A lot of what we do in work and life is truly meaningless. We do these meaningless things because we think that we should do them or we think that we have to do them. But, is this really true?

What if we just said no to the useless things and did what really mattered? I guess this presumes that we know what really matters. The daily grind pushes and pulls us in many directions—some or most of which may not be of our own choosing. Sometimes we go in the wrong direction or we lose our way entirely.

Determining what really matters requires a conscious investment on your part. Here is one way to figure out what really matters:

1. Close the door. Go to the park. Run away. Go to a place that allows you to think.
2. Think about the things that bring you pleasure—things that make your heart sing and things that give you intense satisfaction. It might be time with family, painting a landscape, or walking your dog. It could be helping or teaching others. It could be work. Or, it could be spiritual reflection.
3. Write these things down.
4. Visualize yourself doing these meaningful things. Ask yourself which are most important? Prioritize the list. Discard the unimportant things.
5. Keep the list on the desktop of your pc, in your wallet or purse, or posted on the wall of your office.
6. Spend your free time with others who share and support your dreams. Avoid those who don’t support you or your dreams.
7. Seek advice from people who you respect. Ask these people to be your mentors. These mentors might be more experienced, elderly, or just plain wise. Listen to them. Learn from them.
8. Tell others about your quest.
9. Read your list everyday. Update it when necessary.
10. Do what is meaningful everyday.

Live and work in a meaningful way.What Really Matters to Me


John Bradley Jackson
Author, Entrepreneur, Professor
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved

My new book “Socially Close” is now available at www.johnbradleyjackson.com!

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  1. Great article! This was especially useful to me today, as I tried to cram in a million things–not all of which were that important! Prioritize and prioritize the things that are meaningful. Thank you!

    • John Bradley Jackson

      Well said Marita. Too many choices and not enough time is a common lament. Thus, we are challenged do what is most meaningful and important. It does mean saying no.

  2. summer

    nice and concise! thanks Professor JJ

    • John Bradley Jackson

      Thanks very much.

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