Fixing Your Broken Priorities

As we work to define and refine new goals, it’s critical that we ensure they matter. There is nothing weaker than a list of goals about which we are not truly passionate and committed. Let me show you how broken priorities look:

Priority 1 — Priority 2 — Priority 3 — Priority 4 — Priority 5 — Priority 6 — Priority 7

Did you see it? How broken those priorities are?

Broken priorities are a long list of parallel priorities that will inevitably fail because they ARE AT WAR. Time will always launch violent battles of one against they other. And then the choices of your priorities become a defacto win-lose outcome wherein no matter what good you do in a day, you have amassed a larger list of LOSSES in your priorities than you have with wins.


To define priorities that you can achieve with success you need to end the word with Y. One priority, not many warring priorities.

Do you know why so few people succeed at doing this? Because defining one macro priority requires deep self reflection and the discipline to make tough choices. As you whittle down your many ideas into fewer aspirations, and filter those goals with the practical limitations of space and time (including the realism of the limited number of minute left before you die), you begin to see we cannot do it all and we need to refine our reason for investing time in one goal vs. another. I liken this to how I feel every time I enter a bookstore. I want to buy all the books, and I want all those books to draw me into every new hobby and area of interest they describe, but that desire could leave me making shallow choices that dilute my time into meaningless distractions. As I read about travel and hobbies and more, I must know myself and what matters to me at this phase: Right now, time with my sons is what matters most, and doing thing with or for them that will positively impact their memories of their youth. And when I look at how I filter what is worth doing with or for my sons, I’m most passionate about things that share a piece of me with them, so there is a sense of legacy in whatever I’m doing. At the core, LEGACY FOR MY SONS is my priority. So whatever I do with my time, the top-level filter I have for anything I’ll commit to is “does this strengthen the legacy I leave for my sons.”