Our values serve as our compass.
We all have different ideas about what matters most in life. And it's important to figure out what those things are, so we're investing our precious time in areas that have the greatest impact on our life. The answer, of course, is different for everyone. And it will depend on your own definition of what it means to live a "perfect life." But if we zoom out and take a look at the bigger picture, there are a few things that stand out as being universally important.
Here are nine things that matter most in life, no matter who you are or what your circumstances may be.
1. Meaningful Work
No matter what your job is, it’s important to find meaning in it.
Meaningful work leads to feelings of excitement and accomplishment. It also allows you to use your unique talents and strengths to make a contribution to the world.
If your work isn't fulfilling, it'd be a good idea to change your career or shift perspectives on your current job (or both).
The former is straightforward. But how can we shift perspectives?
“Whether you’re a writer, marketer, consultant, or lawyer: Your work is craft, and if you hone your ability and apply it with respect and care, then like the skilled wheelwright you can generate meaning in the daily efforts of your professional life.”
You spend a large chunk of your life working. So, one of the most important things you can do is find joy in it.
2. Mental and Physical Health
Having good health, and taking care of your own well-being, is an important facet of life.
We live in our physical bodies until the day we die, so why not treat them with kindness and respect? Although we lose sight of this fact, it's the truth.
It’s not just about looking good, although that’s a nice bonus. Your health affects your overall well-being—energy, focus, and attitude towards life's circumstances. For this reason, it’s important to exercise, eat healthy foods, and get enough sleep.
And don't forget your mental health. This is just as important as your physical health.
Taking care of your mental health involves self-love. Start filling your own cup. By doing this, there's no need for unhealthy coping patterns such as binge eating, overspending, drugs, or alcohol.
Make sure to take some time for yourself every day, do things that make you happy, and talk to someone if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
3. Connection and Love
No matter who you are, relationships are one of the most important things in life.
These relationships include family, friends, romantic partners, and other loved ones. These connections give your life meaning and purpose. If you have relationships in your life that are causing stress or pain, it’s important to either work on fixing them or let them go. This is easier said than done. But it gives you space to focus on the relationships that truly matter.
Healthy relationships are built on mutual trust, respect, and communication. Your loved ones provide an ecosystem of positive emotions, support, and gratitude.
4. A Sense of Certainty
In an ever-changing world, it’s important to have a sense of certainty.
Certainty gives you the feeling of stability and comfort. It provides assurances that your basic-level needs are taken care of.
Certainty can come in many different forms—your relationship status, career, financial situation, or where you live. You can also gain certainty through creating routines and learning how to be more productive. Without a sense of certainty, your life can start to feel overwhelming.
Of course, life is filled with uncertainty and it's impossible to control everything. But having control in various areas of your life can help you feel more balanced and at ease.
By the way, this is why we built Undock—to give you more certainty and control over your time.
5. A Sense of Adventure
While certainty is important, too much of it makes life boring.
What matters most in life is that you enjoy it. And a life without adventure is a life without excitement, novelty, and curiosity.
A healthy dose of uncertainty is valuable. It provides your life with a sense of adventure. So make sure to include some adventure in your life, whether that means traveling, trying a new activity, or taking on a new project at work.
Do things that push you outside of your comfort zone and help you see the world in a new light. It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking — even small adventures can make a big impact.
What matters is that your life has a bit of variety to it.
6. Personal Growth
Learning is the best investment of your time, especially if you participate in the knowledge economy.
Personal growth is a lifelong journey. It’s the process of becoming the best version of yourself. This can unfold in many different ways, such as developing new skills, changing your mindset, or becoming more self-aware.
The key is to always be learning and growing. This way, you can make sure that you’re keeping up with the world around you and continuously improving your life. One of the best ways to encourage personal growth is to surround yourself with people who are also on a journey of self-improvement. When you’re around people who are committed to growth, it’s contagious — you can’t help but be impacted by their positive attitude and desire to improve.
Of course, personal growth isn’t always easy. It requires dedication, effort, and time.
But the rewards are more than worth it. When you’re growing as a person, you’ll feel more confident, capable, and happy.
What matters most in life is not what we get, but what we give.
A life without contribution is a life without purpose. When we make a positive impact, we feel a sense of pride and satisfaction. We also have the self-confidence of knowing that we’re making a difference in the world. And there are many ways to contribute–you can volunteer your time, donate money to causes you care about, or simply be there for someone in need. Contribute in ways that are meaningful to you.
This will make your life more fulfilling and satisfying.
"Mankind is the grandest and surest artist of all, and history as it clarifies is, in pure fact, an artistic process, a creation in its fullness of the beautiful soul." - George Edward Woodberry
Creativity is what makes us human.
It allows us to create things that inspire the human spirit or offer innovative solutions. But you don’t have to be an eccentric artist to be creative. You can express your creativity through cooking a meal, redecorating your house, or in your business ventures. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things.
The more you tap into your creativity, the more fulfilling your life will be.
Curiosity leads us towards a life of growth and adventure. It’s what drives us to learn new things and explore the world.
When we’re curious, we’re open to new experiences and possibilities. We take risks. Our curiosity can lead us to our passions and dreams. If we ignore it, we have fewer opportunities to figure out what matters most in life. So ask questions, seek out new experiences, and learn as much as you can.
The more curious you are, the more enriching your life will be.
So, what matters most in life? This is up to you to discover.
But there are a few things that are universally important that give our lives the most meaning and joy. Invest your time in these areas, and you’ll be on your way to a fulfilling and happy life.
Want to learn more tips on how to better invest your time? Check out our article: How to Invest Your Time Wisely For Greater Productivity In Work And Life.