How to Focus on What Really Matters in Life

woman and child


woman and child

Many of us suffer from shiny object syndrome — meaning, we can find ourselves distracted by the “next new thing” that pulls us away from what really matters in life.

Not to say new is bad. No, sometimes we need “new” and we need a change to move on to a better state. But other times, we can latch onto the next new thing no matter where we are. And in the process, what truly matters can suffer, including our health, spirituality, or finances.

It’s times like this when focusing on the bigger picture is important. It’s tempting to be attracted to any new thing if you’re desperate for a change, so thinking about what you want to change can help you prioritize the most important decisions.

Think About Your Core Values

A good life is one lived with purpose and hope. So give yourself time to work out what’s most important to you so you know where to focus your time and energy. Ask yourself versions of the following questions:

  • Where do you want to see yourself in the near future? The next year? Five years? Ten years?
  • Who do you want around you in your life?
  • What do you want there to be less of?
  • What are three of your greatest successes?
  • When are you most productive?
  • When do you feel most alive?
  • When do you feel least motivated?
  • What keeps you up at night?
  • What inspires you?

Write down your answers in a notebook. Give yourself time to do this uninterrupted. Look for any patterns that shed light on what’s most important to you. Focus on those things and how they relate to where you currently are in life.

Take Time for Joy

It’s important to remember that we aren’t here forever, and life is a gift with the potential for happiness at any time. Take time to laugh, to love, to be hopeful, and to express joy. It’s easier to have a clear head about pursuing what matters most in life if you approach it from a place of gratitude.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” – Gandhi

Live More Consciously

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but how we spend that time can make a huge difference. Living consciously helps you avoid spending that time being busy with things that don’t really matter to you and guides you towards spend time working for the life you want.

Wherever life has taken you now, commit to living each moment with more consciousness and with a heart open to inspiration. Approach each decision with consideration about your answers to the questions above. Think about how each action affects your goals and your values.

Learn to Say “No”

This is a big one for those of us who are “people pleasers.” It’s easy to put your own priorities and wellbeing after those of others. Selflessness and kindness can be wonderful traits; however, don’t forget to be kind to yourself. That means not saying “yes” to everything and recognizing “no” is not a reason to feel guilty or selfish.

You might even give yourself time to think things over before answering yes to anything. Make sure the opportunity is right for you before diving in. This helps you leave a better opening for the right things. After all, only you intuitively know what’s right for you and what your priorities should be.

1 Comment

  1. Richard

    This article is concise and comprehensive. This makes it easy to use. It’s also more pleasant than most advice pieces, more like a friend talking softly by your side. Oh, and it’s wise. let’s not overlook that.


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