Rethinking What Really Matters: The Four Most Important Things in Life

Posted by on May 13, 2017 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living, Thrive with 0 Comments
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By Carl Phillips | Tiny Buddha

“Life is short. Focus on what matters and let go of what doesn’t.” ~Unknown

Our most precious commodities are not our smartphones, 3D TVs, brand new cars, or even our big and impressive houses.


Our most precious commodities can’t be found at the bank. They can’t be ordered online. The truth is, they are on a very short list.

Amongst our most precious commodities are our purpose, time, health, and our relationships.

How I Came to This Conclusion

Several years ago I realized I was accumulating more in my life. More things that didn’t really matter to me or speak to me on a spiritual level. More commitments I wasn’t really passionate about keeping. This was all leaving me feeling a little flat and unfulfilled. It felt like something was missing, but I wasn’t sure what that something was.

A period of fairly deep reflection followed. I then started to take some action based on this reflection. Amongst other things, that action has meant:

  • I have made good on long-term dreams to write creatively
  • I have realized I value freedom and flexibility over the ability to just earn more, and I now seek out ways of living accordingly.
  • I have accumulated fewer material possessions but enjoyed more (travel and holidays, events, life experiences).
  • I have concerned myself a whole lot less with the need to keep up with others (a toxic and empty competition if ever there was one).
  • I have set up my own micro-business so I have more control over what work and clients I say yes and no to.
  • I have met and married a partner in travel and adventure.
  • I have embraced aspects of simplicity, 80/20, and other powerful concepts into my life.

The upshot of these and other changes has been that the quality of my life has improved significantly. I certainly don’t have everything figured out (spoiler: no one does!), but my compass in life is much more in tune with somewhere I actually want to get to now.

Alongside this period of internal reflection, I started to question lots about life.

I started to weigh what I thought I wanted with what I actually wanted. I started to question what I was really seeking. Whether I was on a path that would get me there. Whether I had people in my life that could support me emotionally along the way. I started to question what it was to be successful and fully explore my own definition of it, not just follow a second-hand version.

I also started to question whether what I thought was important in life was really important at all. I reframed my life and came to the conclusion that there are several areas, commodities if you will, that are vitally important to how we feel, that need careful attention.

This is what led me to the realization that our purpose, time, health, and relationships are amongst our most precious commodities. Such a simple and obvious realization, you may protest. Well, if that’s the case, how is it that we let these suffer so frequently?

Purpose

Purpose is our why. It drives our actions. It fuels our passion. It encompasses our work, our relationships, and our approach to living our lives. It wraps around everything we do. It means living our lives in an intentional way. It gives our lives a sharper focus.

Our why is what keeps us going when life gets tough.

Our why gives life extra meaning and richness.

If we’ve lost our way and are struggling with our why, we can ask ourselves several related questions:

  • Where am I’m trying to get to?
  • What lights me up and gets me excited?
  • What’s my reason for getting up in the mornings?
  • What do I want more of in my life?
  • What do I want less of in my life?

The answers to these questions can be revealing and can lead us back to the core of what really matters most to us. Listen to these answers and use them as a guiding light. Revisit them often

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