Sunday, 19 September 2021

Life's Ever Changing Priorities

Don’t let pressure and overwork encourage you to hurry past parts of your life. Whether it’s your children’s early life, whole segments of your marriage, or maybe the last active years of loved parents, they are swiftly past and gone beyond recall. Regret comes too late to save them. 

How many people still cherish an unfulfilled ambition to travel, or start their own business, or enter a new career, and yet do nothing to make it happen? Too many. Time passes. What was once an inspiring idea seems less and less feasible. Yet still they cling to the dream — only not this year. Maybe next year, when things calm down a little. When they’re not so busy. When they have the time.

We are so confused about time. We always have the same amount of it, since we can neither create more, nor save any for later, nor do away with what there is. Yet our perception of time is totally different. Sometimes it seems to drag in endless amounts. Sometimes it appears to flash past. Only our perception changes. Time itself does not.

Of course, what we mean is time free from other demands. But we will never have that either. There are always other calls on our attention and always will be. If you’re waiting for that magical day when nothing else awaits you, only your dream ready for fulfilment, you will wait for ever.


The truth is simple. People confuse what is urgent with what is important; what is pressing today with what is pressing in terms of their whole life. A task stands before you and shouts for your attention because it’s here, now, and must be done by tomorrow. So you set aside far more important activities and choices because they’re not urgent. You can do them tomorrow, no matter. Only that tomorrow never comes.

To live this way is understandable — it is how the vast majority live — but it’s neither sensible nor fulfilling. All those unmet dreams and expectations build up, until you enter the later part of life trailing a vast, sad cloud of “might have beens.” So many people today are filled with regret at the opportunities they missed because there were more urgent claims at the time. As they look back, they see clearly those claims were never as important as the hopes they supplanted. Now it’s too late.

To choose a fulfilling path, you must be clear about your values, so you can see the difference between demands that are only urgent, but otherwise have little importance in the scheme of your life; and those that may lack obvious urgency, yet are crucial to who you are and what you want your life to be. You must have the courage to use your time on important matters and set aside what’s merely urgent.

If there’s a dream in your life — something you yearn to achieve, or merely something it would be so much fun to try — don’t put it aside. If that dream is up there at the top (or very near the top) of your personal values, do it now. Yes, now. Don’t wait another day. Nothing is as important to your long-term wellbeing. But if your dream doesn’t make it to the top of your list, set it aside without regret. Like a pretty toy, it may be pleasant to look at, but it’s not important enough to give time to.

Choice may not remove regret entirely — you may always wonder a little what it might have been like — but at least you’ll know you did choose. You didn’t look back later and realize you’d missed that boat without ever grasping it was ready to leave.

Sunday, 3 January 2021

2020 - The Year of Quarantine

2020. A year to set all other years apart. A year to go down in history. Whilst writing this article it was difficult to imagine a time where we weren’t all wearing face masks outside (not the relaxing ‘self-care’ kind) and having Zoom upon Zoom calls, inside. 

We’ve had Ramadan, Eids, Divali, vaisakhi, Passover and Christmas like no other, socially distanced from our loved ones, yet we rose above all odds even whilst in isolation to contemplate on our lives and reflecting on who we truly are. Many literally put their lives on the line to exhibit what can only be considered as selflessness. 

It all started in January where we had heard of the C word affecting hundreds and thousands of people across the globe. Little did we know that two months later we’d be rewriting normality.

Many may feel as if this year has been wasted – with so many WFH (working from home) or on furlough, yet we have developed and adapted to such a difficult year… in the middle of a pandemic. We should give ourselves at least that much credit. We have had to quickly adapt to a completely new lifestyle which we could not have predicted. Alongside this we’ve had to deal with establishing new and different boundaries as well as tackling challenges head on at home and at work.