Since you guys seemed to like my post on relationship laziness, I thought I’d do a follow up on prioritization.
Have you ever noticed that people generally do what they want to do? Life is a matter of deciding what’s important, and then spending your time on that. If you’re unemployed and it’s really critical that you get work, then you’ll treat your employment search like a full time job. If your best friend lives across the country and you miss her, then you’ll put aside a weekend to go and visit. If you want to get promoted to the next level, then you’ll take the time to proactively sit down with your boss and find out exactly what you need to do to get there.
I hear from people all the time that they didn’t get to something important because they were too busy, or they forgot. For the most part, I’m not buying this. Technically speaking, with my four jobs, I’m busier than most people I know. Let’s be honest. If you didn’t get to something, it’s because it wasn’t truly a priority, not because you were busy. And if it was really valuable to you, you wouldn’t forget about it.
I’ll admit that when you have children, life certainly becomes less about what you want to do, and more about what you physically can do. But I still think that people with kids can find time for the things that are meaningful to them – if they are willing to put forth the effort.
Lately, I’ve observed that women are more likely to be selfless and do things they don’t want to do, out of a sense of guilt, responsibility, reciprocation, or even love. For example, if my friend needs a crash course in social networking for a presentation he’s giving Monday, I’ll spend part of my precious weekend helping him because I feel it’s the right thing to do. But if I ask that same friend to go to a Genesis concert with me because my husband hates the band and won’t go with me, he won’t be so quick to return the favor. Like my husband, he’s not a Genesis fan, and also like my husband, he tends to avoid doing things he doesn’t want to do.
I don’t know if being like my husband and my friend is a good or a bad thing. I’m interested in your thoughts. What are the pros and cons of focusing closely on your own wants and needs as you go through life, and do you think there’s a gender difference?