Define what is a Priority to you
It’s just not yet a priority to you.
I would like to start by stating that there is a difference between catastrophic failure and intentional failure, and here it is. Catastrophic failure means that you truly believe and desire to see the dream you are building come true. It means that you are putting in close to 100% effort. It means that whatever it is you are after, your mind is fully committed to achieving that! It means that you are always thinking about it, devising all means to see it come to light. Here is what I would call catastrophic failure in as far as goal achievement is concerned; that despite all your efforts to realize your goal, something goes amiss! Something you didn’t anticipate at all. This happens often, especially the unseen and probably unpreventable occurrences. It means that what led to your failure couldn’t have been avoided.
Let’s say you have been working hard to take an exam. You have read all there is about the exam, and have tried to answer all likely questions, and that you feel so confident about acing the exam. You have gone ahead to buy the most reliable pen, have been eating healthy and all is well. On the day of the exam, you even decide to wake up early, because you don’t want to be delayed or face any delays. You’ve basically had enough sleep and you are sure the only thing standing between you and passing the exam is the time it shall take to write it. Now suppose on your way to school, you get an accident, and it renders you incapable of taking the exam! This would be catastrophic failure, and there was probably no way you would have foreseen that. You played your part and things just didn’t turn out in your favour.
Here is another scenario that reveals your intentional failure. You know you have an exam to do, but deep down inside your subconscious mind you don’t believe it is that serious. You’ve hardly read and are unprepared. On the night of the exam, all is as usual. On the day of the exam, you wake up as usual and follow your routine to school. You don’t care whether you are in time for the exam or not. You are basically giving the minimum effort necessary for the exam. It is not a priority! The exam is not your priority, even when on the surface of it you seem to indicate that it is (by participating in it or haphazardly preparing for it).
How do you know that something is a priority in your life?
You can easily tell by the amount of effort you are putting in. You can tell by the level of attention your mind is giving to this activity. When something becomes a priority in your life, there is nothing that can stop you from making it a reality. It becomes something you literally dream about, you have pictured yourself achieving it, and you have double checked whatever is necessary for you to achieve your goal. When something becomes a priority, you don’t even care about hunger, or how long it takes, or who is there. All you care about is acing that activity. Many successful individuals ended up quitting jobs or school to go follow activities that became priorities in their life. When something becomes a priority in your life, it starts taking up more and more of your time. These are just some of the signs, but beyond this, you can even feel it, literally!
I have led most of my life making every commitment of mine a priority. If I decide to do something, then it immediately gets on the priority list. I devote myself to putting in as much effort as possible. I stop believing in its impossibility. I put in as much time as possible. I do this all because I want to leave no stone unturned! I do it as if my life depended on it.
At the end of the day, if you keep prioritizing everything that’s important in your life, it eventually adds up to something big. Look deep into your life, and find out those things that seem to be a priority. You shall know them by how much you are willing to sacrifice in order to fulfill them. If they are the things that contribute to the life you desire, continue doing them and forget about those you clearly ‘can’t die for’.
You can substitute the example of an exam with anything; say a trip you’ve always looked forward to. How much would you prepare for it? Or a meeting with someone so special to you. In all these, you shall feel something in your heart, something different from the usual. There is always that one thing you always find time for. There is always that person you always give time despite how busy you are. Those are all examples of what is and isn’t a priority in your life.
So probably the next time someone gives you an excuse, of why they can’t meet you, or why they aren’t doing the things they are supposed to be doing, it’s just not on their priority list. That’s it all, to be honest. Some people will try to be humble towards you, and create all sorts of excuses of why they aren’t doing some things. What they are doing is bringing it soft on you. I mean, would you rather they say, ‘hey look here, what you want me to do doesn’t rank high on my priority list’?
If saving money is your priority, you shall find all ways to minimize your expenditure. If fulfilling your goal is your priority, you shall find all ways possible to get it done! Whatever it is that shows up on your priority list shall get the attention it deserves. So, for now let’s stop pretending that some things are important and yet we don’t give them any time. If your job is important, you shall work hard at it. You shall wake up early to be there on time and make sure you don’t get fired. You shall work hard and eventually earn yourself a promotion and keep progressing upwards. Otherwise, if it’s not a priority, you shall find yourself arriving late, or not at all, and giving excuses why you couldn’t make it. Eventually we lose what turns out not to be a priority in our life.
I cannot over emphasize this; you could subconsciously be making something less of a priority in your life. This means that even things you seem to be physically trying so hard at are not progressing well because your head recognizes them as less important. It could be the reason you are having less morale for some things. It could be the reason why you are not giving it enough time anymore. You need to start making it important in your head first, and then follow that with actions. You need to convince yourself that your life actually depends on it – that’s if you truly believe that! Remember it must feel real to you.