Do You Really Understand Exactly What A Priority Is?

As I leaned back against the boulder, I heard that nasty, raspy voice rushing at me from my past, “you better get your priorities straight!” I laughed out loud, with the clean mountain air filling my lungs, and began to wonder how often we all hear similar statements. The clouds continued to drift overhead, and I the feeling of success and happiness grew stronger and more present. My climb to the top of another mountain invigorated my spirit, while my soul felt at ease by this serene, isolated mountain lake.

Lions Lake #1 Below Chiefs Head

Hearing that crotchety old teacher’s voice was my mind’s way of prodding me to be thankful. I had avoided the snare and wasn’t trapped by the illusion that I watch so many suffer under.

We live in a constant haze of a bewildering belief that “having our priorities straight” matters. We hear it from our parents, spiritual leaders, counselors, teachers, spouses, bosses, and pretty much everyone around us. When we listen to ourselves, that word “priority” slips into our conversations. How often have you said something like “my priority today is…”? We simply can’t help it.

As the literary theorist, Kenneth Burke, pointed out, human beings are “goaded by the spirit of hierarchy.” We love to rank order everything that we can. These are my “best” friends. Those are my “favorite” clothes. It is built into our nature to want to make sure that our world gets organized into something that makes sense, and certain things are more important than other things.

The Big Lesson Never Taught

Cranky TeacherBy the time I was thirteen, I had probably heard ten thousand statements regarding the importance of priorities. You did too. Once we become adults, everyone expects that we have some intuitive sense of what our priorities should be. Of course, with that expectation comes the demands that we behave according to what our priorities dictate.

But along this path, something critically important was left out


At this point in time, you might be thinking something like, “well, isn’t that self-evident?” After all, we all know that we need to have the right priorities and to keep them straight. Perhaps I missed it in the course catalog or failed to show up at the right time for the lesson. When did anyone specifically explain what a Priority is?

So I checked in the dictionary, and all I found were circular definitions:

“a thing that is regarded as more important than another thing”

“something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives”

While this might help when I have two or more “things” which I am working to rank order, what I really want to know is

How do I get to the “things” in the first place?

What I want to understand is not “what is a priority” – with a lowercase “p,” rather I want to understand what is a Priority – with an uppercase “P”!

Doesn’t it seem silly that we spend all this time on getting our priorities straight without spending just as much time defining what our Priorities are?

Lost in the swirling fog of modern life with its goals, materialism, quick fixes, and chemically induced illusions of joy, I discovered that they were right. All those statements regarding priorities, as cliche as they sound, are correct. Priorities really do matter. When your Priorities are straight then you can achieve those two elusive, near mythical-states-of-being called Happiness and Success.

The problem is that we just never learned to properly define what a “Priority” is.

A Simple Foundation

To dig deep and to understanding what a Priority is, we first must explore our very experience of life. Once we grasp that, then defining a Priority becomes easy.

First, we must recognize that our lives are guided by three very simple foundational concepts. Understanding these three foundations moves us from the continually circular definition of priorities to nailing down a concrete, manageable, and thoughtful means of defining what a Priority is.

Can you imagine it? What if you answered that raspy voice demanding that you get your priorities straight with a meaningful response that expressed your clear understanding of how life actually functions? Experiencing life through the prism of clear, honest, and balanced Priorities propels us down a path where happiness and success are simply natural consequences of expending a little effort to get your Priorities straight.

Repeat these three phrases with me. They are the basis of how we experience life.

My Whole Mind Paints My Reality
My Connections Create Meaning
My Life is a Flowing Experience

Are you ready to dive in? I want to take you on a journey that will open your eyes to some of the most basic, simple concepts that life had to offer. Ones that have been lost in the stew of this crazy world.

Foundation One: My Whole Mind Paints My Reality

Lost in the haze of modern life is this simple concept that sounds horribly philosophical, but really is not. Your Whole Mind can be artificially divided into two parts: your Conscious Mind and your Subconscious Mind. These two “minds” work together to paint a picture of your world, striving every moment to answer two questions:

What’s out there?

Who am I?

Unfortunately, you are deluged with information and messages that go against your very humanity. You are taught that the world outside of you is the arbiter of happiness, the measure of success, and the reason that your world is the way that it is. You are programmed to believe that what you are seeing on the canvas is actual reality.

The truth is that your Whole Mind is painting a masterpiece that only you can see. Because of your programming, and the bombardment of information and messages that you experience, you’ve forgotten that you’re the one holding the brush. Your reality is being painted RIGHT NOW by your Whole Mind.

Once you grab hold of the brush and activity begin to paint, then you’ll understand the power of your Whole Mind. The outside world becomes what it really is – outside of you. Of course, you are absolutely still part of this world, but you finally get the freedom to put everything where it belongs. You are no longer at the mercy of living a life that is being defined by others. Your reality is yours to define.

Click HERE to read more about Foundation One.

Foundation Two: My Blend of Connections Creates Meaning


Foundation Three: My Life is a Flowing Experience


Unlooping the Circular Definition


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