As Greg McKeown said, “The only decision that will ever matter is deciding whether or not you will focus on what matters most. That one decision will be the determining factor between leading a life of meaning and joy or one frequented with regret. Every other decision is simply a byproduct of that choice.”
How then do we know we are majoring in what matters? By asking ourselves the below 2 questions.
How is what I am doing adding value to my life?
I had dropped into the habit of watching soapies. There is no day that would pass without me watching them. One morning after sleeping so late catching up on all the episodes I had missed I asked myself, what have I benefited from this? I felt that I had wasted a lot of my time and energy doing nothing. Then I decided to stop watching soapies altogether.
I am not making a case against those who watch soapies, instead, I am trying to drive my point of doing what matters home. Of all the things I want to do with my life, trust me, soapies do not even fit in the grand plan of my life. In as much as watching soapies can be quite relaxing, unfortunately, the time I would spend watching them was the only time I also had to spend doing the things that mattered to me.
Am I keeping the most important thing the most important thing?
This is a reflection question that I have always posed to all the people I have provided motivation and guidance to. It’s hard, from the rush of everyday life to see things with a real perspective. To know what is important in our lives demands deeper reflection. Because a lot of things do not matter. We have people emailing us, phone calls ringing, messages flowing in and long to-do lists. But are they important? If you suddenly found out you only had 3 months to live, how would you live your life? What would matter to you? When was the last time you did what matters to you?
It is a sad reality of life that we spend most of our lives prioritizing the wrong things. For most of us, we spend 90% of our time chasing money but if we take a deeper reflection, will money matter in the end? Can we happily lie on our deathbed in that end moment and smile that we had a lot of money? How then do we keep the most important thing the most important thing?
It’s amazing how family, health, and love seem to matter so much to us yet in our lifetimes we never give them the time of our day. What’s the most important thing to you? Are you keeping it the most important thing? Figure out what matters to you. If it is not money that matters the most then show that through your actions.
How then do we focus on what matters?
5 Ways to Focus on What Really Matters
1. Set your vision and keep it in sight every day
Life’s distractions will always be there every day. Whilst you are planning to do that one important thing, something is gonna pop up that needs your immediate attention. Whilst handling the day-to-day pop-ups, do not lose focus on the long-term goal you have. Without a clear vision and goals, you will be caught up in the mumbo jumbo of everyday tasks and in the end, realize you haven’t fulfilled anything meaningful.
Your goals should be stated clearly. It is human nature to want to do everything at the same time but if your mind is clouded by a lot of floating ideas that are not scribbled somewhere, chances are you may end up not achieving anything. Your written-down goals will always remind you of what really matters to you.
2. Schedule your weekly and daily tasks in the direction to your vision
Are you prioritizing what matters to you? While you may not have 3 months left to live, just remember that life in itself is very short. Even if you live to be 100 years, it’s still short and before you know it, it will be over. Writing down a lifetime or long-term vision is very different from achieving it. You need to break it down into a master plan of what you need to achieve, yearly, monthly, weekly, and even daily and be committed to achieving it.
3. Performance measurement
This may sound all technical but trust me it is not. Performance measurement just means measuring what you planned to do against what you actually did. It sounds like something that only managers can do because that’s what we are made to believe by our culture but everyone can do it for their lives. Consistently review your goals.
4. Make the necessary adjustments
If you are like me, chances are you will once in a while side-track. This is not a train smash and actually, that is the reason why performance reviews are necessary and important. To check where we have side-tracked and devise ways of getting back on track. Often the things we say matter to us are different from those we devote our time and energy to. Eliminate all clutter and focus on what matters.
5. Take advantage of your solitude moments
Take these moments to gain a new perspective or refine your old perspective. Do not be too busy or over-committed to things that don’t really matter. Use solitude moments to refine your to-do list and reflect on what matters to you.
To Be Truly Happy, Do Only What Matters
We are all obsessed with money therefore we are always trying to follow the habits of those who are wealthy. However, if we would probe deeper into the lives of those people, we would even be surprised to find out that to them, money is not the most important thing. Even though they have found ways of making more of it but that is not the most important thing to them.
If you want to be happy in life, focus on what matters. Keep the main thing the main thing. Get your head out of what everyone else is doing especially on social media and focus on what really matters to you. Make it a daily habit to ask yourself, “What really matters to me?
I would love to hear from you about how you keep yourself focused on what matters to you so please, leave a comment for me below, and if you found this useful kindly subscribe to the site and share it with others.
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