Once You Understand What's Important To You, Nothing Else Matters

by Paul Hudson

I recently had a hell of a conversation with one of Elite Daily’s Founders, Jonathon. It’s not often that you come across someone so young with such a clear understanding of what it is that they want out of life. We spoke for a couple of hours, but one thing he said stands apart from the rest in my mind. One of Elite Daily’s main goals is to help motivate our generation towards success.

For this reason, we consistently share with you new, motivational pieces from different writers. There is much to be said on success, finding your passion and creating the life that you want for yourself — but where is it that we should start? If the way to success is a journey then there must be a beginning to the end. There must be some universal starting point that we can all adapt in order to maximize our chances at succeeding in life.

I believed this to be difficult to pinpoint for the reason that every individual has different activities and things that they enjoy. How can we set a starting point when each of us finds different meanings in life?

“You need to figure out what is most important to you. Once you understand what that is, nothing else matters.”

We each enjoy different things because we have different definitions of what is important to us. The truth is that there is no single correct answer as to what is or should be most important to us. Some may find that money and/or fame is most important to them. Some may believe that it is doing what you love. Others believe that it is being with whom you love. There is no right answer. It’s what you as an individual find to be most important to you that is correct. We are who we are and shouldn’t look to others in hopes of them giving us the right direction. We must find it ourselves.

Before you can know what is most important to you, you will have to figure out who it is that you are; you’ll have to meet yourself. It’s not likely to be the first time that you’ve met, but chances are that you haven’t met the real you since before you hit puberty. When we were younger, we were surely more naïve, but at the time we had no ceiling on our dreams — we believed that we could do and have anything, be anything.

I’m not saying that because you wanted to be an astronaut when you were a toddler that you should go and be one now — although you could. I’m simply pointing out that at that age we had fewer inhibitions and a clearer understanding of the little things that excited us. To find what is most important to you then you have to figure out the emotional response that you are likely to have if you were to achieve this set goal.

It’s all about the way we feel in the end, isn’t it? What’s most important to us is what excites us most, makes us feel safe, comfortable and alive. It can almost be anything really — and it needn’t be just one thing. Another misguided belief is that each of us should find one thing that moves us, one goal, one subject of most importance.

But why? Yes, 30 years ago it was wiser to focus on only one area of your life because the world moved at a slower pace. Information traveled at snail speeds and getting the simplest of tasks done could take forever. That world no longer exists. We now live in a world in which things get done and information gets moved and processed at lighting speeds.

We live in an age when we can have it all — almost literally. Generally speaking, we usually find that one or two things that hold the greatest meaning in our lives, yet we can easily have another handful of things that also hold a significant amount of importance to us. Start by figuring out what is most important, holds the highest of priorities, and work your way down from there.

The beauty of defining what is important to you — and I mean really important to you — is that that everything else falls from view, almost like magic. Understanding what is important to you is the same as understanding what is not important to you. Naming what holds importance in your life is the best way of simplifying it; by understanding what is important and what you want, you can let go of all the dead weight.

Because so few of us understand what we find to be important, we fill our lives with things that are unimportant. By not understanding what we want out of life and why we want it, we fill our days and our lives with unnecessary clutter. We spend too much time doing things that serve no purpose. Imagine how you will feel 50 years down the road when you come to realize that you wasted years — minutes add up to years over a lifetime — doing things that don’t matter to you. Then multiply that awful feeling by 100 for when you realize you will never get those minutes back.

Top photo courtesy Flickr