Your Actions Express Your Priorities

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Before I ever heard Gandhi’s quote “your actions express your priorities’”, my mentor once said, “if it’s important to you you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse” (I am sure someone should be credited with that quote but I do not know the first person who actually said it.).  I love both of these quotes and find them to almost always be true.  People who are committed to things or causes in their lives, whether it is their family, their health, their career, their pets, will always find a way to live up to those commitments and those who are not will typically find an excuse. 

How we express what is important to us is by making them our priorities; as Gandhi said, it’s our actions that express our priorities.   I heard a fabulous example of this last week that is definitely worth sharing and inspired me to write this blog post. My co-author, Julie Simmons and I were doing a presentation about some of the concepts in our book, Letting Go Of The Status Quo, and Julie was sharing how she creates space in her life to nurture herself.  Despite the fact that she is running a highly successful HR consulting company and has 2 ½ year old twins, she makes time for herself, to nurture and care for herself.  Julie shared that people always ask her, “how do you find the time to do that with all you have going on in your life?”  Julie’s response is, “I don’t find the time. I make the time. I have the same 24 hours in my day as everyone else so if I want to do something for myself, I have to make the time”. 

This is a perfect example of what Gandhi said and my mentor told me – Julie’s actions express her priorities.  She knows self-care is important to her well being so makes it a priority and demonstrates that with her actions, by making (not finding) the time to nurture herself.  She finds a way because it is important to her and also supports her in being able to successfully care for her family and run her business.    

Listening to Julie made me think about the things I say are important but don’t take action on or make a priority in my life.   It’s definitely true that actions speak louder than words. I can say that I need to get more sleep until the cows come home but until I start taking the actions that make getting more sleep a priority, it won’t happen. 

It’s the same with anything in our lives – what do you want to start expressing as a priority in your life?  What is so important to you that you will make a way for it to happen in your life instead of making an excuse?  I think we should all take Julie’s advice: stop making excuses about not being able to find the time to do things and instead make the time for what’s important to us. 

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