“I’d give anything to be a beach bum and just surf all day!”

How many times have you heard (or said) this statement? I’m not sure people realize what phrases like this really mean.

If you say you would “give anything” to (insert dream of your choice here), do you mean it? Would you really give up anything necessary to achieve your dreams?

For example, I would love to take my band on tour. It’s one of my life goals and the source of many daydreams. However, more than I want to go on tour, I would like to pay my bills and save up for a house.

Our actions define our priorities. No matter what we say, it’s what we do that really speaks for our inner desires.

Many people would love to get in shape, but they are just “too busy.” Yet somehow they have seen every episode of The Biggest Loser. Interesting.

Sometimes we hear the phrase, “Their priorities are not in order.” Not true. Everybody prioritizes 100 percent accurately. We do the things we do for a reason. We can disagree with somebody’s priorities (even our own), but everybody prioritizes exactly how they want to.

Everybody has the same amount of time in a day (24 hours). While it is true that some people have more free time than others, nobody has an advantage when it comes to time allotted them.

Some people seem to do it all—they go on road trips, eat at amazing restaurants, swim in oceans, go to school, climb mountains, and even find time to post photographic proof of it all on Facebook.

I hate these people. They have figured something out that I haven’t yet. Maybe it’s just massive amounts of credit card debt. But even so, there’s something to be learned there.

Anyone could be one of those people.

The trick?

Sacrifice.

I’m not saying throw yourself into the bondage of debt for the sake of a good time, but if you really want to go to Costa Rica, it’s an option.

Nobody really has it all. The people who do these amazing things make sacrifices to do it.

If it’s worth it to you to take the debt, the choice is yours. Or you can save your pennies for 15 years. You’re not going to Costa Rica for free, and your gloating friend on Facebook didn’t, either.

So what about tamer stuff, like socializing? We probably all know that one guy who’s always partying while we study, yet he has a 3.99 GPA.

I know one of these guys very well. His trick is that he hangs out with friends all day, then doesn’t sleep at night. He typically runs on three to four hours of sleep.

I may not be the most social creature on campus—probably because I try as hard as possible to get eight hours of sleep each night. For my friend, his social life is a priority. Apparently, mine is sleep.

Some advice that changed my life is, “You can do anything you want in life, but you can’t do everything you want.”

We must all pick and choose how we’ll spend our time. Many of us say we want to study hard every night, but I think that in reality, many of us really want to browse Facebook every night.

It’s not that we necessarily want to, but we do. And that reveals our inner desires.

I really don’t want to be in school right now. I hate school. But even more than I hate school, I want a career that I love.

This means school is a means to an end. It shows my priorities.

What do your actions say about your priorities?

Do you tell your friends you want to hang out but consistently bail on them? What does that say about you?

Do you exercise daily even though you dread it? What does that say about you?

I know somebody who recently lost 50 pounds. While his friends ate junk food, he ate whole foods. His actions showed that his health is a priority.

It’s easy to eat junk food, but it’s worth it to eat nutritiously.

Regret doesn’t follow worthwhile sacrifices.

Do you wake up early, give up your social life, and spend all your hard-earned money on overpriced books so you can succeed in school? What does that say about you?

Think about what you are doing, what you should do, and what you’d like to do. Then find a way to make them all line up.

Years ago, one of my friends decided he wanted to go California. Within two hours, he’d packed his bags and was on the freeway. We didn’t see him for a few weeks.

He didn’t do it because all of his circumstances were perfect; he did it because he wanted to. He slept in his car, made friends so he could use their showers, and probably gave up some opportunities back home.

Anything could have held him back, but his wanderlust was his priority.

Finals are coming up, so don’t prioritize less important matters just because studying isn’t fun or easy. You’re in school. Deal with it.

Then in the summer, blow your credit out of the water in Costa Rica!

Maybe don’t do that (unless you really want to). Don’t let me tell you what to do. It’s your life.

People in worse circumstances than yourself have done unbelievable things, so don’t blame your circumstances; you seriously can do whatever you want, as long as you’re willing to sacrifice for it.

As Joe Strummer of The Clash said, “The future is unwritten.”

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