Do You Know What Matters Most?

You may hear people say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”

How? Might be your reply.

I saw a great quote recently (not sure who gets the credit), “One of the most important things in life is to know what is most important.” It is easy to say, much tougher to do. In the end, it is about keeping our focus on the bigger picture with confidence that we are on the right path.

So what is most important to you? What are your core values?

If it’s been awhile since you looked at them or if you’ve never created a list, now is the time!

Your challenge is to spend some quiet time alone and develop your list. These values help frame where you spend your time and attention because these are the things that matter the most to you. Once you know what matters most, it is easier to identify the "small stuff."

Here’s how you go about that process:

  1. Identify approximately 10 words that describe the things (in large buckets) that matter to you in your life (personal, professional, recreational, etc.)
  2. Then narrow down your list to the absolutes, the top 3 – 6. These values are your core values.
  3. The final step is crucial. Put them in number order. Something must be number 1 and always take precedence over number 2, 3, and 4.

This process is a necessity in the path to success. Defining your own core values brings clarity in times of tough decisions and prevents you from being distracted by the wrong things. And in the end, it keeps you from sweating the small stuff because you now know what really matters.