What are your priorities in life? How do you rank your life priorities? How do you determine what is more important? Are you living according to your life priorities? Is there a universal human hierarchy of priorities? Is it essential to know about it and coordinate your priorities with universal ones? Is it worth living according to an order of priorities and values? I often ask these questions to people sitting in front of me (both online and offline) and who entrusted me with their experiences, existential searches, contradictions, and problems.
First, when I ask such questions, I give people the opportunity to think and write down their life priorities in order of importance, what is essential for them in life, how they spend their time, energy, and material resources. And I get very different answers. Several of them (with the consent of the authors and preservation of anonymity) I present below:
“...parents, health, husband/relationship with him, money” (Jess, 40, married, no children).
“... self-realization, being useful to people, husband, church, children” (Magdalena, 28, married, one child).
“...children, relations with her husband, people around her – relatives, friends” (Maria, 32 years old, two children).
“...financial viability, health, family, happiness, pleasure” (Seth, 43, married).
“... parents, own spiritual harmony, love, vision, interest in life” (Murray, 36, married, one child).
I maintain that everyone has the right to their understanding and choices, but how effective is their life response to these choices? A conversation starts and, as a result, I propose to think about the system of life priorities, which, in my opinion, is the most constructive. Note - I do not impose but suggest reflection. Again, I do not insist on recognizing this system as the best; I emphasize practicality, consistency, and effectiveness.
How to set your life priorities correctly
Before I present this system of life priorities to you, I must make a statement. The paradigm derives from and stands on two crucial postulates:
• the meaning of human life is the constant personal evolution (development);
• the most critical aspect in any person's life is the relationships he /she builds, maintains, cherishes. Everything derives and flows from relationships, through relationships and for the sake of relationships.
Whatever you do, it is crucial to verify if that contributes to your personal growth or improvement of your relationships.
So, I offer you a system of life priorities, a logical sequence that includes the following: Spirituality, Myself, Couple, Family (Children), Work, Everything else (extended family, friends, hobbies, etc.)
Priority # 1 - Spirituality
The first is Spirituality. It is the cornerstone, guiding star, standards, values, moral compass, strength, inspiration, source of life, etc. Spirituality is the most crucial landmark in life priorities! The life of each of us is the product of our decisions and our values. Even without being very spiritual, we feel when we make a mistake and think about the consequences. Why? Because we live in a world where there are universal spiritual laws.
Spirituality helps to develop the most critical thing in every person - inner character, personality traits, a chain of endless victories over oneself. For sceptics, atheists and those oriented towards success, measured by material results and money: both the first and the second choices are the results of internal changes! As Jordan Peterson says: "I am not the best compared to others; I am the best compared to who I was yesterday!" And we change thanks to an effective system of priorities, in which moral standards always remain constant and are the most correct.
Conclusion: neglecting moral laws means refusing personal growth based on the proper guidelines. If following the spiritual laws, you can build the most beautiful, lasting, and productive relationships. Spirituality does not teach bad things!
Priority # 2 - Myself
The second is Me. Yes, yes, it is I / Me with a capital letter! The most important person on earth for us is ourselves. And there is no selfishness in this, except perhaps false. Knowing, respecting, considering ourselves is very important. “Love yourself” means taking care of yourself, listening, understanding your desires, constantly paying attention to maintaining the vitality of your body, mind and spirit. It also means focusing on your continuous growth and development. Why do you ask? A healthy person who knows his worth has a purposeful life and enthusiastic attitude and is happy both physically and psychologically! A content and solid person comes into any relationship (with a partner, children, friends, the world) being full and gives back from fullness. Such a person has the total capacity to relate to others and create strong and fulfilling relationships. But to reach this level, you must always be part of your well-established life priorities system.
Conclusion: neglecting relationships with oneself means being an easy target for external influence, becoming vulnerable for addictions, giving up on your goals (and sometimes never knowing about them), looking for salvation in relationships, and not an opportunity for growth and joy.
Priority # 3 - Couple
The third is Couple. Strong relationships are formed when men and women complement each other. This is a necessary condition to fulfil their purpose. Destiny fulfilment gets better condition in a pair, in responsible, mutual relations. A couple and family life provide opportunities for evolution in interaction - both personal growth as a man and woman and the growth of a couple as a team. "Seeing the other and seeing yourself in the other" implies courage, work, and dedication. Life in a couple gives the joy of being present, giving and receiving recognition, and feeling important. In a couple, the most intimate, the most significant, the most important things happen.
Conclusion: neglecting relationships in a couple means refusing to grow and fulfil your destiny, as well as refusing to live the most important experience of your life.
Priority # 4 - Family
The fourth is Family (children). Yes, our children are only in fourth place, and there are good reasons for this. Children do not belong to us. They are given to us for a while to feed (including spiritually), raise, educate and ... let them go. At the same time, it is the most critical test of life and the most complex job on earth.
What kind of parent will you be?
What will you pass on to the children?
Are you ready to become a MODEL?
Have you become a spiritual person with a solid value system?
Can you, by your example, teach a child to believe in himself, his strengths, and his uniqueness?
Are you like this?
Are you capable of creating a space of love as the primary condition for children's development as a couple?
After all, children learn from what they see. And they know from both of you how you speak, how you value and love each other, what life can be like in a couple and family, how to build relationships with the opposite sex, how to create their future family, etc.
Conclusion: neglecting relationships with children or vice versa, giving up everything for them means failing in the most critical test of life for the role of a parent. It can result in the depending children, unable to live THEIR life in the future. This means subjecting them to a difficult test - to live with the echoes of childhood and pay for them during their entire life.
Priority # 5 - Work
The fifth is Work. It is essential to pay due attention to work and professional activities and include them in the system of priorities. Work gives us scope for development, self-realization, and personal evolution. It is also a condition for success in the outside world.
Work allows us to create resources for our family and meaningful life. Another important aspect - the way we work is an actual example of serving the community for our children!
Conclusion: neglecting work is to deprive yourself of the opportunity to grow through socially significant activities and to deprive your children of an example of how to interact with the outside world. On the other hand, putting work on a pedestal is fraught with the risk of losing other vital areas of life.
Priority # 6 - Everything else
Everything else is extended family, friends, hobbies, social activities, etc. Every person decides what “everything else” can be.
Summary: A person who lives according to spiritual laws, knows his/ her worth and understands the beauty and meaning of life. Being valuable and independent, they can build a healthy, mutually enriching relationship with their partner. In a couple, such people create the conditions for their further growth and serve as an example of a healthy, correct, happy relationship to their children (children learn what they see!). Being comfortable and content in personal life, a person is more effective in his professional field, giving better results, making a greater contribution to the world, and increasing material resources for life and family. A holistic, spiritual, dynamic and engaging person who knows how to live harmoniously in a couple, constructively educates children, is successful in his/ her field of activity – being full of strength and attractive to people!
And the last. In my opinion, such a hierarchy of life priorities provides the FULLNESS of life that everyone desires.