What’s Most Important in Life? (A Quick Test)

Have you ever wondered what you should be doing in life?

I don’t necessarily mean a grand ten-year plan or a possible career option, though that sort of thing is nice to figure out too.

I mean, of all the things you could be doing today or this weekend, what’s the most important that should be worked on? How can you decide where your priorities should lie?

Well, one way is by what we choose to do with our time and our money – we are showing where our real priorities lie in how we spend our minutes and our dollars.

But when we examine our lives, we may find that we may not be spending time or money on the right things; the most important things.

Here’s a quick test to figure out what’s most important in life: the more important something is, the less it can be delegated.

Let me give you some examples:

You can pay for groceries to be delivered to your house, for meal plans to be created for you, for meals to be shipped to your door – but you can’t pay someone to eat for you. Or to lose weight for you.

You can pay for a nanny or a baby-sitter or a daycare to watch your kids – but you can’t pay someone else to love your family for you. To create family memories together for you.

You can pay a travel agency to design the best possible trip experience for you – but you can’t pay someone else to take your vacation for you.

You can pay for a gym membership, buy exercise equipment, or pay for training videos online – but you can’t pay someone to get fit, trim, and athletic for you.

You can make all anti-bucket lists you want, read up on how to overcome fear, live courageously, and envision a future of confidence – but you can’t have someone else overcome your fear for you. (Yes, I know there are tools to help you – such as cognitive behavioral therapy and self-hypnosis apps and other resources – but in the end, you still have to do the work.)

Try this test sometime, when you are deciding what to do. Is this something that can be delegated? Is this something that can be ignored without consequences?  If the answer to both of these questions is ‘no’, then what will your first step be towards working on that thing?

And beware of ‘productive procrastination’: for myself, I often find that when I know I should be doing something that I don’t want to do, or don’t want to face, I suddenly find great interest in getting other things done. It’s not to say those aren’t important too, they just aren’t the most important thing. The thing I know I should be doing. Perhaps I need to have an important conversation with someone. But I’m afraid that it will be awkward or not turn out well, so I find an unexpected passion for doing two loads of laundry and cleaning my room instead. All the while I know I am avoiding what I should be doing. The solution in this case isn’t more avoidance, and it’s not more lists or research, or excuses. I just need to stop procrastinating, stop being afraid of ‘what *could* happen and what *might* be  – and have that conversation.

We can be so self-deceptive at thinking we are doing things well, while ignoring what’s truly important. Neglecting relationships, health, spiritualty, productivity, emotional health, etc. And if you think you are alone in doing this, you aren’t. But it’s time to take back our lives and our time and our decisions, rather than being passively active. Or productive procrastinators.

Everyone has the same amount of time in a day. But we don’t all have the same numbers of years in a life. No one knows what the future will bring. All we have is this moment.

Are you making the most of it?

Are you doing the most important thing you should be doing?

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