Growing up, my father sometimes sounded like a broken record. “Siempre hay tiempo para todo.” Is what he used to say, translating to: “there is always time for everything.” I have countless anecdotes where both my father and mother taught me very valuable lessons. Yet, this one… this one always stuck.
It’s amazing that at age 6, my father was already teaching me time management. He used to tell me to write down the things I had to do, and create a schedule. Obviously, at the time it wasn’t “time management”, it was just a thing where it interrupted all my “play-time.” For me, this was a total drag. I didn’t understand the importance of writing my day or even week events by the hour, and this happened a few times, but it served as a lesson no doubt about it.
Later on I understood that there is always time for the things that MATTER. The things that matter are those that are most IMPORTANT to you. These things… they are called priorities.
Priorities are anything that help you accomplish a goal you have set for yourself. At least, that is the way that I view it. One must place priorities above all other things. If they are placed at a position where they are equal to the rest, then they stop being a priority. One’s focus will be shared among other distractions and what is important to you, will be affected negatively. As a teenager my priority was baseball, and from time to time I would forget due to friends, parties, etc. Thankfully, my dad would give me a scary and firm reminder when I would steer away from the tracks. Trust me when I say scary, I would get home thinking I would never see the light of day again.
This meant that if I wanted to accomplish the goals that matter to me, I had to make them a priority. For this to happen, one must do what few are willing to do, sacrifice. I’m not talking about chopping off a chicken’s head type of sacrifice. I’m referring to giving up current pleasures in order to obtain long term success and happiness.
“Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don’t let anyone limit your dreams.”
At times, I felt like I wanted to do a lot of things, therefore I established a lot of priorities. Better said, fake priorities. Things that I found interesting at the moment and thought they were important to me, but in reality they weren’t. My honest advice is to write down the top 20 things that are most important to you. Now, focus only on the first three. Channel all your energy, dedication, and heart to those three things. If you have to, start with one. I promise that accomplishing 1 goal, will fuel you enough to keep conquering the rest. Remember, it won’t always be easy, and distractions will come your way. Establish the level of importance from the beginning and if the importance is not enough where you are willing to sacrifice temporary pleasures, then maybe switch to a goal where you are willing to do so. Hopefully it is something that makes you happy. In Business, the combination of time management, goals, priorities, and love is crucial for success. Yes, love, but that is a different blog post for a different time. Stay hungry, stay tenacious.
Edwin A. Rodriguez
Founder of Financial Tenacity