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12 Things That Really Matter Most and Are Important in Life

This article aims to help you improve your emotional well-being, eliminate spiritual disharmony, and heal your mind, body, and spirit.

Consider these 12 points to improve how you feel about your life.

Consider these 12 points to improve how you feel about your life.

What Matters Most in Life?

When you stop to consider this question, the first thing that comes to mind is probably your most cherished desire. But what have you done to achieve it? Let’s review the following points to help you know what's most important in your life.

  1. Your personal values
  2. Long-term possibilities
  3. Making hasty decisions
  4. Learning from your mistakes
  5. Acknowledging your self-worth
  6. Solving challenging problems
  7. Recalling positive experiences
  8. Forgetting toxic experiences
  9. Seeking the truth
  10. Being dependable
  11. Being aware of hidden agendas
  12. Searching for facts

1. Be Mindful of Your Personal Values

What would you do differently if you considered your true values? Do you know what you value most in life? Do you ever actually even think about that?

  • Are there things you have not done in your life that you really would like to have accomplished?
  • Is there a different path you may have taken if you didn't judge yourself?
  • Have you failed to do something that may have made you very happy but held back for some reason?
  • Are you upset about how your life has turned out because you wanted something different?

What was holding you back? Give some thought to this if you don't already know.

It's never too late to make changes. So think about it and be honest about your capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. But most of all, your values!

2. Consider the Long-Term Possibilities

I made the worst decisions when I neglected to consider their significance in the development of my future.

You'll make better decisions when you are mindful of where your choices can take you. Start by focusing on the present and what you already have.

  • Is it good?
  • Does it have value for you?
  • Does it have potential?

Sometimes we overlook the opportunities because we don't make a mental connection with how our present becomes our future. So, be mindful of the possibilities!

Long-term planning is vital to creating a desirable future. Everything you do today can eventually have a life-changing effect.

3. Avoid Making Hasty Decisions

We always have control over our destiny, but sometimes we feel rushed to make decisions. It's crucial to take a breather and collect your thoughts. Never make decisions in haste, especially those that can be life-changing.

It's your life, and you deserve to plan it well. That involves doing your due diligence when necessary. Research the information available when you are confronted with the need to choose. That is necessary for all aspects of life, such as:

  • The careers we choose.
  • The friends with whom we socialize.
  • The trips we make.
  • The person we marry.

So, take the time to know what you really want and where you're headed.

Consider your choices carefully.

Consider your choices carefully.

4. Learn From Your Mistakes

As I go through life, I consider each failure a lesson for improvement. Ignoring that can be a detriment to your future.

It's best to apply that energy to ourselves and let others learn from their mistakes. Sometimes we try to fix other people’s problems.

I’ve had many experiences where friends asked for advice but never took it. In some cases, I wasted my time because they just wanted someone to justify the reason for their failure rather than point them in the right direction. The effort is better spent on your own matters.

5. Acknowledge Your Self-Worth

Ben Franklin wrote an essay in one of his newspapers, the Pennsylvania Gazette, on the value of one's life.1

He mathematically calculated that over one’s life, they have sacrificed tens of thousands of livestock, poultry, and fish for their own survival.

Then he asked if one had given back to society anything equal to that. He discussed how one might just live for pleasure and never serve any purpose.

Heavy stuff to think about, isn’t it? But try. It can help you feel better about yourself and your self-worth.

6. Solve Challenging Problems

Did you ever notice that you do a better job working out your problems when you talk about them with a friend?

Many times, the friend doesn't need to provide any input. Instead, they listen without offering any advice or suggestions. So you can do it on your own too, as follows:

Think Out-Loud

For example, if you need to work out a solution to a problem you're having, instead of thinking quietly about it in your head, try thinking out loud. Talk about it out loud even though you're alone.

That might sound silly, but I've done it. I imagine I'm talking to a friend to work my way through my thoughts. It helps with working out challenging problems. Try it.

7. Recall Positive Experiences

Recalling the positive experiences you’ve had in your life can help build self-confidence. Those memories will help you acknowledge the ability you have for success.

Sometimes it helps to take a step back and give yourself a break. Get a good night’s sleep, and when you wake up, think about those things so you start the day with a positive attitude.

Recalling positive experiences helps with self-confidence.

Recalling positive experiences helps with self-confidence.

8. Put Toxic Experiences Behind You

Bad experiences can sabotage your future because they affect your present feelings.

