Different People, Different Methods, Different Priorities: Setting Better Priorities, Part Four

The idea that different kinds of people will have the most success by using different kinds of methods to set different priorities may seem like common sense. Unfortunately, it isn’t.

Anyone who has read a few books, blogs, or articles on personal development knows that common is hardly the word for the seemingly obvious idea that each individual person will only achieve their individual best by using their own individual method for setting priorities.

Nearly every school of thought on personal development has its method for how to set priorities. And nearly every person who learns about one of those methods thinks, or at least hopes, that the method will work. And sometimes it will work decently. Sometimes it will even be a pretty good fit. But more often, it won’t, and for a very basic reason.

Different people don’t look identical, think identical, or even smell identical, so why on earth should they be using identical methods for assessing and setting their priorities?

Each one of those systems, with its rules and lists and methods that prescribe how to set priorities, can only tell you how to set priorities that work for one kind of person. And you may not be that one kind of person. In fact, if you've ever experienced burn out, frustration, or hopelessness after trying to follow a "system" for a few days, or even a few weeks, it's likely that you're not the particular kind of person who that particular system of priority setting methods was designed by or for.

What then?

To set priorities that will work for you, you need self-knowledge.

Self-knowledge isn’t a 30-day system to success, or a ten step ladder that you can climb by answering the questions posed to you in a book or a quiz. It isn’t a method or a system that you can crack or hack, and there aren’t any rules about how to gain it. I’m not going to teach you to unlock the secrets of your self knowledge, and I’m not going to give you any phony, too-good-to-be-true rhetoric about how to look inside yourself.

What I am going to do is offer you some practical, actionable techniques that will keep you company on your journey to greater self-knowledge. They won’t get you there by themselves, but they’ll help you hail the cab, or get together the money for the train ticket.

I’m going to offer you jumping off points, starting points, openers for the great conversation that only you can have with yourself. I’m going to offer them in the final part of this series, Know Yourself, Know Your Priorities.

More Posts On Priorities:

The Limousine: Setting Better Priorities, Part One
What Good Priorities Do: Setting Better Priorities, Part Two
Priorities That Stop You In Your Tracks: Setting Better Priorities, Part Three

Priorities That Stop You In Your Tracks: Setting Better Priorities, Part Three

Sometimes, setting priorities is the worst thing that you can do. Setting priorities can hamper your efficiency, your productivity, and your motivation. Setting priorities can even lower your opinion of yourself, and send your confidence running. Of course, this only happens when you’re setting the wrong priorities.

What happens when the wrong priorities take hold?

If you've got the wrong priorities in place, you'll constantly be fighting against the tide of your natural workflow. If you’re setting priorities that don't realistically suit your thinking style, your energy levels, your motivational triggers, or your time management abilities, you’ll hit trouble. In fact, you're likely to hit lots of obstacles on your way to fulfillment that have nothing to do with your goals, simply because of how you're approaching your tasks.

It's almost better to set no priorities at all than to set the wrong ones.

You might not get much done without setting priorities, but at least with no priorities, you'd never feel like you were failing! The truth is that having the wrong priorities can make you feel bad about yourself and your work even when you’re actually being productive, efficient, or even downright amazing. That’s because no matter how much you do, if the priorities you’ve got set up for yourself don’t match your strengths and abilities, you’ll never measure up to your own expectations. Setting priorities that work against instead of for you harms your confidence and your self-image, not to mention your ability to make more money and have more fun.

So, what are the wrong priorities and how can you recognize them?

In almost every case, the wrong priorities are the ones that “someone else” told you that you should set.
That “someone else” might be a peer, or a supervisor. That “someone else” might be a well-meaning family member, or a friend. That “someone else” might be a so-called personal development expert who believes that he or she has all of the answers. That “someone else” could even be you, especially if what you think you want and what you really want are two different things.

What all of these “someone else”s have in common is that they’re not taking into account who you really are, how you really work, how you really think, what really gets your motor running, and what you really want. In short, all of them have advice on setting priorities, but none of them are taking into account what you’ll really do once those priorities are in place!

There’s only one tool that will let you master setting priorities that help you move smoothly towards success instead of setting priorities that leave you fighting un-winnable battles: self-knowledge. I’ll talk more about that in part four, Different People, Different Methods, Different Priorities.

