Recovery Stage 9: The Importance Paradigm

In contrast with the Urgency Paradigm, Stephen Covey talks about the Importance Paradigm: thus, the title First Things First. The key thing is to figure out what your first things are and I’ve recently had to re-evaluate my own first things.

For example, before I would prioritize my dream-building work, like my memoir and other long-term projects. I had justifications for this, namely that they were of greater long-term importance. Then I had the stunning realization that if I don’t work for pay, then my family doesn’t get the things they need. Awe inspiring how brilliantly practical I can be, isn’t it?

Of course, it’s not that I wasn’t working. It’s that I only had so much energy and working on my long-term projects took all of it. When I was healthier I was able, more or less, to do both consistently. When I couldn’t, I chose to do what “mattered,” i.e. the projects that would have the most impact on the world in the long-run.

The unacceptable result was that I didn’t make any money.

The Importance Paradigm, at least as far as I’m concerned, balances the importance of now with the importance of later. Dreams matter. But so does practicalities. By serving both with integrity, everything that is important can be satisfied. It’s called balance.

I’m not there yet, but I keep getting just that much closer.

About Stephanie Allen Crist

Stephanie created and produces in answer to a call from God to use her experiences and gifts to help others. Stephanie is also the author of and two books that can be found on that site. Stephanie strives to share her love, faith, and talents in an inclusive manner to help others who know spiritual pain and who know the bitter taste of the dregs of despair.
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6 Responses to Recovery Stage 9: The Importance Paradigm

  1. acflory says:

    Ugh – you’ve encapsulated my life recently in one short post. I feel we’re travelling parallel roads. My priorities have had to change as well, and there’s a part of me that hates it. I keep thinking that other people manage work, family and writing, so why can’t I? But then I realise it’s not the time factor, it’s the energy factor, and like it or not, at 61 I simply don’t have the energy to do all three. But I think we both know that this trough in our creativity is temporary…right? -hugs-

    • Other people do — or make it seem they do. Yes, but it’s about learning how to make it work for you. It is definitely an energy factor. It’s about finding when your energy is right for the right things and, hopefully, having the flexibility to time your energy right. Different tasks take different kinds of energy.

      • acflory says:

        After spending most of my life as a night owl, I’ve finally had to accept that one consequence of getting older is that my mind now works best /in the morning/. I haven’t quite managed to get up an hour earlier to write, but I’m working on it. 🙂

      • For me, waking up /in the morning/ on a consistent basis would be an accomplishment. Unless there’s buses to meet (for the boys), then I’m usually only up /in the morning/ when I’ve been up all night. And that great thing about meeting those buses is that I can go back to bed afterwards. 😀

      • acflory says:

        lmao – you are a complete night owl! If your eyes glow in the dark I’m grabbing the garlic!

      • Nope, sorry, no need for garlic. I’m just good at bumping my shins.

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