What Matters Most?

Feb 09

Two Perspectives on What Matters Most

Dr. Amit Nagpal, New Delhi, India, and

Janet Smith Warfield, J.D., Florida, USA


Dr. Amit Nagpal’s Perspective

Do we really know what matters most to us? Just give it a second deeper thought, “Do we?”

I came across something very touching in this regard on Facebook recently. It was a photo with the message, “The greatest discovery in the world is to discover yourself.” Very often we are running the rat race or living a life dictated by society because we do not even know what matters most to us and what do we truly want or value in life.

After observing many people over the past 10-15 years, I have reached a conclusion that most of the people chase money or love during their entire adult life depending on what they lacked the most in childhood. If one was born into a rich family where parents hardly had time and one was starved of affection as a child, one often becomes affection-centric . On the other hand, if one was born into a poor family and always saw a shortage of money and material, one tends to become money-centric. We need to realize these imbalances in our personality and try to develop a holistic attitude towards life. A balance of money and material is necessary for true happiness.

Very often we run the rat race thinking that we are making all this money for our family, while family is no more interested in money and wants our time and affection. We think what we want the most is money but on deeper reflection, we realize what we want is a happy family (and of course a clear conscience that we are providing the best possible to our loved ones.)

We should not assume our own needs or the needs of others. We need to rather reflect deeply to understand what matters most to us. To an average human being what matters most is emotional and financial security or in other words the need to be loved and have sufficient material to meet our needs.

No wonder we often feel so empty inside even after becoming millionaires and billionaires. I once posted on Facebook, “The rats are running the rat race while the cool cat enjoys the tamasha from the sidelines.” Once we have understood what matters most to us then we need to balance between our own needs and the needs of our loved ones.

Only such a delicate balance can bring us true happiness and joy. At times, such a balance can feel like walking a tight rope but I assure you it is worth the trouble.

After all anything worth its salt comes at a price.


Dr. Amit Nagpal is a Personal Branding Consultant, passionate Blogger, and Motivational Speaker based in New Delhi, India. He specializes in personal branding with a holistic touch. His philosophy is “Take Charge of your Life and your Brand” He writes a Blog, “The Joys of Teaching


Janet Smith Warfield’s Perspective

Well, what does matter most? Things? People? Love? Living your values?

What if we simplify the question. What if we ask instead, “What matters most right here, right now, in this moment? And what if we add “What matters most right here, right now, in this moment, to you.”

Not always easy to answer, even when we narrow it down to the present moment and you. But it is far easier than asking the general question we started out with, “What matters most?”

So many things matter: our homes, our families, our pets, our jobs, our cars, our lawns, our communities, our churches.


And what about love, peace of mind, non-violence, freedom, courage, truth, honesty, accountability, gratitude, service? Don’t these matter, too?

Molokai - Southeastern Shore

You are the only one who can answer the question what matters most. Yes, you can simplify the question by limiting it to right here, right now, and to you personally. Please do that. Why? Because life is always changing and what matters most today may not be what matters most tomorrow.

You do need to decide on your priorities – for yourself – right here, right now. Which is more important to you, right here, right now? To wash the car or play soccer with your son? To watch the football game on TV or spend quality time with your wife? To paint the house or call your parents to say ‘hello?’ To rest or work on that job for the office? Only you can decide. Go with your gut. Do what you want to do or need to do, not what you ought to do.

As you choose your priorities moment by moment, you’ll see patterns emerging. What activities do you choose to do most? This tells you something about your overall values.

If you spend your life working at a job you hate, come home angry, shout at your wife, and slump into a chair to watch TV, perhaps what matters most is simply physical survival – earning enough money to pay for food, shelter, electricity, water, a car, and other physical items. But is that all that matters?

What about your emotional and spiritual needs?  Do you need less stress and more joy? Do you need to take action to improve your self-esteem? Do you need the motivation, discipline and intention to look for a better source of income that pays more money, requires less work, and brings you joy and challenge? Are you willing to do what it takes to go back to school and get that degree that didn’t matter at all when you were sixteen?


Whatever you decide, you’ll be able to do more things that matter if you organize your time and resources. Get all your errands done in one trip. Plan ahead so you don’t have to retrace your steps.

You’ll also be more effective if you pace yourself through your tasks and finish each one before you begin another. That way, you don’t pressure yourself and put yourself under stress. What you don’t finish today will be waiting tomorrow for your time and attention.

Block out time for each thing that matters. Even ten minutes of quality time with your wife is better than a day of arguing because you’re overstressed.

Simplify your life. There are many things you are doing that don’t need to be done, right here, right now, by you. What are they? Let them go and simply do what matters most.

Most important, make sure you take time for yourself. Sleep when you need to sleep. Eat when you are hungry. Meditate when you need to get centered. Be open to receiving gifts and support systems that are all around you when your eyes and heart and mind are open to receiving them. Then watch the miracles happen.

When you take time to re-center yourself, all your tasks and relationships work more smoothly. What matters most emerges in each moment. What emerges that truly matters most is the strength, clarity, intention, focus, and motivation to bring about your deepest desires.


Janet Smith Warfield serves wisdom-seekers who want understanding and clarity so they can live peaceful, powerful, prosperous lives. Through her unique combination of holistic, creative, right-brain transformational experiences and 22 years of rigorous, left-brain law practice, she has learned how to sculpt words in atypical ways to shift her listeners into experiences beyond words, transforming turmoil into inner peace. To learn more, see www.wordsculptures.com, www.janetsmithwarfield.com; and www.wordsculpturespublishing.com.

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