4 Things That Truly Matter

What matters most are those things which, in the presence of God, still matters most JoAnna Oblander“It is not living that matters, but living rightly.” ~ Socrates

When we live lives disconnected from those things that truly matter, sidetracked by the unimportant, lost in the frivolous, distracted by the superficial, our lives start to ring hollow, empty and vacant.

When, on the other hand, we live our lives dedicated to those things that matter most, a greater sense of happiness rubs up against us, walks beside us, calls on us, and even moves in and redecorates our bathrooms.

The choice is obvious. But deciding what matters and what doesn’t is sometimes, and for some people, less obvious.

This is especially true in a Hollywood-centric, pop-culture saturated media-driven ethic.

In such a culture, the substanceless can appear heavy with content, the silly can look profound and the meaningless can seem pregnant with meaning.

So what then truly matters? Here’s a few items on my list. See if they match up with yours.

4 Things that Matter

1. Values Matter

Our values identify what’s important to us and how we prioritize our time, energy and attention. They reflect what we stand for. They define the outer limit of what we’re willing to tolerate and what we’re not. They determine the context of what we’re willing to pursue and what we won’t.

We’re set adrift to flounder in the uncertain moral muck of life when we lack a well-defined set of moral values on which to stand.

Values matter because a life without them is ultimately utilitarian, self-absorbed and unhappy. Our values act as anchors in storms and strings on kites, adding the tension that creates lift but also keeps us from nose-diving into trees or flapping aimlessly in the wind to nowhere.

In the absence of values, we’re rudderless in the pull of moral riptides and trapped in the quicksand of “anything goes.” And when anything goes, everything tends to, including things like self-discipline, self-confidence and self-respect.

2. Relationships Matter

How we treat those closest to us is more significant as a measure of our character than how we treat the stranger or the person we want something from.

I’ve seen families where parents treat their children worse than their friends and their spouses worse than strangers. This is sad to me.

The quality of our relationships is a predictor of the quality of our lives because most of life’s meaning lies within the context of other people. We’re mothers and fathers and spouses, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors, employers and employees and teachers and students. So it’s in those relationships that we can do the most good and experience the most meaning.

We are at our most noble and decent when we are in the service of others. When we lift people, we are likewise lifted.

Besides, an isolated life is a self-absorbed one. But the irony is that a life exclusively or even mostly focused on the self is a life missing a fundamental ingredient to purpose and happiness.

So love those who are open to being loved and figure out a way to love those who aren’t. In the process of doing both, the rising sense of meaning and purpose and happiness in your life will be a much more constant companion.

3. Faith Matters

We live in an age of growing faithlessness. People have lost faith in tradition and God, in organized religion, in the institution of marriage and in others. There is less faith in governments and programs and ideologies, in political parties and even in humanity.

The problem is that faith is a principle of action. It inspires and leads and directs and moves us to do, to overcome, to believe and accomplish.

What you believe in — what you trust as right and wrong, true and false, good and bad — plays a significant role in how happy you are able to become. Whether we are talking about faith in God or humanity or Truth or yourself, that faith is critical to living life anywhere near its potential.

Faith is the expectant exercise of hope. It is the root to the tree of action. It is the seed of planning and goals and steps taken toward dreams and through challenges and into happiness.

Faithlessness is life at the edge of hopelessness. It is a life untethered from an assurance beyond the obvious, seen and tangible.

Faith propels us into the dark through to the other side of night. It takes us by the hand across the bridge or along the ledge when the next step is obscured and uncertain. It’s what takes us to the heights of possibility because we believe that wherever we rest now, there’s something more, something higher, something greater down the road. That too is the offspring of faith.

For many of us, faith in God is an added bedrock of assurance upon which we can build. That faith becomes a lighthouse in the darkest moments in our lives and a more accurate mirror of who we are and what we can accomplish when we’re thinking very little of ourselves.

4. Self-Respect Matters

Self-disclosure is not the same as self-exposure. This is a strange age we live in when individuals and families go on national TV to display their family’s dirty laundry. Others clamor for their 15 minutes of fame as reality show contestants who reveal all their darkest secrets and character flaws in shameless overkill. Sports stars and others write tell-all autobiographies that open bedroom doors far too wide for propriety or dignity to have place.

As a matter of fact, that’s just the thing that seems to have been lost by a growing number of people – a sense of dignity that knows when self-disclosure has crept into the exhibitionism of self-exposure.

But the ability to like yourself, born of a deep respect for who you are and are becoming and the potential that is also part of your identity can radically revolutionize your life.

Self-respecting people therefore simply live differently than those who aren’t. They don’t do the same things. They don’t think the same things. They don’t believe the same things. And they don’t allow the same things from others. They simply live different lives in some fundamental ways.

