaviors.” - Barry McCaffrey, American soldier
  • I have my daily priorities. My main priority is to practice; my second priority is to process orders. After that, I just see what is left to do. I have a very organized day.” - Michael Schenker, German musician
  • A lot of people say they want to get out of pain, and I'm sure that's true, but they aren't willing to make healing a high priority. They aren't willing to look inside to see the source of their pain in order to deal with it.” - Lindsay Wagner, American actress
  • Sports are great, and kids should be encouraged to play them. But going to school needs to be the highest priority.” - Lee Trevino, American athlete

I will leave you with these ideas:

  • At some point you start seeing the difference between what you really want, and what is your priority order. I feel that today I know what I want. That's the problem with perspective, as well as focus and concentration.” - Nick Cave, Australian musician
  • Your life will be a blessed and balanced experience if you first honor your identity and priority.” - Russell M. Nelson, American clergyman
  • Unless we make education a priority, an entire generation of Americans could miss out on the American dream.” - Blanche Lincoln, American politician

Does your list of priorities work well for you? I would love to receive your feedback!