There are days in life when it is going to be sunny outside. If you want to be outside, you are going to have to plan accordingly to make time for it. The same goes for whenever there is something you want coming down the road. You have to plan in advance to make the time for it and cover all your bases so you can make it to what you find most important. There is always room in your life to fit in things that make you happy. I repeat, there is always room to fit in the things you love. If you don’t think you can make it happen and go somewhere you think you should be, then maybe it is time to reevaluate your priorities. Getting your priorities straight might be the easiest route to happiness.

There will always be more work to do or more errands to run. But there will not always be time for you to spend with your loved ones. Spending time with your grandparents, parents, siblings, or own kids is cherished time — time that brings almost all of us the greatest amount of happiness. We should not neglect this time and replace it with work we think we have to do. Sorry mom and dad, but few things in life are truer than what famous musician Tom Petty said:

“I’ve learned one thing, and that’s to quit worrying about stupid things. You have four years to be irresponsible here, relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember the time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So stay out late. Go out with your friends on a Tuesday when you have a paper due on Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does…”

-Tom Petty

However, this quote doesn’t just apply to college. It applies to your entire life. Your entire life, you will face decisions of whether to miss a family event, your kid’s soccer game, a friend’s birthday, or visiting your grandmother in the hospital for work or some other non-important thing. It unfortunately takes many people the larger portion of their life to realize this and that their priorities were misaligned. They wished they had not worked so hard and had been there to see their kids grow up. No parent who gave up the slightly higher paycheck will ever look back and regret their decision to spend more time being there for their kids. Odds are that when you’re on your deathbed, you won’t remember the work you did, but you will always cherish the memories of skipping work to see your kid’s soccer game or piano recital. Add more of these memories to your life by setting your priorities straight. Having better priorities leads to an exponentially better life. I hope you can recognize the small things and brush them aside to make room for the important things.

The people who supposedly “get it” in life are the ones who have their priorities in line. They are the people who are always at their children’s sporting events because they make note of what is going on. They check the weather. They plan accordingly to make time for the important things in life. They put the rocks first before the pebbles and sand. (If you’re not already familiar with this analogy, I recommend that you read about it here: They live life as you should. A life where the important things come first and small things come last.

In bad times, there wasn’t a single time in college where I regretted staying at home with a friend in in need instead of being at Wells Library. In good times, there wasn’t a single time I regretted being at a party (well, every party) with my friends over Wells.

There are going to be the real emergencies in the hospitals and the mental emergencies where you know you are missing something important. Sometimes missing school or work every once in a while to handle these emergencies is putting the rocks before the pebbles. So, go ahead and make the most of your time and make the ones and things you love your top priority.


Get to know yourself better. Evaluate what gives you the most joy in your life, whether it be spending time with your family or friends, doing your favorite hobby, or something else entirely. Plan your life around all of these big important things and get work done early so you can make it to the great things in your life. Making this a regular practice leads to greater happiness.




Exercise 11


What activities/hobbies give me the most joy?





Who are the people that give me the most joy?


Do I spend doing time what makes me happiest?






How can I add more of this time in my life?







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