priority is an afterthought

when choosing a new hobby, setting a new goal, or starting a new plan, it’s easy for the first couple of days. there’s a certain amount of intrigue exuding from any unknown to carry us along at the beginning. but when we hit that one week mark, interests drain like a leaking gas tank. soon enough, we’re stranded wondering if this path we chose is even worth it.

what comes next will depend on how you prepared. did you find a connection between who you are, who you want to be, and the project at hand? if you want to start a book and appreciate the literary community, but don’t personally take pride in adding to it, you’re missing a point in the triangle. if you want to relearn an instrument because you played it in the past, but you don’t get excited envisioning an advanced, progressed version of yourself in the future, then you’re missing a point in the triangle.

i am constantly wishing my priorities were different. from learning more about photography to mixing and mastering more professionally, i’m driven by the idea of growth. even more so, i long for an expertise to give me confidence.

but i’m missing the connection to who i already am in the present. what makes me personally want to shoot impactful pictures? how does a mastered edition of my song fit into my values?

these are the types of questions to ask when browsing for a new year’s resolution or a 30-day challenge. in order to answer them, you must not. first, you have to know who you are.

if you’d like, you can join me in a quick exercise. look down at the floor and mentally list out what’s important to you. the first few will fade from your imaginary chalkboard. that’s okay. those are the surface level values. still very important, but if you want to channel priority, dig deeper.

continue and continue until you begin to see a theme in what you hold close.

here’s a sample of what my words looked like.

music. helping others. hard work. caring. helping those who are hurt. valuing people in the present. being true to oneself. not judging others. ensuring no one feels alone. bringing people together. honest. selfless.

do you see the theme? from what i notice, i want to create a safe space where no one feels alone and everyone can be valued for their expression of self (i sort of cheated because i’ve thought about this before so there’s no need to have something so specific).

reading that last sentence back, i would agree it’s a vital part my wellbeing. if i’m putting that mission aside for anything else, i guarantee i’ll feel guilty about it. i challenge you to find your theme. to weave your values into a collection basket you can draw from. if a situation arose where i could candidly show someone their value, i would. people need to be reminded of their worth. i forgot myself all to often to let it happen to someone else.

that’s where music fits into my life. the lyrics, the atmosphere — it’s reminiscent of my pain because i want to be there with my fellow downers. the burden is much lighter when we split the check.

so how will photography and production skills fit in? i’m going to think on it in my own time (but real quick, vibrant photos of people let them see their beauty and magnificence; polished productions show listeners i care about how they receive the messages i send to them).

just as you should excavate and examine your own goals. priority is an afterthought that arises only after meaning has been established.

stake your claim. follow your values and find your mission. if a goal won’t fit, let it go and find one that will. the fulfillment of your core aspirations will take you much further. 

– D K T


life ends. why pretend

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