Priorities, please: Invest in the long-lasting | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Priorities, please: Invest in the long-lasting Stock Photo


Priorities aren’t simply what matter, they’re what matter most. They’re what motivate you.

They can be family, your friends and relationships, your work or academics. Your spiritual life, your mental health and physical well-being. When you set priorities, you foster a mindset to put them first, no matter the circumstance.

As a high school student, I have a lot of priorities, especially as the new school year begins. My dreams, goals and aspirations are what drive me to work for them, and sometimes make hard decisions for their benefit. Whatever your priorities are, they help you identify what you live by and who you live for.

What and who you invest your time and effort into will dictate the way you react in situations that concern them. Your ability to say “no” when you need to. Your caliber in shouldering challenges that come in the way of pursuing them.


Like everything else, priorities are also subject to change. Growth is a process, and sometimes change is necessary. A mistake most of us often make is having the wrong priorities at the wrong time, or the right priorities at the wrong time. Whenever you feel burned out, take a step back and rethink your priorities. Are these the people I want to spend my time with? Are these what I should be focusing on? Is what I am putting my time and effort into worth it? If the answer is yes, then keep going.

Priorities are easy to set, but hard to uphold. This is something I myself have struggled with. Setting time apart from my busy schedule to focus on bible study, my academics, organizations or volunteer work often means sacrificing after hours normally spent scrolling on Instagram or hanging out with friends. A lot of people ask why I choose to devote my time to my studies, my circle of friends and organization work over the latter, especially as a teenager among peers who are living the life of the party. The answer is simple. While it’s never wrong to let loose sometimes, upholding our priorities as the purpose of our actions makes it easier to turn down distractions.

We see the vision of the people we want to become and the people we will in turn help because of it, and the things we want to accomplish for ourselves and the benefit of others. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have any fun, but sometimes, we must make the decision to trade shortlived pleasure for long-term benefits. Gratification is never instant, but the benefits will be worth it—and lasting.

Pay off

Take a look at a tree as an example. Once, it was just a seedling. Blood, sweat and tears watered the soil where it was planted, weathering storms and heat and over time, it grew. Its roots embedded in the earth are a testimony to somebody’s hard work and dedication. Its branches that offer shade and fruit are a covenant to how it paid off, and continues to pay off even today, every time someone rests beneath its branches or tastes its fruit.

Like the tree, your efforts will someday benefit somebody: you, the people around you, and the people who come after you. A ripple effect is set into motion by even the simplest actions, by someone who made something a priority and acted on it. We see this in families, businesses and even simple acts of kindness to people around us. When we have sowed the seed, something will grow out of it. In days, months, or even years, the priorities you set will make a difference.

Cliché as it may sound, it’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it. You will undergo challenges in pursuit of your goals, and that’s inevitable. However, when your purpose is in the right place, your thoughts are spurred to action as you strive to make your dreams a reality. And you’ll reap just what you sow, if not more. By investing time and effort in what is worth it, you make sacrifices today, for tomorrow. You strive for the long-lasting, oftentimes sacrificing the temporary, because one day, it will pay off. —CONTRIBUTED

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