First Things First


We live in a mad, mad, mad world – and unfortunately, the madness is usually of our own making.

I’ve been feeling a bit mad the past few weeks, as I juggle being a tour operator, a lawyer, a travel agent, and a tour guide (take pity on the guy who does my taxes), as well as just being a human who needs to eat, sleep, exercise, and even, occasionally, have contact with other human beings. There are so many things on my To-Do list right now that there’s no feasible way I can get them all done in the timeframe I want to. Until I master time travel and/or magic, I have no choice but to prioritize.

Prioritizing is both difficult and inevitable. Our time, our money, our attention, our goals: all are at the mercy of our priorities. Even travel isn’t immune; if you want travel to be an important part of your life, you have to prioritize it, both in terms of time and money. And then, once you prioritize travel, you have to prioritize destinations and experiences. Even I occasionally have to concede that other things take priority over travel; I also recognize that other trips are going to take priority over Antarctica (fingers crossed it hasn’t melted by the time I get around to it).

Sometimes even more difficult than setting your priorities is letting go of the things that didn’t make the cut. I can acknowledge that first I have to do A, and then I have to do B, and then I have to do C, but it still stings a bit when I realize how long it’s going to be before I can do Z. Patience becomes an indispensable virtue here. That, and not being too hard on yourself for only being able to accomplish so much in the time you have.

As challenging as it is, priorities are essential if we want to get stuff done. What we don’t give priority to, will very likely never happen. And if we don’t stop to make some tough choices, we’ll drive ourselves absolutely batty trying to do everything at once.

If I have to choose, I’d rather be a little slow than a complete Mad Hatter.


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