More Posts On Priorities:
The Limousine: Setting Better Priorities, Part One
What Good Priorities Do: Setting Better Priorities, Part Two
Different People, Different Methods, Different Priorities: Setting Better Priorities, Part Four

What Good Priorities Do: Setting Better Priorities, Part Two

Good priorities are a powerful thing. Even if you don’t think that you have priorities, you do, so they’d better be good ones.

Your priorities are what tell you what to do when you get up in the morning. If one of your top priorities is security for yourself and your loved ones, you probably get dressed and go to work. If your top priority was pleasure, you’d probably just dive into a pool of whipped cream instead. Priorities have the power to shape your whole life, and good priorities will shape your days and weeks and years into the kind of life you truly want, deep in your heart of hearts.

Take a minute and think about the three priorities you think are the most important in life. Anything goes-- finding love, supporting the people you care about, winning respect, pushing yourself to achieve your personal best— anything you think is important. Truly important. Vitally important. Do-or-die important.

Now, think about how much you do on a daily basis to make each priority, each dream, a part of your physical reality.

How much do you do to bring your values into the world around you?
Is it everything you can?

If the answer is yes. . . congratulations. Stop reading this series. You’re perfect, and you’ve got the perfect priorities. You’re probably Superman, so you shouldn’t be reading MakeMoreHaveMore, you should be off rescuing somebody trapped under something somewhere.

If the answer is no, there’s probably a very good reason why. Your priorities probably reflect who you wish you were, instead of who you really are. Your priorities are built for Superman, but you’re only human.

Good priorities take into account your strengths and weaknesses are, so that you can always feel that you’re doing the most beneficial thing for yourself and others by using the talents that you have, and by developing the areas where you have room to grow.

Good priorities, priorities that are really right for you, can change the way you approach every aspect of your life. Suddenly, uphill battles won’t feel so uphill. Downhill slides will feel controlled instead of frightening. No matter what happens, you’ll feel more in charge and more excited about what will happen next, because you’ll be working towards the goals that are truly closest to your heart. Setting good priorities means naming what you think the world should be, and what your place in that world can be, and using every day to bring that dream realistically and practically closer.

If you don’t feel comfortable, confident, or justified in taking the actions that make sense to pursue your priorities, you haven’t got the right priorities! Good priorities take into account all of your areas of discomfort, all of your fears, all of your worries, and work realistically within their confines, and within the confines of who you really are, as well as towards the dream of who you’d like to be.

Good priorities start with introspection, so that you can determine what kind of priorities you want, and what role your most important priorities will have in your life. (We’ll cover some of the nitty gritty of how that happens later in the series.)

However, although good priorities start out as thoughts, they don’t stop there: they continue on to action. With good priorities, you’ll learn more and you’ll just quite simply get more done, because you’ll always know the next step in front of you, and won’t have to stop and wonder if it is the right step to take.

Good priorities will make you unstoppable. The challenges you meet will feel useful and engaging, instead of frustrating and demoralizing, so you won’t be thrown off course as easily as if your priorities were weak or vague. If your top priority is just an idea, like “help the world,” you probably won’t know where to start, and will end up feeling useless. But, if your top priority is an action, like “strive to improve the lives of everyone I meet,”, or “always remember those who are more in need than me,” you’ll know exactly what to do, and will feel empowered and energized. Suddenly, you're a lot closer to being Superman than you used to be.

Once you discover your true priorities, the actions you’ll take to be faithful to those priorities feel inevitable, like a call to arms that you cannot refuse. The actions may be big or small, but good priorities, true priorities, will motivate you to get them done so effectively, you won’t even notice that you’re gearing up for something huge. You’ll just take off in the direction of your dream.

Of course, not all priorities are helpful. I’ll talk more about that in the third part of the series, Priorities That Stop You In Your Tracks.

More Posts On Priorities:
The Limousine: Setting Better Priorities, Part One
Different People, Different Methods, Different Priorities: Setting Better Priorities, Part Four

The Limousine: Setting Better Priorities, Part One

A set of better priorities will make your ride towards self-actualization so smooth, you’ll think that a professional chauffer is competently and confidently in charge of getting you over the potholes and through the traffic jams. Better priorities are the limousine that will take you where you want to go.

