Have you ever wrestled with competing priorities? For anyone determined to live a life that counts, this is probably inevitable. Suppose you want to learn a new programming language, and you also feel a need to develop a daily running habit. In order to find time to acquire your programming language, you stay up late into the night reading and writing code. The next morning, you rise early to exercise before work. This kind of schedule is not sustainable. Eventually, you are likely to run out of energy and give up on both of your goals.
In order to make progress, we often need to focus intently on the most important thing. If getting in shape is a higher priority than learning a new programming language, postpone that effort and give all your energy to improving your programming chops. If your health and mental outlook are in need of urgent attention, focus instead on your exercise regimen, and come back to mastering a new skill when that habit is ingrained.
It is easy to choose between harmful and helpful. However, prioritizing good alternatives requires determination and willingness to make mistakes. Be fearless about setting priorities, because saying no to good things can free our subconscious minds from stress. It can remove the fear that we are falling short. By creating space in our minds and schedules, we can be free to dream and create – to leave the world better than we found it.