A few years ago someone I knew experienced an extremely challenging personal tragedy, one that turned her world upside down and inside out.
It would have been reasonable by any standard for her to fall apart as a result. She didn’t; in fact, just the opposite. She took stock of what mattered in her life and made a steadfast commitment to focus exclusively, and joyfully on those things.
She followed through with that commitment, in part, by repeating the phrase, “it’s what matters” at every turn, as kind of a mantra-style motivator.
Baseball…it’s what matters.
Peace…it’s what matters.
Ice cream…it’s what maters.
Happiness…it’s what matters.
And so on.
I was, and remain astonished by her ability to live her core values, even through what I’m confident was unremitting heartbreak. She amazes me with her resolve to stay true to a core that demands courage, faith, and joyfulness above whatever pain life’s challenges bring her way.
Mercifully, not all of us have or will experience extreme personal tragedies.
Challenges are relative though, and we all have them. Large and small, our daily challenges are important opportunities. I firmly believe that every challenge is also a chance, a chance to learn and grow.
How do you manage to balance your daily challenges with your core values?
In what ways do you ensure that the your daily journey is one you can reflect on with a sense of fulfillment and gratitude?
If you’re interested in exploring an alternate strategy you might consider the “It’s What Matters” method. It’s easy to do and it supports a direct connection between what you believe and how you live.
All you do is take a few minutes each morning to identify some things that matter most to you, write them down or commit them to memory, and then force yourself back to them if and when you feel as though you’re shifting away.
Some of my standards are children (mine and the other ones I serve), family, reflection, gratitude, kindness, and calm.
When I falter in maintaining a steady course with each of those at the foundation (which I do multiple times each day) I can forgive and right myself by thinking or saying:
Serving children…it’s what matters.
Appreciating my family…it’s what matters.
Thoughtful reflection…it’s what matters.
Gratitude…it’s what matters.
Kindness…it’s what matters.
Restoring to a place of calm focus…it’s what matters.
And so on.
So many things, large and small, can work so hard to bring us down. Sometimes it happens and we don’t even know how or why.
In the energized heat of any moment, anything, even the most trivial and inconsequential things can seem to matter so much. When I take stock with an open heart and open mind I discover that some of it, especially those things laced with negativity, don’t. That’s when reminding myself of what does, makes such a difference.
What matters most to you? How do you maintain a steady course and right yourself though rough waters? If you’re searching at any level, you might consider trying the “It’s What Matters” method. At the very least, it can provide you with an opportunity for a thoughtful, reflective, moment. If all goes well, it can be a reliable strategy for so much more.
Live. Love. Listen. Learn. Lead. Thanks.