I recently watched this 2-minute video on placing your highest loves first, and it resonated with me more than something has in a long time. In the video, David Brooks explains how our loves should be ranked high to low with the most important loves being the highest (e.g. family, integrity, health) and the least important being lower (e.g. work, popularity, money).
When we live our lives with our loves out of order, we fail our hearts and ourselves. One great example for us Americans is work. For some reason, America does a really bad job at balancing work, with the majority of us working 40+ hours/week. Couple that with a job that is stressful, and one you find yourself thinking about outside of work hours, and your work is likely negatively affecting your health and your relationships. In this example, the love of work is placed above the love of relationships and health, even though majority of people would report they value relationships and health above work.
If we want to live the happiest life possible, being intentional about what loves we are placing higher through our actions is imperative. This ranking of loves is another lens to guide towards living an intentional life. Being intentional that your lifestyle and actions accurately reflect your values (or loves) is one of the keys to living an intentional life. For example, I would never work a job which didn't allow for me to practice yoga. That may sound silly, but yoga is my self-care, a large part of my social community, and a practice which keeps my mind and body healthy. I'd also never continue working at a job which left me so stressed it was negatively affecting my relationships with loved ones. If I did, my loves would be out of order, and ultimately, my lifestyle could not make me happy.
This concept is simply a framework to help guide your life. The ranking of loves will be different for everyone, based on values, history, and personalities. For some, money and work may be one of the highest loves. What's important is that we are aware of, and follow through with, prioritizing higher loves. What is important, is living intentionally because so many go through life, simply living without any guidance or intention, and end up in a life which does not fulfill them. What's important is to stay in conversation with oneself, to constantly be assessing whether you are living life according to your values or loves because this may be an ever evolving process based on our ever evolving selves.