It's not easy, but it helps to change how you think about it. You’ll never know when you will do something that changes the course of your entire future, and negative experiences can sway your judgment and continue a losing path.

By allowing yourself to be aware of what you can achieve, you will make the best use of the present situation. So, think ahead with a positive attitude, not backward with regret.

9. Seek the Truth and Ignore the Lies

People are not always trustworthy. We all know that. So it would be best if you considered what’s not apparent. That will help you see through the lies.

The truth is so easy to tell. It never changes. However, when people tell lies, they need to remember the lie. Otherwise, they might inadvertently say it differently the next time.

You will eventually catch them in a lie when you pay attention to detail. So remember to always seek the truth by focusing on the way people describe things, especially when it concerns your welfare.

10. Always Be Dependable

One of the traits that I feel is most important is to show everyone that you are a dependable person. When I make a promise, I keep it. My friends will always know that when I say something is going to happen, it does.

Life is full of uncertainties, and keeping a promise can be difficult when conflicts arise. However, real friends who know that you are always dependable will understand and appreciate the reason for breaking a commitment when you have no choice.

A strong friendship is apparent when one can say "no" as easily as saying "yes." A sincere friend will respect why someone can’t join them in an activity due to conflicting schedules.

All this becomes easy when you are known to be a dependable person in general.

11. Be Aware of People’s Hidden Agendas

Some people might have a different agenda than what they represent to you, especially politicians. So try to be aware of that.

There's usually hidden meaning in what people do and say. Paying close attention to the difference between what people tell you and how they behave will enlighten you about what they might be up to for their own agenda.

That is what’s meant by the term “read between the lines.” Try to do that whenever things just don’t make sense. You might find the hidden meaning in people’s actions.

There could be hidden meaning in people’s actions.

There could be hidden meaning in people’s actions.

12. Search for Facts Before Justifying Beliefs

This last point is another thing I learned from Ben Franklin. In his book, The Art of Virtue, he explained that he never trusted human reasoning. He believed that it resulted in our need to justify our decisions based solely on beliefs.2

Once one justifies their behavior or decisions, they never search further for facts. That lack of desire to seek the truth can lead to being doomed to failure.

So what do you do? When making decisions, think hard about the chance you might be overlooking critical factual details. You need to be honest with yourself without defending your beliefs.

Key Takeaway

Remember, you can improve how you feel about yourself by being aware of your values and mindful of the most important things in life.

If just one of these points has a significant impact on your life, your time invested in its approach will have been worth it.


  1. Benjamin Franklin. (Nov 18, 1736). "On The Waste of Time." Pennsylvania Gazette
  2. Benjamin Franklin. (Reprint edition: January 10, 2018). “The Art of Virtue” - Skyhorse Publishing

© 2018 Glenn Stok


Larry Slawson from North Carolina on October 31, 2018:

Thank you for sharing! Very helpful and meaningful list here.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on September 17, 2018:

Tessa - Everyone has their own method that works for them. The only thing that’s important is to know what the method is.

Tessa Schlesinger on September 17, 2018:

I would agree with them all except that I don't see the need to wake up positive. There was some research the other day that in order to accomplish things, extroverts need to be happy whereas introverts carry on regardless of mood.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on September 14, 2018:

Interesting point Heidi. Many things that seem simple are not always easy to maintain on an ongoing basis.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on September 14, 2018:

It seems so simple, yet we often struggle with living this way. Thanks for the great reminders!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on September 13, 2018:

Good point Venkatachari. These rules can actually help bring success in life if used properly.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on September 13, 2018:

Very useful and instructive advice on one's self-development that can bring success in life. Thanks for sharing the tips.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on September 13, 2018:

Thanks Dora. The fifth point is an important one for me too. I’ve saved myself from being taken advantage of many times, by noticing when people can’t keep their story straight. It’s especially useful when talking with salespeople who are trying to sell you something.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 12, 2018:

Helpful and practical counsel. Number 5 sticks out as the one never to forget, but they're all important. Thank you.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on September 11, 2018:

That’s the most important one for me too, John. And you’re right, unforeseen circumstances can always get in the way. Short of that, I only agree to do something if I am mostly sure (okay - 99%) that I can keep my promise.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on September 11, 2018:

You have listed a commendable set of rules for living life here Glenn. I have my own similar set of rules/values. For instance, like you, I never promise anything unless I am 99% sure I can deliver (no one can be 100% certain because unforeseen situations sometimes occur.) Good job.