Life is Short
Here I am, on the eve of one of the most contentious and monumental presidential elections in history, writing a blog post about what's important. This is something that my work as a therapist always tries to keep in focus...what are our values? How do they drive our decision making and behavior? Are we doing what brings us joy? If not, why not? Sometimes we have the power to make changes that allow us to live a life more aligned with what's important to us, and sometimes things feel wildly out of control (like, say, this presidential election?!). This blog post does a beautiful job at articulating the need we most likely all have in eliminating "bullshit" from our lives...
But it's not only about eliminating bullshit, but also trying to nurture what is meaningful to us. For some people this comes naturally and easily and for others this is a process that needs to be learned through experience and, often, mistakes. Some values are instilled in us from our family and others we choose for ourselves, but all values are in place to guide our behavior. They're helpful short cuts for us to make decisions whether or not we're even aware of their influence. As Paul Graham says in his blog, "One heuristic for distinguishing stuff that matters is to ask yourself whether you'll care about it in the future. Fake stuff that matters usually has a sharp peak of seeming to matter. That's how it tricks you. The area under the curve is small, but its shape jabs into your consciousness like a pin. The things that matter aren't necessarily the ones people would call 'important.' Having coffee with a friend matters. You won't feel later like that was a waste of time."
Eliminating bullshit and fostering what's truly important to us is and should be a life long task and one that takes tremendous attention. But you can start by asking yourself this: "What matters to me most?"