Attempting to come up with a list of life priorities to make myself more aware of how I’m spending my time and engaging with people around me. I’m wary of putting a disproportionate amount of time working on or worrying about things that don’t really bring much value to my long-term development. Thinking through these priorities systematically was a rewarding process in considering what kinds of things matter to me and how my daily habits are contributing to broader goals of where I want to be in the future while enabling the things I enjoy on a daily basis.
I separated these into categories RELATIONSHIPS, PERSONAL GROWTH, CAREER, and HEALTH. From there, I thought it made sense to divide into different tiers.
Tier 1 - Things that affect my day-to-day happiness when not prioritized
RELATIONSHIPS: Spending time with family, SO, close friends
PERSONAL GROWTH: Practicing empathy, gratitude, mindfulness, strengthening existing skills, learning new things
CAREER: Working on research skills, design skills, and meaningful problems
HEALTH (PHYSICAL): Practicing healthy daily habits and routines—eating, exercising, sleeping, skincare, water
HEALTH (MENTAL): Taking time to introvert and self-reflect
Tier 2 - Things that make me feel more fulfilled and stable when I have time to do them
RELATIONSHIPS: Catching up with friends I see more infrequently
PERSONAL GROWTH: Pushing myself out of my comfort zone, developing and applying new skills
CAREER: Networking, financial stability
HEALTH (PHYSICAL): Proactive preventative healthcare
HEALTH (MENTAL): Taking time to write long-form pieces about past experiences/stories
Tier 3 - Things that I don’t always get to do, but are meaningful and rewarding for me when I have time
RELATIONSHIPS: Putting myself in situations to meet new people
PERSONAL GROWTH: Exploring my local community, getting involved in initiatives, volunteering
CAREER: Expanding skillset that contributes to career development in more peripheral ways
HEALTH: Weight-lifting, improving flexibility/mobility, trying new types of exercise
This led me to a news article from May 2019 about the international purchasing of problematic Brazilian beef
“Most of that deforestation is illegal, with human-induced wild fires used to clear native vegetation for new cattle pastures being the largest driver. A study by the Brazilian non-governmental organization Imazon found that JBS ranked No. 1 among meat-packing firms that buy cattle in the Amazon for exposure to deforestation risk because of the location of the slaughterhouses that were near 1.7 million hectares of embargoed farms, 1.6 million hectares of area deforested from 2010 to 2015, and 1.2 million hectares of forest at risk for deforestation from 2016 to 2018.”
"As the report points out, JBS has been one key company in funding political campaigns legally and illegally," says Imazon Senior Researcher Paulo Barreto. "They funded campaigns and bribed politicians to benefit from environmental deregulation, tax breaks, and subsidized loans."
Another article from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism on Amazon deforestation due to the beef industry
Up to 5,800 square kilometers of forest is being felled in the Amazon and other areas every year for cattle ranching.
“The findings come amid growing international concern over the looming impacts of climate change, with the Amazon forest seen by experts as a crucial buffer in stabilizing regional and global climate.
Between 1980 and 2005, Amazon deforestation levels reached 20,000 sq km per year — with an area the size of Wales being lost. Although there have been political murmurings about trying to halt the destruction, the latest data shows that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has risen by 73% since 2012.”
Relatedly, lobbyist groups have been targeting plant-based meat products as unhealthy, even though most nutritionists seem to agree that products such as Beyond or Impossible are reasonable nutritional analogues to real meat with a greatly reduced environmental footprint. These attacks are not surprising, but continue to highlight how groups will continuously prioritize short-term economic gains over long-term planetary health. Beyond and Impossible have recently landed partnerships with companies like Sodexo, Aramark (two out of three of the largest providers of food for campuses, hospitals, companies, etc. in the US), Burger King, and Subway…I’ve been impressed by their pervasiveness in popular culture and how well-accepted they have been by meat eaters. I think these products will make a fairly significant environmental impact if they continue to be adopted by popular food chains and casual customers (Impossible Foods has an 2019 impact report if you’re interested in poking around a life-cycle analysis of their products). I would want to ensure that their ingredient sourcing continues to be sustainable as they face rapid expansion, since ingredients such as soy are known to contribute to their fair share of deforestation issues. 70% of US grown soy is used for livestock feed, though, so this may just become a matter of redirection if the market shifts, but still things that I’m watching for (insert monocle emoji).
What are traits you notice yourself admiring in others and want to embody?
What do you need?