Don’t get me wrong. They both eat and sleep and love their kids. But what they think about themselves and how they treat themselves and talk to themselves and what they believe about themselves are profoundly different. And that’s a dividing point between those who are happy and those who struggle much more than they need to.

Afterthoughts

When I was young, I had an aunt who liked to wrap empty boxes to make Christmas appear even bigger and grander and more exciting than it already was. Sometimes we would forget which presents under the tree were the extra boxes she had wrapped. Someone would inevitably tear into the wrapping, excited about the prospects waiting inside. But all that would be had was an empty shell of a gift. All ribbon and wrapping; no substance.

That’s what life is like when we spend it in the pursuit of things that don’t matter. The packaging may glitter and sparkle, but there’s nothing inside but emptiness.

Here’s the thing. We can eat the food we buy or we can eat the receipt that shows how much we spent on the food we buy. We can have a meal of the substance or of the packaging the meal comes in.

One satisfies. The other leaves us hungry for something more. One nourishes. The other fails to provide us with the life-sustaining nutrients of meaning and purpose and joy our lives crave to have.

Roller coasters are fun. But at the end of the ride, you’re at the end of the ride. The deeper things of life like service and decency, on the other hand, are not always fun. But at the end of that ride, there is a glow in the heart that keeps on giving long after the event is over.

There’s nothing wrong with roller coasters, of course. But in the end, a roller coaster doesn’t take you anywhere.

So look closely. What have you filled the empty slots of your life with? Take stock. Evaluate. Then go to work focusing more on those things that matter most, pushing the time-wasters further into that background, opening yourself for greater and deeper levels of meaning and opportunity, love, joy and success in those things that truly matter.

You, after all, have inherent value. You’re worth the effort at learning to love the weightier things of life. Find them. Recognize them. Embrace them. And let them take you to a life that is deeply and richly rewarding, meaningful and happy.

Today’s post is shared from the following website: http://meanttobehappy.com/4-things-that-truly-matter/

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How to Accomplish Your Life Mission

A man with money is no match against a man on a mission Doyle Brunson

We are a month into this New Year. How are your New Year’s resolutions coming? Are you finding your self-confidence or self-discipline lacking? If so, here’s a boost to get you going again. Remember…every day is a new day and winners always get back up after they fall! Here are some steps to take to get you back on track! Keep listening to your heart! Remember that that is where the Lord speaks to you. I know that if you don’t know it already, He is speaking to you right now – telling you that you have important things to do with your incredibly important life! Have a wonderful day!

Achieve Your Goals

To achieve balance in our life we need to set goals and make changes. That means self-investment and finding a system that works for us to achieve our goals. Follow this 6 step program to achieve your goals.

1. Define

What is it that you really want? What’s the goal that you want to achieve? It needs to be something that you’re committed to, not something that someone else wants or that you don’t really care about. If you’re going to invest in yourself then you need to invest in a goal that you, yourself want to achieve.

2. Commit

Agree your goal and commit to it. Make a pledge to yourself. Now write it down. Most people don’t write their goals down. But those that write their goals down are 95% more likely yo achieve them. Take the time to write them down. Commit to yourself.

3. Be Accountable

Now that you’ve committed and you’ve written your goals down, make yourself accountable. Get an accountability partner — someone that you can share your progress with. If you know you have to report back to someone at the end of each day on how you’re doing, you’re more likely to do it. Try sharing it on social media or blog about it too.

4. Start Small

Don’t jump in at the deep end. This is a marathon not a sprint. You want to achieve your goal and then carry it on as you improve your life. If you want to lose weight, you want to make sure the weight stays off at the end, not starve yourself for a few weeks and in a couple of months time put the weight back on again. (Note: I’m using simple examples of goals as an illustration but you should really consider making new life resolutions).

You need to make a habit. These habits are best formed by doing something small and often. If you’re eliminating something then put something in its place to help form this habit. If you’re trying to cut down from 10 coffees a day to 5 then start with getting rid of one. But, when you cut out that 10th coffee, go and drink a glass of water instead. Form a small habit and get your mind and body used to it.

5. Build

Slowly, very slowly build up on that habit. Don’t rush it. Remember, it’s still a marathon. It’s easy to trip. Often you won’t know you’ve pushed it too hard until it happens. Build on your habit slowly. Compound it. Get your mind and body used to it.

6. Ingrain

Once you’ve been going at it for a month you will have started to ingrain that habit. You can still trip but you’re more invested. Most things in life take some sort of investment and, normally, work. If losing weight was the goal then stopping what you’ve been doing and binge eating probably isn’t the answer. You’ve worked hard to build this habit so do that little bit extra to ingrain it. Sure, take a day off and reward yourself but stick with it.

Self-Investment

Don’t be part of that 95% that fails to achieve. This month, start the year as you mean to go on. Be part of the top 5%. This needs to be about self-investment. Pick goals that you want to achieve, commit to them and become accountable. This is a marathon so start small, build on your successes and then ingrain those habits. Make 2016 the year that you achieve your goals.

