The Most Important Things in Life

The Most Important Things in Life

I have a wonderful friend who inspired me with today’s post. He shared a list of his – a sort of “life philosophies” list, a list of things to keep in mind – and it’s been on my mind all week. I wanted to create my own list, print it, and put it somewhere I’ll see often.

My list has several similarities with his (he had some great ideas!), but I went deep and thought about what the most important things are in life (to me), some rules of thumb, and questions to ask myself.

I’ll share this list here today in the hopes that it’ll inspire you to create your own or reflect on your own priorities.

Hope you enjoy it!

The most important things in my life

1. Honesty

2. Having the confidence and courage to express that honesty.

3. Energy. This means taking care of my health and body with diet and exercise, taking care of my mind with frequent ideas and input, and taking care of my heart with the things which fill my cup.

3a. Diet and exercise: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” (Michael Pollan). The exercise that I enjoy best is daily walks interspersed with occasional sports (like tennis), yoga and HIIT.

3b. An energetic mind: My mind functions best when it receives plenty of input, such as by reading many non-fiction books and listening to interesting podcasts. Ancillary to this is having frequent interesting conversations with people.

3c. Filling the cup: Things that make me feel whole and fulfilled include time spent with loved ones, writing music or working on other creative endeavors, writing, and having a little space in my life to breathe and not “do”.

4. Marriage. Continually reinforce this bond with random acts of kindness, interesting conversations, and weekly dates. Prioritize my marriage, especially over tasks that seem important but aren’t (like checking emails).

5. Time. Time is one of my most precious resources, and all of my decisions should take this into account. Am I making the most of my time? Am I organized and efficient? Do I have enough time for the things that matter most (relationships, fun, personal development, creative projects)?

6. Relationships with others (children, family, close friends). Be thoughtful and giving. Remember and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Have meaningful conversations that strengthen our bonds. Be a non-judgemental safe space.

7. Autonomy. Prioritize having freedom and control in my life and work. 

8. Money. Increase revenue (to create more time and autonomy), decrease expenses, and make investments.

9. Reverence. Take time to appreciate the beauty and sacredness of life. Step out of the ordinary and remember the extraordinary.

10. Learning and knowledge. Along with health, relationships, and passion projects, learning/knowledge make my life rich and fulfilling.

11. Passion projects. Pursue creative passions and projects without fear. 

 

Rules of thumb

1. Never have my phone at the table. 

2. Eat meals with my family whenever possible.

3a. Before speaking, run my words through three filters: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

3b. Don’t engage in gossip or negative talk about others.

3c. Complaints are seldom if ever necessary. 

4a. Limit/moderate spending on non-essential things (makeup, clothing, impulse purchases, take-out)

4b. Spend freely (within reason) on things which contribute to my personal and professional growth (books, courses, exams, membership groups)

5. Remember to breathe and slow down. Stop and smell the roses.

6. Listening to music enriches my life, so don’t be lazy about it.

7. Prioritize sleep (7-8 hours). 

8a. Ask questions about others instead of talking about myself.

8b. Don’t be afraid to share my opinions and viewpoints in a non-aggressive manner.

8c. Don’t allow opinions and viewpoints to become my personality, which creates rigidity. Be open and willing to consider another point of view. 

9. Don’t wear sweatpants or leggings-as-pants outside the home (exception is wearing leggings to the gym).

10. Take good care of my possessions so they last longer.

11. Make simple decisions in 5 minutes or less (ie what to eat for dinner).

12. Allow myself and others the ability to make mistakes without judgment or criticism.

13. Take the time to cook nice meals, even if they’re simple and quick.

 

Questions

1. How can I have more fun with this?

2. How can I be more social with this?

3. What would 10x my results?

4. Who are five people who have what I want?

5. Is this the most important/best use of my time?

6. What can I learn from this experience?

7. Can I learn more by doing a 30-day trial on this subject?

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