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The Five F’s: How Your Priorities Determine Your Life

Marten Bjork, Unsplash

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse”. – Jim Rohn 

I first discovered this quote in college. At the time, I recall physically nodding my head in agreement. I still revisit it occasionally, and each time, it brings new meaning.

If you’re anything like me, relinquishing control of life is difficult. I am a planner and a doer to the core, and when things go awry, it troubles me. So while my type-A tendencies can be a simultaneous strength and weakness, I’ve also embraced the power of flexibility. As the years have progressed, I’ve sought to remind myself that for all the things I can’t control, including the outcome of any given situation, I do get to control my attitude and effort. That’s it. For all the gray areas in life, all the uncertainty and curveballs that can and do come my way, that is, without question, black and white. In turn, I’ve been able to more clearly define my life’s priorities. 

“Hurry Sickness” and the Power of Choice

Phil Desforges, Unsplash.

We are faced with making choices on a daily basis. Our lives are busier and more demanding than ever, and as we’re barraged with information, things become overwhelming in a hurry. This concept (and demand) has been named “Hurry Sickness”, which is, by definition, “a behavior pattern characterized by continual rushing and anxiousness; an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency.”

Personally, that frightens me. Mostly because I know I buy into “Hurry Sickness” more than is healthy, which creates a false illusion of achievement and satisfies my inner completionist. But lately, as I’ve entered a new and enlightened season of life and reflected on how I want to spend my time, I have sought to slow down, think deeper, and truly relish each moment. Doing this (successfully, that is) comes down to my personal priorities and how well-defined they are.  

Clearly Defined Priorities: The Five F’s 

Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash.

Clarity is paramount in determining any priority, which can be a lofty task. In essence, defining personal priorities comes down to making a series of choices. In my own life, my priorities are what I call the five F’s: Faith, Family, Friends, Fitness and Fun. How I fill my days, generally speaking, relates to these things in some form or another. So while the specifics can look different from week to week, the way I choose to spend my time directly relates to these priorities, or some combination of them. 

How to Choose 

For the sake of full disclosure, I simply cannot say defining priorities and upholding their importance in my schedule is always “easy”. It simply isn’t. I am absolutely that person who wants to do it all: travel to far away countries, be involved in charity work, and truly change the world (and that’s just one of several dreams I have). I pull myself in different directions voluntarily, most especially when my curiosity is piqued.

However, I understand with increasing clarity that this is not only unrealistic, but a poor aim. It is bound to fail. If I am spreading myself too thin, I simply can’t be at my best. It’s better to lay my foundation and stick to it by narrowing my focus so I can truly be good to what’s in front of me. If what I want to do on any given day falls into that category, I generally deem it worth my time. This also ensures that I progress towards my goals in the short and long-term and manage my time effectively.

What the Five F’s Mean to Me 

Jared Rice, Unsplash.

The Five F’s are, without a doubt, all the things that fill me up. As I’ve grown into adulthood, they have formed an unshakable foundation and brought me unimaginable joy and gratitude. They have gifted me some of my finest memories and allowed me to uncover my truth. So how do I know I’ve chosen well? 

Because I will always find a way for the priorities in my life that have proven their worth time and time again. Always.

This article was written by our very own Megan Carter. Learn more about Megan here.

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