How to decide what to do in life and prioritize yourself

Who I am
Louise Hay

How to decide what to do in life? What action to take? How to prioritize? I think that these are somewhat problematic and insidious questions to which we try to give an answer. The truth is, we often find ourselves in situations where we don't have the faintest idea what to do. In fact, there may be numerous occasions - both at work and in private life - in which indecision assails us, confusing our ideas and preventing us from establishing the next steps to take.

In this article, therefore, I intend to give you a series of suggestions on how to decide what to do in life and what actions to take. First let's clarify one thing: being very busy and busy does not automatically mean doing what is important, necessary or decisive for our future. Indeed, it often happens that we dedicate all our time to urgent matters while neglecting the really significant and important ones. If we are overloaded with daily commitments and tasks, if we are "too busy", it is very likely that we are overshadowing something more important. But let's see how you can prevent this from happening.

Tomorrow I will be what I have chosen to be today.

James Joyce

How to decide what to do in life

# 1. Pay attention to your surroundings

Any effective action begins only after paying close attention to the surrounding world. Analyzing what surrounds us is an invaluable ability to grasp a series of "details" and have more elements to understand what to do in life. Since we cannot do everything we want or should do, we are forced to choose an action to carry out by renouncing all the others. This is why it is essential to establish priorities. Ask yourself if the priorities you've set yourself during this time genuinely reflect what's really important to you. Are they consistent with your goals? Paying more attention to the environment around you can be a stimulus, inspire you to take a particular initiative and give you the impetus to do something new or different.

#2. Identify your goals

Asking "what is my goal?" it is undoubtedly a great way to check if what you are doing is really what you need to do. What do you care most about? What legacy do you want to leave? As already suggested in another article, there are a number of questions you should ask yourself for find your goals in life. The problem is that we often find it quite easy to dedicate ourselves to what we like; while it is much more difficult to shift interest and focus on what we know we need to do. I'm not saying that you have to give up hobbies or that flexibility that sometimes leads us to distract ourselves and feel a momentary serenity; I just say that it is necessary improve on the self-discipline front, a very important habit to decide what to do in life.

# 3. Reflect on your life

Has it ever happened to you that you were the protagonist of an episode in which you believed that you did not do anything wrong or out of place, but then on reflection you realized you were wrong and you apologized? No one is perfect: I therefore deduce that the answer to this question is "yes". Or again: Have you ever given a rash answer and realized that you could have used different and certainly more effective words? Here, these are examples of how a reflection can help us understand what is best or necessary to do. However, many of us have such a hectic existence that we don't even have time to think. So we move from one commitment to another without even stopping to evaluate what really matters. And the less we think, the more we fail! My advice then is to ask yourself questions that stimulate reflection: “What is the impact of my actions on the surrounding world? È Is this really the most important action I can take now? Are my choices consistent with my values? Is there a better or kinder way to do the same thing? ”. Give yourself some reflective moments, a vacation or even a short retreat in a place where you can just be alone and think. Distance helps to see things in a different perspective, certainly clearer, and opens up new perspectives. In conclusion, look carefully at the big picture of your life, reflect on it and decide accordingly what to do (or not to do).

# 4. Distinguish the urgent from the important

We must now consider another factor: the difference between what's urgent and what's really important. We often make the mistake of dedicating ourselves to what is urgent, because it has a deadline, while we postpone what does not have particular deadlines, even if it is a very important activity for our personal growth. Unfortunately, urgent commitments can be so many and follow one another so quickly, one after the other, that we no longer have the time to dedicate ourselves to the most important tasks. Think about what's really important to you, regardless of the urgency. Ask yourself, "What really matters to me?" Even if these are long-term goals, which require a lot of time and many sacrifices, it is essential to start dealing with them right now, with concrete actions. Get active right away, start taking the first step today. You cannot live just thinking about solving emergencies; you would waste your existence!

# 5. Take risks

Most of us have a life that tends to maintain the status quo. We continue to live in the same house and do the same work. Even in our free time we continue to indulge in the same hobbies over and over again. Maybe we even spend our holidays in the same place every year. But what happens if you continue to live only familiar experiences and avoid the unexplored? In this way life stops being an exciting adventure and everything becomes safer, but also boring and obvious. Unfortunately, we live in a society that pushes us to never take risks, to be prudent, to insure ourselves, to protect ourselves. Of course, in some cases being on the safe side is good, but if this foresight becomes a constant habit, we inevitably get stuck in our routine, safe but devoid of panache and stimuli. Without having the courage to take risks and get out of your comfort zone, change becomes impossible. So, if you want to know what to do in your life, the first thing is to have a more risk-oriented approach. Giving up security and stability to venture into the unknown and take a risk is the most useful you can do to grow and change for the better! Know that anything significant you do in your life will depend on the risks you are willing to take. Don't be afraid to look for new ways. Even at the level of opinion: develop your thinking mind without ever conforming and undergoing dominant or collective thinking. There is nothing more mediocre than a non-thinking mind, a mind that adapts to common thought, without its own individuality and analytical capacity. Are you willing to dare to discover and reach your goal? There is no surefire way to do this. If you want to learn how to dive, sooner or later you will have to jump into the water! Do you still have a long way to go? So what? What's the problem? The first attempt will probably not go very well, and perhaps the second will not do either. Get used to making mistakes sometimes, and also to the fear of failure and the anxiety that will accompany you during this great adventure which is your personal growth; on the other hand, insecurities and doubts are normal when facing something new. The biggest risk you can take is doing nothing even knowing you have to do something. At this moment it may not seem so serious to postpone some important project but, when you reach a point in your life where you can no longer do anything, you will look back with regret on everything you have not done, on those meaningful goals that you have always put off. If you have a great project, a project that you feel is important, something that stimulates you and ignites your enthusiasm, even a passion, then start getting busy right away. Daring to act is the greatest power you have at your disposal; don't waste it!

Recommended book

If you need to learn to make decisions, and to take risks in life, I recommend what - in my opinion - is a literary masterpiece on the topic: Learn to take risks. How to make right decisions by Gerd Gigerenzer. Here is the synopsis of the book.

Do you remember the junk mortgage disaster? Or mad cow disease? Many of us have been ruined by the collapse of our investment funds or have been terrified of devouring a nice juicy steak. In this age of supercomputers and overabundance of data, we like to think that our ability to accurately predict the future is the best of all time. But it is only illusion and prejudice. Gerd Gigerenzer, who knows a lot about risk, shows us that having more information does not always lead to making the right decisions. Often the best results are obtained when we take into account less knowledge and follow our instincts. Using very simple rules, each of us, without consulting the expert, the supercomputer or the crystal ball, is able to make sensible decisions in matters of health, finance and other vital matters. This rehabilitates the overly maligned "intuition".

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