How I’m Honoring My Values Even Though I Have Conflicting Priorities

“No matter what kind of stuff you tell the world, or tell yourself, your actions reveal your real values. Your actions show you what you actually want.” ~Derek Sivers

To be successful in everything that I do, I will need to become a productivity superstar.

There’s a book I want to write, a course I want to create, and a chance to work with an award-winning author that has given me endless projects I want to pursue.

These are exciting, but they’re creating a ton of anxiety in my life.


Because they’re at odds with being the kind of dad I want to be.

As an entrepreneur, your greatest resource is time.

Your most precious resource is time.

When I look at the progress I’m making on my work projects, I can’t help but feel like a failure at the end of the week.

It feels like I’m slacking.

It feels like I’m being lazy.

I’ve worked my ass off to get to this point, and now I’m letting it slip through my fingers.

But what’s most important to me?

Willow is my little girl.

It’s a harsh realization to wrestle with because I find my work meaningful. It gives me meaning. I don’t have some bullshit job I don’t care about anymore. Every morning I feel like I can offer something worthwhile to the world. That feels light years away from the guy who didn’t care if he lived or died in his twenties.

I’m not failing to get things done because I’m lazy. It’s hard to believe this. For not taking advantage of opportunities available to me a few years back, I feel like an failure.

Except I’m not experiencing failure, am I?

I’m experiencing what it means to battle with the beast that is priorities.

I might not be crushing it as an entrepreneur, but I’m damn proud of the dad I am.

And even though I feel like I “should” be doing more with my business, it’s not predictive of what I’ll be able to do in the future.

Willow won’t be a kid forever.

Whenever I read a particular Cherokee proverb, it stings with the bite of a rattlesnake because it serves as a reminder of what steals my happiness: “Don’t let yesterday eat up too much of today.” It speaks to where I find myself when I drift back into feeling like I’ll never be productive again.

Whenever I start thinking about what I was able to accomplish in the past and how little it feels like I’ve done since becoming a father, it reminds me that my priorities are different now. But it’s also bringing about a shift in what I think it means to accomplish something with my day.

Each day, we experience emotions that are determined by the thoughts around us. Focusing on what we can’t do creates hopelessness; when we focus on what we can do, it creates motivation and a sense that the world is full of possibility. It is because emotions are so unpredictable that they can cause emotional rollercoasters.

It wasn’t until I noticed that I was putting entrepreneurship and being a dad at odds that I recognized I was the one creating the painful emotions I was struggling with.

The better I can learn to manage my fears rather than react to what scares me, the better I can handle these moments when I feel feel like I’m a failure.

I am justified in my fear. It makes sense that I’m fearful that I won’t be able to support my family if the business disappears.

Is the fear grounded in fact? Not at all.

My clients love to work with me. As I said, the author who was referring to me before stated that one thing she loves about me is my commitment to living up to my beliefs.

It’s okay to be fearful. It’s a natural part of life that keeps us alive. But if we don’t bring awareness to our fearful thought patterns, they will continue to haunt us.

If I don’t admit that I have competing priorities, I can’t possibly expect to experience peace of mind in either area of my life. I am a calm, creative and innovative father and an entrepreneur. Far from stress-based expectations and results, I can now base my worth on how much busy I am.

We’re all farmers in the business of planting seeds. The more pressure we put on growth, the less we’ll see development because we’ll be too anxious to do anything effectively—and we also won’t enjoy any of it. We’ll be so busy worrying about our wants for the future that it will be impossible to appreciate what we have in the present.

It’s a life-changing approach for work and an even more powerful way to parent when we remove the pressure of outcomes tied to a timeline. It is far more important to show up fully and be true to your values than you get results. Then we’re not racing and stressing but creating a sustainable approach that honors All These are the things that bring us joy.

Chris Wilson

Chris Wilson is bipolar and creative, with an eye for personal improvement. His passions include minimalism and productivity. Simplify your Why is where he shares his experiences with type II bipolar disorder, depression and entrepreneurship. A free course was created by him for those who want to live a simpler, happier and more productive life with less stress. You can access it by clicking here

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