Today’s goal-setting article was shared from the following website: https://medium.com/the-mission/how-to-achieve-your-goals-in-6-easy-steps-4900588f251b

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Setting Priorities

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your PRIORITIES Stephen Covey

The Story of a Woodcutter

Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was really good and so was the work condition. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he supposed to work.

The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees.

“Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!”

Very motivated by the boss words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

“I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.

“Sharpen? I have had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”

Reflection:

Our lives are like that. We sometimes get so busy that we don’t take time to sharpen the “axe”. In today’s world, it seems that everyone is busier than ever, but less happy that ever.

Why is that? Could it be that we have forgotten how to stay “sharp”? There’s nothing wrong with activity and hard work. But we should not get so busy that we neglect the truly important things in life, like our personal life, taking time to get close to our Creator, giving more time for our family, taking time to read etc.

We all need time to relax, to think and meditate, to learn and grow. If we don’t take the time to sharpen the “axe”, we will become dull and lose our effectiveness.

Author: Stephen Covey
From: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Story shared from the following website: http://rishikajain.com/2015/08/16/the-story-of-a-woodcutter-author-stephen-covey/

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Priorities…What Is Really Important in Life

The greatest lesson you might ever learn in this life is this: It is not about You. Shannon L. AlderUmmm…did you ever read a quote or a card or a story and everything you wanted to tell someone one was already there?

That is how I feel today. The quote I found by Shannon Alder and the story below says everything I wanted to say today. Enjoy!

The Important Things in Life

A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up the remaining open areas of the jar.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix the disposal.”

“Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

Story shared from the following website: http://www.speakingtree.in/blog/inspirational-story-the-important-things-in-life

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Goals Are Like Magnets…

Goals are like magnets...They’ll attract the things that make them come true. Tony Robbins

Do you have Goals? Or, do you just let each day happen without much thought about it? We all have the personal power to consistently improve. Goals give us the destination that we are aiming for.

We may not know all the steps that reaching a goal is going to require but when we set the mark (goal) and then plan what it will take to make that goal become a reality, we set in place the momentum that will get us there. Often, it is a good idea to use a mind map to get an idea of the goals we want to reach and then work backwards.

For example, let’s say I want to have a training facility for swimmers but I don’t even know how to swim yet (and I want to be able to swim the swimmers at the training facility). I could guesstimate that it will take me 10 years to create the training facility. At 8 years  I think I will have the funds necessary and will need to start planning the construction. At 6 years I think I will need to start working on investors and getting information on swimming pool construction and the kind of building that will best house a wet, swimming pool environment. At 4 years I plan to join swimming organizations, become familiar with other swim organizations – creating a swimming network, organize a corporation for my venture and start making friends in the swimming world. At 2 years I plan to competing in swim events and further learn about the world of swimming. Then, from now until then, I realize I need to find a line of work that will enable me to have the flexibility I need to accomplish the goals that I will need to accomplish in order to build the swimming facility. I will also need to start taking swim lessons and dedicate time and effort to develop my swimming talents.

I don’t really want to build a training facility, but if I did, I would need to have a map charted with goals and intentions that would enable me to accomplish my goal.

Dreams are never accomplished if we do nothing but dream. Goals give dreams the opportunity to manifest themselves!

I hope you will recognize the Personal Power you have been blessed with, listen to your heart, and create the goals that will allow you to accomplish the dream of your heart!

In that light, I hope you enjoy today’s story!:

One day a son came to his father for an advice:
– Dad, I can’t do this anymore, – he said, – those lessons only exhaust me, and the result doesn’t change. It must be not destined for me to play football and my dream will never come true.
The father looked at his son with loving eyes and said:
– You know son, every person in life has a dream, a goal of his life. They are the ones that make us do what we are doing, because it’s what we should do. We have to fight for what we believe in, what we feel. In other case, you will simply brake. Once – and for all.

The easiest way is to quit everything and not go until the end, because the path is difficult and we are not used to inconveniences. We want everything to be easy and at once. But the wishes are fleeting! This is how our dream dies, and the goal becomes unreachable.

Gradually, life becomes a routine without depth and meaning. Then one day, we try to forget and start everything from the beginning, we wait for a new day to make our life different. But new obstacles come in our way, and we stop again. We become full of despair and anger for our own helplessness.

But you only need to remember one thing: never give up, fight, battle. It doesn’t matter that you have lost one battle and even dozens of battles. Life goes on! Your biggest enemies are hiding in you – laziness, fear, doubt, indecision. Be a warrior of your dream, a knight of your goal and a soldier of your wishes!

Story shared from the following website: http://www.inspirationalstories.eu/stories/stories-about-reaching-goals/

 

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