Sometimes you have to do last things first to achieve the things you want. What does that mean? Well, it’s easy to become so focused on all the things we want, that we get discouraged and think it’s all out of reach or unattainable. But, if you were to think backward—beginning with where you want to be or what you want to achieve—and work back from there, the path becomes much clearer and you’ll be better positioned to reach your goals. Thus, doing the last things first.
A large part of this is seeing yourself where you want to be and then working backwards to achieve that goal. As example, your goal might be to own and operate your own independent bookstore. By putting last things first, you envision yourself in your shop. This means that you have a lease, the store has inventory, and you are open for business. You do this exercise backwards until you come to today. And you find something, any small thing that you can do today that helps lead you towards the goal of owning your own bookstore.
In your personal life, it might mean recognizing that you are in a bad relationship or are spending time with a toxic friend or meandering around with people not aligned with your beliefs. This is the moment that you need to do the hard stuff up front. If you don’t see that person in your future life (and remember, you aren’t going to change any one). People aren’t reclamation projects. It’s like the saying that guys enter marriage hoping she’ll never change while women enter marriage believing they will be able to change him.
So … last things first … you need to have the strength, courage, and vision to be decisive about who will still be in your life when your life is what you envision it to be. It sounds harsh, but you may need to change the dynamics of some of your relationships. Each of us has our own goals or desires or paths. Not everyone’s path with reconcile with yours. This doesn’t mean you need to eliminate them entirely from your life (unless it’s caustic or dangerous) but you need to sort and file—as cold as that might seem—to best follow your heart and live your desired life.
Sure there might be folks on the same path. Awesome. But you’ll inevitably find others that you like or care for that have a completely different life path. Be respectful. Everyone deserves the opportunity to follow their calling or at least determine what their calling might be. Sometimes that means letting go. You of them, and sometimes, them of you. Not always forever, and not forever always. You need to be willing to make last things first. If your end game is purchasing an overwater condo in Bora Bora and painting portraits for tourists while your hopeful other half wants nothing more than to operate a ski chalet in Upper Canada, then there needs to be a conversation. Early. Last things first.
Neither person should dramatically change who they are or give up their dreams to stay with someone. That’s a recipe for resentment. Have the talks early. Know what you want and address that for your life early on. That is your path. You’ll find divergents, similars, and inquisitives along the way. But giving up your path to help live another person’s dream (who, by the way, may not have seen the value in your path or it probably would have surfaced) is folly. You’re not on this earth to be a martyr. Mother Teresa spent her life as a compassionate, caring, giving human. But she did so out of a calling. A desire. If she’d have given all that up to help someone open a hardware store in London or start a landscaping business in Saudi Arabia she wouldn’t have been true to herself.
Don’t end up having a bitter break-up because you didn’t have the balls to address your goals. Find that congruent person up front or refile the person that’s your hanging chad. Put you first. Don’t be an egotistical ass, but if you know what you want from life, balance your compromises with your desires. Don’t lose out of the one life (that we know of) that you have. Last things first.
It’s all about the adventure,
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