I’m going to let you in on a little secret. A “secret” that’s so obvious, it isn’t really a secret at all. And yet somehow we forget about it all the time. Ready? Here:

The only reason we’re “so stressed” and “so busy” and constantly feeling like there “isn’t enough time” is because we’re trying to do too many things at once. That’s it, that’s the reason. And do you want to know why we do this in the first place? It’s because we don’t have a true priority. That anxious feeling of not having enough time is a direct symptom of not knowing what the top priority is, because when nothing is important everything feels urgent, and we spend our lives crashing around from one thing to another thing, checking our email “just one more time” or whatever crazy habits we’ve fallen into to make ourselves feel fulfilled through the trap of “more more more.”

So, listen, it’s probably time for a reality check. Do you know what your actual priority is? Have you clearly identified, for yourself, which one single thing is more important than everything else? And then, after that, have you taken it one step further and looked at your day-to-day behavior to see if the way you’re acting and the way you’re spending your time supports your top priority? And finally, if your daily actions don’t support your top priority, what are you going to do in the next 24-hours to change that?

Tough questions, but like I said: reality check.

I had this exact reality check last week actually, and believe me, it was intense. Here, let me share the details with you.

About two weeks ago, I flew up to Portland for five days for the World Domination Summit. It’s an event I love – I gave a 5-min talk about running there in 2012 – and this year I was scheduled to lead a 100-person 5k fun run around the waterfront as a kick-off for the weekend’s festivities. All fine, all good.

But that’s the thing with having a mood disorder – it’s all fine and it’s all good, until it’s not. Something about that trip (traveling in general, being in a new place, the fact that I’m always more manic than usual during the summer, anxiety about hosting the 5k – who knows) launched me into three nights of insomnia, and nothing triggers mood episodes for me like not sleeping. So, I spent my entire time in Portland being more or less crazy (filled with frantic energy, racing thoughts, pacing around all night, unable to slow down inside, flipping back and forth between agitation and laughing hysterically at everything, unable to stay still) which crashed me into a five-day comedown last week. I’m feeling back to normal again, thankfully, and all things considered it wasn’t too bad, but it was the warning shot I needed to make my mental health my top priority.

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