Posted on Feb 21st, 2006

Kenny Werner, in his book Effortless Mastery, describes a test that illustrates priorities in life.

Go to the kitchen and get a plastic bag. Place it over your head, tying the opening snugly around your neck so that no air can get through. Now, let’s count to one hundred. By the count of 50, let me ask you: How important is that bonus you’ve been working overtime to earn. By the count of 60 would you be fretting about the state of your investments? By 80 no doubt you’d be worried about your boss asking for those reports you hadn’t finished yet.

I’m not trying to make light of anyone’s problems, but sometimes we make more out of a situation than we should. Life’s day-to-day difficulties can often overwhelm us to the extent that we can’t see what is really important. If you were to be kidnapped today, I would guess that the company you work for would not go under. In fact, you may be surprised at how little you’d be missed.

There’s a reason why eating healthy meals, exercising, and leading a balanced social/work life leads to a less stressful life and improved sleep habits. It’s because you are taking care of the things that are really important in life: Health and happiness.

If you can get your priorities more in line with what you really want from life, there is a good chance that peace and serenity will follow.

Mark Altman is the webmaster of, the site for free relaxing music, a website containing relaxing music, sleep-aids, stress reducing tools, relaxation advice, and an active discussion.

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