Prioritize Yourself

Last weekend my son participated in

an online quiz which opened to participants only at 10.30 pm. He was at it for two consecutive nights and at 11.30 pm on Sunday when he was competing in the final levels, he asked if he could take off from school and sit through the night completing the quiz instead. I was surprised at his request because he had a computer test at school the next day.

 To be honest, I was stumped.

I could see that he was deeply engrossed in this quiz and winning it was really important for him. And yet, so was giving the test at school. What was the right guidance to give him, I wondered?

On introspecting I realized that too often we also

get caught up in doing things that are important for our material success and de-prioritize our health and personal well being. We are so busy chasing what to some may be survival and to others success, that we completely ignore giving attention to our personal needs.

So we find excuses and complain about

having no time to go for walks or do yoga, no time for the gym, no time to pray or meditate, no time to take vacations and no time to read or pursue a passion. Sometimes we even neglect the mandatory health check up because we don’t have time for it.

The answer it seemed to me lay in finding

a good balance between the two, the drive to succeed and the commitment to our personal well being. And yet there would be times when, like my son, we might be stuck between the things we are in the flow of doing and those that we ought to do.

Clearly at those times we had to use

mental discipline to choose what’s right for us rather than what appears pressing. Should we prioritize the meeting and skip lunch? Should we forego the gym because of the 7 pm dinner invite?  Should we miss the Saturday morning workout because we have to meet some influential guests?

It’s easy to push our well-being aside,

as it seems to pale in importance, but is it really the right thing to do? Probably not. And even though it takes great will power to do what’s right rather than what seems to be right at that moment, it is what a virtuous person would choose.

Examine the areas of your life where you

are choosing to do what appears to be right over what is right. Is your health check overdue? Have you been missing your walks of late? Are you spending enough time with your loved ones? When was the last time you had a lot of fun? Have you missed or skipped a doctor’s appointment? Are you ignoring some discomfort that needs medical attention? Do you enjoy stillness or my time daily? Are you pursuing your passions?

If not, it’s time to do some introspection

and then maybe you will convince yourself to choose differently. Incidentally after I shared my thoughts with my son, he decided to go to school instead of continuing with the quiz. It wasn’t easy for him and he did need some convincing, encouragement and loving support, but he finally saw the logic.




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