Prioritizing Oneself



There are many people in this world working jobs that they do not enjoy. They believe they are at the mercy of their employer and must complete every task that is ordered of them. This may start off sounding like this will be another piece of advice to quit your job and then follow your passion. However, it is not.


There are many people working jobs that really need the employment. They may be the sole earner for their household, supporting a sick relative, etc. To these people, I think they are heroes and are doing what is necessary given the current situation.


There is another type of person in my mind. They are the person who may not absolutely need the job that they are in so they would likely be just fine if they switched professions or their place of work. However, this does have risk and if they have responsibilities to provide for then I can understand why some people may not be willing to take the leap.


Finally, I would agree that most people thinking that they have no other options might just be too afraid to doing something about it. These people should visit my 'quote' page and soak in the words that are attributed to Tim Ferriss. But, like I said, this post is not about that portion of people's journey.


I want to take you back to a time where you felt like you had to do something that you didn't want to do. Or, maybe a situation where you are completing tasks all day on something that doesn't seem to be the main priority and before you know it, you've spent your day doing seemingly nothing. If you cannot think of one then try to imagine how you would feel in a moment like that.


I imagine myself feeling a bit discouraged. I might feel like my life and priorities are being dismissed. I would guess most of these tasks are probably other people's priorities which could lead to anger as well. Whatever the feeling is, it is not a pleasant experience to feel like we are working hard with nothing to show for it or the feeling of not prioritizing yourself.


I propose that the issue isn't necessarily with the place that you currently work. But maybe, it is actually related to how you let yourself be treated. The anger, resentment, and stress to do these meaningless tasks are largely sourced from pressure and demands that you put on yourself. Even in the situation when the "order" was given from someone else, you still have to make the decision to do it. Truly, you do not need to do anything you don't want to. Now, if you need to keep your job then there may be times that you will need to sacrifice. I also will add that you likely encounter some unpleasant situations when you start to say no to some tasks. But, my argument is that we sacrifice ourselves far too often. I think that the risk of making other's unhappy at times is worth our life and priorities.


Marcus Aurelius put it this way, "Frame your thoughts like this - you are an old person, you wont let yourself be enslaved by this any longer, no longer pulled like a puppet by every impulse, and you'll stop complaining about your present fortune or dreading the future."


How we choose to react and how we choose to think about a situation is what our reality will be. Sometimes we need to react by prioritizing ourselves. We have to learn to say no to some things in order to do this. There are only so many hours in the day. It is impossible to do everything. We need to think and act in a way that allows us to prioritize ourselves, respect ourselves, and make time to pursue our passions even if it can't be the full time endeavor.


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