"How we spend our time is how we spend our lives. It's who we become (or don't become)"- John Mark Comer
Creating a unique voice in your work, relationships, and lifestyle requires 3 things:
Here's how to implement them:
When something is your priority you have to put your foot down. Your mindset is afresh- you have decided this thing is what you want.
This doesn't mean resistance won't come- as with anything good in life it won't come easy. When it comes to a new habit, transformation, or something not providing immediate satisfaction- doubt will be your bedmate.
Delve deep into why, be so incredibly intentional. Here's an example:
'I want to go to the gym' - Too Vague; why do you want to go?
'I want to go to the gym because I feel unfit' - Too Vague; why do you not want to feel unfit?
'I want to go to the gym because I don't want to feel unfit. I don't want to be unfit because it stops me from doing activities with family and friends, I feel self-conscious and I want to look better' - Much better.
Instead of hoping you don't get the resistance of going to the gym (which is inevitable) you intentionally focus on that genuine desire of yours. If you have delved deep enough your want to do 'activities with family', or, 'look better' - the gym isn't simply a chore but rather the vehicle for you to get to where you want to be.
Intentionally doing things provides all the motivation you need.
"Self-discipline is when your highest desires rule your lesser desires, not through resistance, but through loving action ground in understanding and compassion"- David Deida
The hardship when taking on priorities, goals, and ambitions is that it's not sexy.
You are not creating a habit- you are changing your life.
To really stay committed you must move from the notion that this priority you have is limited to a certain time, context, or feeling. Instead of being someone fluctuating in mood and action, you become someone who people can rely on for your actions.
That priority isn't hard, it's simply what you do. It is the thing that makes up your character. It is the routine you become a slave to. It is you.
You are committed to yourself, to others, to the world, that you are with new priorities.
You break your promises. You try things half-hearted. You bounce around doing lots of different things but you never manage to ever scratch the itch of understanding what life would be like if you fully realised your potential.
Commitment is often the only thing preventing good from great. You must be relied upon to do what you say, especially when that is in things you are choosing because if you can't do it there you will never be trusted in things others give to you.
Commitment is to complete the mission. Commitment is to embrace fear. Commitment is to ignore hurdles.
"Quit the wrong stuff. Stick with the right stuff. Have the guts to do one or the other" - Seth Godin
In the daily turning up there is fine-tuning, refining, and curation of the professional.
Momentous occasions come and go but are simply not predictable, nor as impactful as consistent streaks of hard effort.
That compound effect of creating habits and curating habits is the best teacher.
It grows your understanding of your craft or lets you know very quickly that you are not cut out to do what you're doing.
It's very hard to turn up consistently, rain or shine, good or bad, for something you don't enjoy.
Where commitment is your desire it drives you to serve others, yourself or the cause at hand- consistency is the self-growth aspect to delve into your process. You consistently do what you do because you have fallen in love with the process- and that changes you.
When the process is the prize, the external environment can't actually affect you and you can consequently actually serve better (and ironically actually receive more external validation).
In the boredom, in the pushing to the limits, in the just sitting down working daily- the artist in you is made.
"I accumulated small but consistent habits that ultimately led to results that were unimaginable when I started"- James Clear
"How does this all apply to priorities?"
When you place intentionality + commitment + consistency, you will get something so important that it undeniably will be a priority. You want to do that thing because you've become intentional behind the why and have the motivation and drive to do it. You've committed to yourself and others that it is something you want to do and adapt into your lifestyle and you also do it very regularly.
As an objective outsider seeing somebody doing something which consists of those three qualities- I would say they have that thing as a priority in their life.
The key thing to remember though is that you cannot prioritise everything- this 3 step formula may seem over the top but that's only because it is. You can't do everything well.
If you don't know where to start a simple example is to prioritise 5 hobbies:
- One to keep you in shape
- One to make you money
- One to stay creative
- One to build knowledge
- One to grow your mindset
Use the 3 steps in any of these hobbies you have selected and they will become a priority for you. Obviously, there are many other areas, ideas and relationships that prioritisation needs to be used- yet when starting small you can get used to the process. Once you've done this you realise life can be quite simple as you are just slowly building who and what you want to be, and you can discern the distractions that are stopping that.
"When your intention is clear, so is the way"- Alan Cohen
Now go out there and make a difference in the world with your newfound priorities- the only thing stopping you is intentionality, commitment and consistency.
Thanks for reading.