Choosing What’s Really Important in Life

The longer I live the more reflective I’ve become. I make it a point now to regularly set time aside for contemplative reflection and silent meditation. What I reflect on most is the relationship between mind, body, and energy. In terms of meditation, I set aside time in the morning, anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to just allow whatever happens to happen. Unlike contemplation where thoughts center around ideas on a specific topic or subject, there is no agenda to meditation other than to sit in the experience of being.

We all have the responsibility of determining for ourselves what is most important in life. It can be a difficult and challenging process but well worth it because it becomes the guiding force for our thoughts, words, and deeds. Spending time in introspective thought helps tremendously in this process. There are no right or wrong answers because we all place value on different things. We each have our own values, beliefs, and goals. The important thing is taking the time to make these choices for yourself.

As noted, making time for daily reflection and meditation is important to me. It is how I start and end my days. Here are just a few additional things in life that are important for me. Hopefully, if you haven’t already done so, it will help you think about and come up with your own set of choices.

For starters, the efficient, effective use of time is something I place high value on. Time is one of the most important resources we have. The gift of life is short, and the last thing I want to do is waste precious time on frivolous, meaningless activities. How I look at this is simple: if an action does not bring value in some way, it is not worth doing. There is no time to waste.

Photo by: Delicia Waller

Next on my list is the cultivation of meaningful relationships. Life is empty without strong, significant relationships. This can – but does not necessarily have to – include biological family. There are some cases where family relations are not the strongest; however, having solid relationships with friends, colleagues, and romantic partners to share the ups and downs of life adds tremendous joy and is very important to me.

Regarding career, doing work that adds value to the lives of others is important to me. I enjoy the work I do in the non-profit sector. Workforce and personal development work with underserved populations can be challenging, but equally rewarding. While it will never make me rich in terms of finances, it makes me extremely wealthy in the joy I get from having a positive impact on the lives of others and in the community. There are few things more meaningful than that.

Finally on this short list, is maintaining good health. Sustaining good physical and mental health is important for living a fulfilling life. Eating well, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep contribute to better physical health. Engaging in activities that are relaxing, enjoyable, and reduce stress helps with nurturing good mental health. Both areas strongly complement and influence each other and are equally valued.

These items are not unique; in fact, they are quite common. The main point is not what is on your list but that you make the time to create a list of your own. There are plenty of sources that daily seek to influence us to act on what they deem important and are in their best interest. If you don’t decide what is important for yourself, someone else most certainly will.

I like the way author Iyanla Vanzant puts it; “How can we expect to find peace, harmony, or self if we live through the perceptions of another? We can’t. Whether religion, career, personal liberty, or life itself, we must investigate; we must seek. We must probe. We must ask questions. We must be in charge of our own reality and know our own truth.”