In this life we are confronted with many things. Some of those things are expected, some catch up by surprise but they can come from many different directions. For many situations it helps to have clearly defined values, priorities, vision and practice what you want your life to be. Having those simple things defined can help you know, in a split second, what decision you need to make...even when it's a hard decision.
A person can, and does, have hundreds of values. The point of this isn't to list all of them....but three to five of the most important that stand above the rest and will always trump the others. Not always easy to narrow down in the real world but thinking through our non-negotiable values can help us make the right decision. Honesty, integrity, loyalty, respect, empathy, kindness, faithful, etc... Google a list of values...write down the three-five that are non-negotiable for you. The three - five that will help you make the right decision when a hard decision has to be made. Values can change throughout life but knowing what they are and consciously thinking about them can be a helpful guide.
Actions speak so much louder than words. Tell someone where you spend your time and they can easily tell you what's most important to you in your life. Specific priorities can also change but there are typically 'categories' we all have in common. Off the top of my head; Faith, Family, Community, Career, Personal, Social would be a few many of us would have in common. Of course, we need to work to provide for our families and having balance in life is paramount. Some of these also overlap and there are categories and many sub-categories under each one. What are our priorities? We should do our best to make sure what we say they are and where our time is spent is in alignment as much as possible.
Human beings have thousands of thoughts each day. We also have the ability to control some of those thoughts and the vision we have for our life...especially if there's a known event or situation coming down the road. There are many studies that show the human mind doesn't easily distinguish the difference between reality and imagination. We should envision carrying out the values and priorities important in our life. We should close our eyes and put ourselves in events or situations we know will challenge those core beliefs. We should visualize ourselves making the right decision and being successful. We have the blueprint of our values and priorities. Picturing ourselves living it out is a great next step.
Of course, putting all of this together and living it out is much easier said than done. As human beings, practicing what we preach is so very difficult. Nobody is perfect but defining some things that are non-negotiable is a great place to start. Put some those things in to practice and we'll be better tomorrow than we are today...and that's all we can control.