As you work to be more intentional about how you live your life, and as you take the time to ask yourself “who do I want to become”, you will often find that the answer to the question changes over time. Your priorities will shift as you grow and mature. Just as your interests change, so will your ultimate goals.
Dreams have a way of changing, don’t they? When you were a kid, did you have one of those “Who do you want to be when you grow up” assignments? You might remember the cute answers—such as astronaut, ballerina, and president—but would you have answered that question the same way as a high school senior? Of course not. You changed. You grew. You matured. And so your dreams changed as well.
How many people buy their dream home in their 30’s or 40’s only to later downsize and sell that home when they become empty nesters? How many friends and colleagues do you know who are working in a field completely unrelated to their college degree, or who have gone back to school for training for a new venture?
Shifting your priorities may be more of a practical matter than anything else. Maybe you’ve learned during your goal setting process that your values haven’t changed, but that the way you lived your life didn’t show it. You now see that your priorities—those practices in your life you give the most weight—must change in order to take you forward toward your goals. Unless you wrote down goals that were achievable through the steps you were already taking in day-to-day life, it’s certain you’ll discover the need to shift priorities.
One of the things you’ll learn to be true about leadership is that, if you’re truly an effective leader, you become an instigator of change and innovation. Otherwise, why would you need to be a leader? (If your focus is to keep the status quo, then you’re just a manager, not a leader.) If you’re a leader, you’re always striving to be better and encouraging those around you to go further today than they did yesterday. Change is inherent if you want to avoid stagnation.
Here are 5 Questions to Ask to Discover if You Should Shift Priorities
- Do my shifting priorities match my core values?
- Will my shifting priorities help me achieve my goals?
- Have my ultimate goals and dreams truly changed, or am I giving up?
- How will shifting my priorities affect those around me, especially those whose care I’m responsible for?
- Am I shifting my priorities due to greed, envy, laziness, or due to mature growth on my part?