Perhaps the most important thing you will ever do in your life is deciding what is most important to you. Yet you would be surprised at how many of us actually do this, not many I'm afraid.
I am always amazed at how many people say they want to be happy, yet when asked," What would that mean?" or "What would that look like?" They usually don't know the answer.
If one day happiness accidently showed up in their life they probably wouldn't embrace the experience. They wouldn't recognize it as the thing they so desperately wanted. This is because they've never taken the time to really define what happiness means to them.
So what am I saying? If you're interested in - Mastering What Matters - the first step to take is to become aware of what really matters to you. Not what matters to someone else or what someone else might think is important but what you think is important. You can never hope to - Master What Matters - until you first know what that is.
I am sure you have heard the saying, "ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS." Everyone seems to know this. It's not what we say that counts but only what we do that really matters. This saying and this philosophy always seems to be interpreted in a negative way. Nobody likes to hear that what they are doing doesn't match what they are saying. However, if you are interested in becoming aware of what really matters to you, may I suggest you consider this saying and philosophy from a positive point of view? Hidden within the things we do are the very things we value. When we start to pay attention to our actions we may discover something significant about ourselves and the things that are most important to us.
Not only are our actions important but so are the things we pay attention to. Whatever attracts our attention in all areas of our life is a very good indicator of who we are and what we value.
At the same time we tend to ignore what we don't value. We give very little attention to the things we place little value in. If we don't like something or we don't think something is very important, we may not notice it at all.
Sometimes we may even become annoyed if we feel we are being forced to give attention to something we consider unimportant.
Have you ever been involved in a conversation with someone who clearly wasn't interested in hearing what you were talking about? If they didn't flat out disagree with you, there may have been a real look of disinterest or even a momentary look of boredom on their face.
If there wasn't much emotion attached to their disagreement or their complaint was more along the lines of, "Please don't bother me with this insignificance." You have just discovered what this person doesn't care about.
The things we care about are the things we notice. The things we are happily willing to invest our time, energy and effort into are the very things we consider the most important.
The reason we want to look at our actions
and the things we pay attention to
is to become aware of what we already value
"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as
result of getting something we don't have, but rather
in recognizing and appreciating what we already have."
Sometimes we feel we have to change who we are in order to get what we want, when in reality the best way to get what you want is to be yourself. We will never be able to get what we want in life if we have to be something we’re not in order to get it. And even if we did, it wouldn't make us happy and we wouldn't feel fulfilled. This doesn’t mean we don’t have to learn, grow and improve. It simply means that the best way to move forward in our life is to first embrace who we are and where we are.
One day a young man was going for a walk when he reached a wide river. He spent a long time wondering how he would cross such a gushing river. Just when he was about to give up on his journey he saw one of his teachers on the other side. The young man shouted from the bank, “Can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river?” The teacher smiled and replied, “My friend you are on the other side.”
There are two basic modes of human operation. There is the “Being Mode” and there is the “Doing Mode.” In order to be a truly successful and fulfilled a person really needs to spend an equal share of their time in both modes. If for example, we are all “Being” and no “Doing” there is usually no accomplishment. On the other hand, if we are all “Doing” and no “Being” there is usually no contentment.
My friend and early mentor Jim Rohn used to say, “It’s not what you get that counts, it’s what you become that is most important.” He also said, “Success is not something you pursue, it is something you attract by the person you become or by the person you are.” I believe this expresses the idea of “Being” and “Doing” perfectly.
We need to spend time everyday living in the moment, enjoying our life on the inside and participating in life on the outside. We need to spend time everyday being who we are and allowing what we are to influence what we do. We need to realize that who we are affects what we do but what we do equally affects who we are and who we become.
No journey is more interesting and more important and ultimately more fulfilling than the one that leads to yourself.