I find that most people, me included, are skilled at tricking our minds into thinking we don’t have control over the things standing between us and the things we desire. The trick behind it: excuses.
We’re not even very creative with our excuses. Take exercise, for example. Most people who claim they wish to more fit/healthy cite some the following as excuses: too tired today, the weather is not ideal, no budget for gym, no time (this is easily the biggest one). But when you take a moment and think about it, it’s not really about the excuses. If exercise was a real priority, you would’ve exercised even if all the conditions weren’t ideal. But until you take the time to think about what your priorities are, and in what order they rank, your mind will simply jump to the usual list of excuses.
Thinking about your priorities actively, rather than merely reacting to what each day throws into your lap, will not only give you clarity about what truly matters at any given point of your life, but it also makes you face some truths about what you cannot do, because it simply didn’t rank high enough for you to make the time for it. I’ve always said: I wish I could play the piano. In reality, I could start learning, but when I sit down and think about the time investment it would take, I’ve yet to justify prioritizing piano playing over what my current priorities are. Luckily, priorities change with time, so there’s always hope. But at least now I don’t feel that I’m not learning the piano out of laziness, rather it’s the reality that there are more important things for me to focus on right now.
Finally, by repeating priorities instead of excuses, it works as a natural reminder to re-examine those priorities and see whether new priorities should be set, or whether some re-ordering is needed.
The video below by AsapTHOUGHT goes into this with a more amusing description of the problem.