One of the most common traits of very successful people, however you choose to define success, is that they have a very clear idea of what is important to them. They understand their priorities, and use them as their guidelines when making decisions. Because their actions are in line with their priorities, they tend to get greater enjoyment out of the things they do.

Most of us, unfortunately, haven’t spent a lot of time reflecting on the things in life that are truly important to us. And because of this, we find ourselves doing things which may seem like a good idea at the time, but really end up compromising our success and our happiness. For example: Working long hours may seem like a great way to get ahead, but if family time is one of your fundamental priorities, the long hours will eventually just lead to resentment. Perhaps you stretch the truth occasionally to achieve a goal. But if integrity is a priority for you, the achievement may not bring you the happiness you hoped for.

Reflecting on what your priorities really are is a great exercise if you’re willing to invest the time. Sit down some evening and make a list of the things in life that are really important to you. Make sure the list comes from the heart – don’t write down the things you somehow feel obligated to place as priorities.

This list can really be helpful in helping guide your decisions and actions. The more the things you do begin to align with the things you feel are important, the greater your satisfaction and success.

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