If someone were to ask me on August 29, 2017, “Brandon, have you set your priorities straight?” I would have told you, yes, but from the outside looking in it would seem for all the wrong reasons.

I had a great run that morning and really enjoyed the clearing of my mind to start the day. My key goals were going to be met. Fitness. Check! Meditation and reflection. Check! Prayer. Check! Get to work and knock out that big project. That’ll be a big, fat check! I was living the dream.

Then Life Hit

I got a FaceTime call from my daughter. Well, I missed the call actually. There was a text message that caught my attention. It just said that I needed to call her back and it was urgent. I rarely believe the urgent part, but I always respond. She is my baby girl after all, daddy’s little girl.

The FaceTime call connected, and she told me that she passed out and was not feeling well. I will spare the details. I rushed to get my daughter, her mom, and also picked up my wife, then got her to the children’s hospital. My list of priorities at work were slipping further and further away from me, and I did not care about that at all.

My daughter needed me, and everything else could take a backseat right this moment.

Have You Set Your Priorities Straight?

I had a huge day planned with important meetings on a vital project for our company. I dropped it all because people matter more than projects.

Long story short we had to see a pediatric heart specialist and that sucked. By the end of the day, my plan was completely out the window, and to this day that is okay. I was where I needed to be with my family.

We talk about planning, being focused and working hard towards a goal a lot on Beyond the Rut. It’s easy to get so caught up on goal achievement that we lose sight of our best priorities in life.

When you have set your priorities straight for yourself, then you are equipped to make a decision you won’t regret.

Yes, I had goals for the day. When my daughter called me, I immediately remembered that God may have had a whole ‘notha plan. Since my list of priorities included God, my wife, then my children in that order, there was hardly any struggle about where my work fit into that scenario.

Some of you may have been faced with a similar situation. A family member needed you in a pinch, but you had a meeting with a top client or executive. You have not been feeling well, but you keep going not the office when you should probably go to the doctor.

Maybe for you it is something as simple needing a vacation, and you’ve racked up enough vacation time that you stopped accruing more hours.

Examples of Priorities in Life

Here is a list of priorities to consider for your life. How would you rank them as you set your priorities straight? What would you add to this list?

  • Spiritual life – prayer, meditation, reading of scriptures
  • Priorities in marriage – date night, boundaries, sharing duties at home
  • Raising your children
  • Fitness – the type depends on you
  • Writing a book
  • Going back to school
  • Getting that promotion at work
  • Work – earning an income
  • Travel
  • Leisure – reading, gardening, hammock camping

Is there something good in your life getting in the way of something great when you look at your list of priorities? Be open to dropping the good for the great. Be open to the opportunities that you may not see at the start of the journey.

What was the opportunity for me?

The situation I shared with you was an opportunity to show my daughter how much she mattered to me. That is what a father is supposed to do. My connection focused on her. I was present for her, my wife, and my daughter’s mom (aka my ex-wife.)

Medical emergencies can totally refocus you on what matters. I don’t wish that upon anyone, but I will leave you with this. How would families change if more men worked hard to move beyond the rut of being disconnected at home?

If you took the time to set your priorities straight, how would your life look five years from now?

By Brandon Cunningham

Set Your Priorities Straight Because Sometimes Your Plan is Useless 
Beyond the Rut