What Matters To You?

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In an age where many of us are chronically busy and always on the go, sometimes it’s hard to take a step back and reflect on what really matters to you. What are your values, and are you living a life that aligns with them?

If we live a life that doesn’t align with our core values or beliefs, we may experience some unhappiness or feelings of being unfulfilled. Some of the workplace wellbeing research suggests people who work in a role that doesn’t align with their core values, generally have reduced job satisfaction or are more likely to leave their job. As you can imagine, if you lead a life that doesn’t align with your values, then you might feel like it’s not as fulfilling as it could be.

The following exercise is one that will help you identify which aspects of your life are genuinely important to you, and from there you can decide if your lifestyle and decisions you make are reflective of what you truly value in life.

Walking the tightrope

Imagine you are on top of a building, 800 meters high. There is a person on an equally high building, facing you, with a narrow beam the width of your foot between the two buildings. You are offered €100 in order to cross the beam. There is a slight breeze and light rain, and there is 100 meters between the buildings. Would you try it for €100?

Most people at this stage would reject this offer without a second thought!

However, what if it was a million? You’d become a millionaire if you managed to cross safely, in the difficult conditions, but a guaranteed death if you don’t make it! Now I’m sure many of you will think more thoroughly about this question, however, most people value their life more than they value money, so more often than not, it’s a no.

But what if the other side wasn’t monetary? What if it was something else?

If it was your family on the other side, and you had to get to the other side in order to have them in your life, would you do it? What about if it was your best friend or your oldest friend? Would you cross the beam for them?

It could even be your job, your religion or a value or belief you hold like being a voice for mental health, human rights or the environment.

Taking action

The things that really matter to you are the things that life is worth living for – the things that get you out of bed in the morning. After visualising the scenario above, ask yourself:

  • What/who would I cross the beam for?

  • Am I living in a way that promotes those core values?

  • What’s getting in the way of me living in line with my core values?

After discovering what matters to you, ask yourself what you can do day to day to promote those important things in your life. Often in our busy lives, we cruise through our days without giving a second thought to our purpose, our values and what matters to us. Normally, these are the things that give our lives happiness, meaning and motivation.

Hopefully this exercise has helped you identify what’s important to you, and no matter what’s going on in your life, whether it’s stress, worry, or anxiety, you can reflect on what truly matters without sweating the small stuff, and make changes to move closer to what matters!

Photo by Kaique Rocha from Pexels

Julie Farrar