“Sorry I just dig down my chats and found yours have not been replied yet”
I received this message out of nowhere from someone, and scrolling up to our previous conversation I found that she was replying my message…. one week before. Literally.
The funny thing is, if I meet her or in a group of people with her inside, she does not look like a person who never opens her phone. Even I would say she may be considered as an active person on phone.
As I had no more business with her that time, I just ignored the message.
The fact that she was digging the message explained how important my message was for her to be replied, which was the opposite of my expectation. I was asking something and I believe it was not difficult to answer because it was not something like “how old is the universe?”. It would have required her to think for only a few seconds but yeah, it happened that way.
“I think I should go back because I have to sleep at 11 PM”
“Woah so early?”
“Minimum 7 hours of sleep what”
“Uh looks easy for you ya. I really want to have enough sleep but I just can’t”
“Why? I also have things to do but I can still have it”
“But you are not taking any CCAs right? You are not taking this right? You are not taking that right?”
She never knows that I have to prepare questions for my juniors back in Jakarta quite often, I cook regularly, I spend at least 3 extra hours per week for my DIP project, I take 90 minutes per day for brain training and language exercise, I go to gym twice or thrice a week which takes around 3-4 hours of time in total per session (breakfast, going there, lunch, going back, shower etc), and I still do gaming quite frequently. It is just that I am not going for this outing, I am not going for that CCAs, or any thing which is useless for me.
If I am asked what is the non-academic thing that I learnt the most this semester, I would say the art of priority. Yes, I consider it as an art simply because there is no right or wrong in it. You make your own priority because you believe in your own version of what is right, and righteousness is relative. I do not say that what the other parties did in the examples were wrong. But from that (and other unrecallable memories) I learnt some points.
Never expect people to have the same priority as you
Everyone lives their own life which cannot be exactly the same as yours, so you can not expect them to have the same way of thinking. This was the reason that I – strangely – did not realize earlier. I was often let down because I expected too much from people, and did not get what I expected. Talking about the first story, earlier similar occassions led me to deactivate blue tick and last seen options on WhatsApp so that I would not wait for people’s reply (well, if it is an urgent matter I should call). If I did not do that, I might have initially expected that she would at least answer my message within a few hours when she got a bit more relaxed. Then I would have ended up being frustrated because she did not reply my message while on the other hand she would have been normal without any problem. The loss would have been in me.
So just take it easy. If you prioritize someone and you would like to see if he/she does the same way, go for it. If he/she does not, just move on and do not think too much. You are wasting your valuable energy.
Nobody is too busy for something important for them
You have an exam coming tomorrow and you have an appointment with a friend to have a coffee tonight. However, you do not manage to finish your revision on time and you decide to cancel the appointment because you still have to study. You do so because study (or maybe grade) is important for you.
You are currently doing a group project and you have an appointment with a friend to have a coffee tonight. However, your group do not manage to finish the work on time; so you leave them in order to meet your friend for a coffee.
Both examples are quite similar, but the decisions are quite different.
You may have argued “but studying for exams is important” (or maybe you meant grade is important), but a group project may also determine your grade.
So let’s approach the first case this way: you want to extend your revision, but you are occupied with an appointment so you cannot do that. It is obviously possible, if the appointment is important for you; and the decision is the same with the second case.
If something really matters for you, you will never be in a state called too busy to add that something in your stack.
Willingness is the key
And if you will never be too busy for something, it must be something inside you that makes you willing to sacrifice.
Once I learn this, I planned to restart my long-gone habits – to read Bible daily – and to start a new habit to make a consistent morning routine consisting of waking up at 6 AM, having a breakfast, and lastly having a brain and language training session (with Elevate, Lumosity, Peak, and Duolingo app). They were both so difficult to be started because I just did not have the willingness to put it as my priority; but when I tried to be willing everything seemed to be easier. Even if I was not able to run my whole morning schedule, I can postpone my training session for instance to be done once I am done with my schedule that day.
There’s an Italian proverb saying volere è potere, literally means willingness is power and they interpret it as “when there is a will, there is a way”. When you are willing to do something, you will put it higher in your priority list and you will be more eager to do it.