The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. Steven Covey

Do you Keep Track of Lincolns or Franklins?

Today’s newsletter is about priorities, but let’s begin with a perhaps surprising bit of money trivia. Can you get all of these correct?

Who is on the US penny?

The US nickel?

The dime?

The quarter?

The 50 cent piece?

US paper dollar?

The US $5 bill?

The $10?

The $20?

The $50

The $100?

The answers are as follows: Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, Washington, JFK, Washington, Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant, Franklin. How did you do?

Imagine a person who leaves Grants and Franklins lying around, but carefully locks up metallic Lincolns and Jeffersons? If that person weren’t a rare coin collector, we’d be forced to acknowledge that such an individual is either eccentric or has their values and priorities confused. On a monetary level, such behavior would be hard to understand or justify.

OK, we all get that a $100 bill has more value than a penny or nickel. And frankly, none of us have ever met a person who would behave so strangely. But let’s apply this principle to other life endeavors.

Most of us would consider our spouses and family members to be the Grants and Franklins in our lives. Valued friends might be seen as Hamiltons or even Jacksons. Work colleagues? Perhaps Washingtons, be they coin or currency. We “drop a dime” on evildoers and “don’t give a nickel” for strangers or unimportant issues. And so it goes.

In past newsletters I’ve written about the concept of congruence. That term posits that congruent individuals are those whose behavior matches their values. Congruent persons put family and partner first, while incongruent men and women curry the favor and seek the attention of acquaintances and even strangers.

We live in an imperfect world and we are the imperfect inhabitants. We all may occasionally lose our way, congruence-wise. But what is the goal for any of us? Congruence, of course.

Homework :How do you invest your time? Hopefully, it is with the Grants and Franklins in your life.   Turn to your cell phone, the flower shop, or simply convey a cuddle.

If it I important to you, you will find a way; if not, you will find an excuse.