Interesting question, isn’t it?
Let’s narrow the focus: Where do your priorities lie?
Recently I realized that I had inadvertently (and to some extent, maybe even somewhat intentionally) allowed other things to move up on my priority list. I allowed other people’s opinions, pressures, and actions to consume a whole bunch of my time, energy, and enthusiasm. I stopped writing for a while, which turned out to be an ok thing as it allowed me to start again with a fresh perspective, (but it wasn’t ok that I gave up something I love, if you know what I mean).
I’ve been doing more thinking about these priorities and I realize that as many times as I’ve watched this happen with others I have also permitted it to happen to myself.
We often allow ourselves to become consumed things that really don’t matter, or at least things that shouldn’t matter as much as we let them. We get bogged down in hurt feelings, betrayals, and lose our perspective about the ‘big picture’. The little things get in the way. We sweat the small stuff.
But, you know, this is really something that I continually struggle with – what is the key to not sweating the little stuff? How do we not worry about the little things when they seem like big things at the time?
Someone personally attacks our character and it seems monumental. How could he/she say this, do this, treat us this way? Even in trying to look at the positive and attempting to see the best in people we can still find it difficult to move past words that have hurt us and rocked our personal beliefs about ourselves. This hurt becomes huge and it seems almost impossible to move past. So how can we treat it as “small stuff”?
Perhaps this is where our priority list comes into play. Maybe asking ourselves where these issues or relationships rank on our priority list might help; are these things closer to the top or the bottom? Is it extremely important to us how this person thinks, feels, or what he/she says about us? How much does this person’s opinion or actions truly matter in our life?
All too often we find ourselves consumed directly or indirectly with people and things and place them higher on our priority list than we would find ourselves on theirs. Our priority lists don’t have to be identical to those in our lives, but we do need to question ourselves when there are huge differences on where we might fall on one another’s respective lists.
Equally often, we may find ourselves thinking about and worrying about our interactions with others far more often than they even think about us. That should tell us something as well.
So why do we allow these negative aspects to rank higher on our priority list than the positive ones? Why is the hurt others cause us placed higher on our concern level than the love we receive from those who truly care about us? Why is it that the bad stuff is easier to believe?
Ideally, those who are most important to us, those who make us feel good about ourselves and love us for who we are, and those whom we love in return should be at the top of our priority list. We should focus on putting those people first in our lives because they are the ones who will be there and who will do the same for us in return. The things that make us feel good and those activities which we enjoy doing and which are good for our emotional and physical health should rank at the top of our list also.
Consequently, those people who hurt us continuously should rank lower on our priority list. We must attempt to decrease the importance and the affect of these negative people and things on our lives. It isn’t going to be easy, especially when we recognize that our priority lists have been a bit thwarted by their influences.
Let’s try doing the following:
Focus on what is truly important and what matters most.
Direct our positive energy and enthusiasm towards those people and things that are truly worthy of it.
Try not to sweat the small stuff (and recognize the small stuff as less important than the ‘big’ stuff).
Reorganize our priority lists and make sure that the ‘top stuff’ really deserves to be just that.