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Values & Priorities

Written by Clarissa Rice

I am fond of saying that much of our lives are our choice. The fact that we have so many choices is both good news and bad news. Good news, because we can control a lot of what happens to us, and bad news because we are responsible for what happens to us. Many of us would like to believe that “luck” or “fate” plays a bigger part in our lives than personal choices.

How do we make choices? We make choices based on our personal values and/or a desire for good consequences or the fear of bad ones.

All of us have a set of personal values, mostly acquired early in life which helps guide our choices.

These values are persons, things, ideas, or beliefs which are very important to us. Keep in mind that not all people have the same values. A person’s culture, upbringing, and historical time determine what their values might be.

Regardless of our personal values, there comes a time in a given situation when more than one value needs to be considered and we have to choose to prioritize one over another. Priorities are the rankings that are assigned in time and order of importance to a choice.

Priorities often change unlike values which often remain fairly constant.

As we grow and mature, setting priorities become more important in selecting choices. We can experience a lot of stress if we fail to distinguish what is most important in a given situation at a particular time. Naturally, our priorities will change for different situations at different times in our lives.

To achieve the best outcomes from our choices, know your personal values and be willing to prioritize the best one for you at that particular time.