Identifying What Really Matters

 Photo by  Robb Leahy  on  Unsplash

Photo by Robb Leahy on Unsplash

We are so flawed as humans. Wasting so much of our time on nonsense. Failing to focus on the things that bring us the most joy because we get sidetracked. By the world. By shiny objects. By the Internet. By ourselves. By our ego. But it’s time to stop. So we can identify what really matters.

It may not be the same for you as it is for me, but it can’t be that different. Health. Family. Happiness. Should this list really be longer? Are there more things that truly matter? I would argue yes, of course there are other things that are meaningful in our lives. But if you have to boil it all down, to focus, do you really know matters to you?

If you do, would you be so bothered in traffic? If you do, would you care when one small deal falls through? These things are so utterly meaningless in the grand scheme of your life. But there we are. Feeling bad about it. Or mad. Because the axis of the world isn’t turning our way today.

When we identify what really matters to us and we affirm it every day, it should become easier to shrug off the minutia of life that drags us down. We should all want that.

Taking Inventory

In order to identify what really matters in your life, you need to take inventory. Of everything in your life. So you can see all you are working with. And all you are working against. What brings you unbridled joy? Do more of that.

Sometimes it’s that simple. People say that they don’t have time to do everything, but that’s because they are doing too much superfluous slop. And not prioritizing what really matters. If you take every second of every day and identify how many of those seconds made you happy, your roadmap has begun.

If you track every second that made you feel angry. Or sad. Or mad. You know what you need to reduce. It should be simple, but it’s not. Because we feel compelled to do so much in our lives that we lose track of the things that really matter.

The Journey

I lost sight of what really mattered to me. My children. My health. I was there for my children, but I was distracted. I exercised “when I could,” which could be the most colossal pile of bullsh*t I ever told myself. I wasn’t prioritizing what mattered. I was going along with life, letting it call the shots. I was a muted participant in my own life.

Until I stopped. And began to take inventory. So I could focus my attention on the things that really made my soul move. Those decisions are what led me here. Away from the 9-to-5 and into a labyrinth of my own making. Into this.

A world where less matters to me. Because I’m able to be steadfast about what does. Health. Family. Happiness. And although these were always the pillars I thought mattered, I was ignoring them. Because I let life swirl around me and overtake my will to be more involved.

Now I have done the inventory check. And the work. And it has allowed me the room for heartfelt pursuits like writing. Somehow that void that always existed, a creative side underutilized, is now full every day. Because I know what matters.


The Result

Freedom. From judgment. From inevitable time sucks that I didn’t want to do. I learned how to say no. Frankly, I was always good at saying no. But what I learned was that it’s acceptable to say no. Because it results in self-care.

When you know what matters to you, it’s much easier to see how little the other things do. You can start to cast off life’s frivolity in favor of high-reward activities. And then you soon realize that’s all you want to do. Things that make you happy. People that make you happy. Because people that don’t make you happy shouldn’t matter to you.

It’s not all perfect. I don’t wake up every morning to birds chirping over classical music, and a warm water with lemon next to my bed to sip as I open my eyes. But every day when I wake up I know that the little things won’t bother me anymore. Because they are worthless. They hold no value with all I have in my life.

My health. My children. My family. My mind.

I know what really matters. Do you?

 Photo by  Kal Loftus  on  Unsplash

Photo by Kal Loftus on Unsplash