If work is your priority, it’s the job that might keep you bound in obligation, but you don’t have to keep it as your highest priority.
Let me explain.
You’re obligated to go to work and make your money to pay your bills. But you’re not obligated to take your work home with you, mulling it over in your head all night, working on projects when your kids are vying for your attention.
Does this make any sense?
Here’s another example.
Sarabeth and I have become quite addicted to this game I downloaded called “Subway Surfers.” It’s a brilliant game where you’ve got to keep your little guy (a juvenile delinquent) from being captured by the security guard who is chasing you through a train yard. Sarabeth and I are constantly trying to top each other’s score by how many coins we collect. (I won’t make a big deal of it, but I was the record-holder of 463 coins until she beat me with 560. She held the record for two minutes before I came back and topped her score with 863 coins, which is the total to beat now.)
But sometimes our seven-month old daughter needs attention while I’m busy jumping trains and dodging roadblocks.
And during those moments, I must decide what my priorities are. Sadly my priority is usually to finish the round with as many coins added to my score so that I can gloat to my wife. This usually includes laughing and pointing and dancing around her like a big baboon as she buries her head in her hands in shame. After all, the baby will still be there, right?
But in those moments, I have a choice. I have full control over my priorities. I have the authority to make a quick shift in my mind, swapping my gaming priority with baby-time. I may not want to necessarily, but that’s not the point, is it? The point is, my daughter needs me, whether I like it or not.
I may be at 792 coins, but if my daughter needs me, it’s my responsibility to forfeit the game and tend to her needs, or respond to my wife when she’s asking for my attention (even if she’s just trying to distract me from getting a higher score!).
We may not be able to control everything in our life, but we can always control, and change, our priorities. And that can make all the difference in the world to the people around us.