With a productive, realistic set of priorities that accurately reflect your unique dreams and abilities, that accurately reflect where you find the most satisfaction and fulfillment in life, you’ll feel like you’re making all of the green lights, riding along towards happiness in a swank limousine, with a glass of your preferred carbonated beverage in hand.

Alright, I’ll be honest: that's not true. There is no limousine to happiness.

But better priorities are as close to a limousine as you can get.

If you can learn to set better priorities, you'll find yourself catapulted towards greater daily satisfaction, and greater success on the road to your long term goals, because you’ll always know where you’re going, how to get there, and how to have fun on the way.

It isn't always easy to learn to set priorities that will work for you, instead of against you. In this five part series, I’ll be looking at the good that priorities can do, and the harm. I’ll be looking at how and why the bulk of personal development culture comes up short when it comes to priorities. And I’ll be looking at the link between priorities and self knowledge, including a smattering of practical, actionable techniques that will help you start setting better priorities, priorities that come from the true core of who you are.

Before you can start setting better priorities, it’s crucial that you start to re-examine what a shift in priorities could do to help you reach your potential. For me, setting better priorities was the first big step I made on the road to making more money and having more fun. Setting better priorities is often the first big step towards reaching a goal.

I’ll be talking more about why that first step is so important, and how you can make it, in my next post, What Good Priorities Do.

More Posts On Priorities:

Priorities That Stop You In Your Tracks: Setting Better Priorities, Part Three
Different People, Different Methods, Different Priorities: Setting Better Priorities, Part Four

Stay Tuned For A Special Series Of Posts

Dear Readers,

There's been a hiatus of a few days on MakeMoreHaveMore because I'm planning something very special: a multi-post series on priorities.

I'll be looking at how priorities get set, and what the right and wrong priorities can do for us. I'll even be mapping out actionable steps that we can take to make sure our priorities are working for us, instead of against us.

By the end, it'll become easy to see how setting priorities that are really in tune with our self-knowledge can help us all make more money, and have more fun.
And, I hope, it will become easier to see how to set those priorities.

I'll be posting links here to the full five-part series. Stay tuned.

Posts On Priorities:
The Limousine: Setting Better Priorities, Part One
What Good Priorities Do: Setting Better Priorities, Part Two
Priorities That Stop You In Your Tracks: Setting Better Priorities, Part Three
Different People, Different Methods, Different Priorities: Setting Better Priorities, Part Four

Three Ways To Turn A Good Mood Into A Great Mood

A good mood is one of the simple pleasures of life, and a great mood is even better. A good mood can happen for any number of reasons, and sometimes for no good reason at all.

The bad news is that a good mood can disappear as quickly as it comes, and you won't always know why it slips away. The good news is that, with a tiny bit of effort, you can make a good mood last longer. You can even turn it into a great mood! When you get lucky enough to have a good mood, here are three techniques that will help you keep the buzz going and turn it into a great mood.

Add An Extra Blast Of Happiness
Doing something you enjoy while you're already in a good mood can skyrocket it into a great mood. The next time you've got a few moments to spare, try jotting down a few fun things that you can do for free at any time of day, no matter where you are. These can be something simple like "think about a favorite birthday present," or even "jump for joy." The next time you're in a good mood, do one thing from this list. The added blast of fun will put you in a great mood!

Make It A Memory
The next time you're in a good mood, try recording it for posterity. Take a photo, or jot down a few lines about how you're feeling. If you've got the time, you could even make a quick vocal or video recording to capture the moment. This will help you keep a memory of your good mood so that you'll always remember feeling awesome. Immortalizing your good mood will help your feelings linger, because the process of making a memory is always fun. Plus, the sense of accomplishment you'll get when you look at what you've made will help catapult you into a truly great mood.

Share With Others

One of the best ways to boost yourself into a great mood is by helping make another person's day better. When you're in a naturally good mood already, try sharing the happiness by giving someone a compliment, doing someone a favor, or just flashing them a big, genuine smile. They'll get a boost of warmth, and you'll find yourself in an even better mood than you were before.

There are lots of ways to turn a good mood into a great mood. Once you've got the hang of these techniques, I'm sure you'll come up with plenty of your own!

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