Let’s Remember What’s Really Important

Lately I’ve noticed plenty of folks investing heaps of emotion in trivial, insignificant junk. Sadly, I’m a part of that trend in many instances. It’s vital that occasionally, we take a step back and appreciate the beautiful, amazing aspects of our lives. There are telltale signs that you’ve forgotten what’s worth worrying about — or at the very least, put it on the back burner.

When slow internet, malfunctioning electronic devices, or a long line is enough to turn you into a negative Nancy for lengthy stretches, that’s an indicator. When you’re more concerned with a stranger’s opinions of you, than how you’re perceived by family and close friends, that’s a red flag; an alert that you’ve become too concerned with the hogwash, and oblivious to what’s truly important.

So what does matter? Well if you’re reading this right now, you’re alive — that matters. You woke up this morning, and you have the benefit of living life for the time being. That’s precious, if you think about it. Never mind that your current situation might not be ideal. Honestly, it’ll never be flawless, but that’s okay. If a person is seeking picture-perfection, there’ll just about always be something to nitpick and be unhappy about.

If you don’t currently feel ecstatic to possess a beating heart and breathing lungs, ask yourself what it is that’s bringing you down your spirits. Finances? Don’t stress, money comes and goes. Currently arguing with a lover? Do your best to fix it, everything within your power. Hate your job? Apply elsewhere; specifically at a place that you’ll enjoy (or at least feel content) being employed by. There are significant problems that will arise, but if they aren’t the loss of a loved one, ailing condition, legitimate poverty, or worse — then you should probably be grateful.

Too often we forget that our good health is more important than a bad hair day. The value of one’s wellbeing is immeasurably higher than the funds in their bank account. To say that money isn’t important would be a blatant lie, but to live life as if it’s everything is equally preposterous.

The modern trend of taking pride in prioritizing money over everything else isn’t necessarily worthy of bagging about. Lavish things are often overrated. What about life experiences? Having material possessions is cool, but spending that cash on a trip will result in lifetime memories — which ain’t too shabby either. Living life to its fullest means seeing, feeling, touching, tasting and fully experiencing a variety of places and things. It truly isn’t all about owning the newest Apple products, the fanciest handbags, or suits with high thread counts.

If you can recognize that being fully intact and having an opportunity to change the bad aspects of your life is what matters, that’s a great thing. If you can appreciate the good facets, you’re probably a joy to be around. It always seems that those who grasp the worth of every single day tend to be the happiest.

If you’ve slept in a bed, had a roof over your head, water and hot meals within the past twenty-four hours — then life could be far crueler. It’s easy to get hyped up, and say we’re going to start being more positive, turning the tide and valuing what really matters. A near death experience, an inspirational video, a stimulating moment — something triggers us to want that change. This is the struggle. It’s not difficult to sit here right now and be thankful for what we do have. The testing part comes when we finish that motivating thought, and go back to the real world. When the first thing doesn’t go our way. When we have an opportunity to be pessimistic, or optimistic. When we forget to maintain our forced happiness. When the conscious effort to be cheerful and encouraging wears off, and the natural complainer tries to rear its ugly head. It’s a personal battle that can take a lot of work. Just remember, as long as you’re still alive, it could be worse. TC Mark

image – Shutterstock


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  • jessesummer

    Thanks for this.

  • http://twitter.com/allygreer Ally Greer (@allygreer)

    Great article/way to look at life. I go to Penn State and I want to share this with everyone in my community right now, just to put things into perspective. Thanks!

    • John

      How do you plan to put this into perspective for the victims / people who are upset that children were abused?

  • H.

    Thank you for this realistic look at life.

  • http://whatslyfe.wordpress.com No-s♠r

    Reblogged this on Whatslyfe.

  • http://paperballpotluck.wordpress.com paperballpotluckMattie

    I love this. I always get shit for telling my friends that things could always be worse when they or I complain about trivial things, but its true. Every time something goes wrong or I’m stressed or upset I remember that I have food and somewhere to sleep, and a job – even if its part time and minimum wage and the only one that can change things is me.

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/07/let%e2%80%99s-remember-what%e2%80%99s-really-important/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment […]

  • Day

    If anything Christopher, this has been, for me, a trigger, in a series of triggers, and considering where I’m at right now, this means the world.
    Thank you.

    • Claire


  • lesigh

    The timing of this article couldn’t be any more perfect. My cousin was just diagnosed with a no-way-out disease, and that does put things into perspective

  • Elijah

    Wow, this site truly has devolved into mindlessness. This is all pretty fucking obvious if you ask me. Got anything fresh to say?

    • Nathaniel

      I understand your sentiment, but in many ways, what Mr. Hudspeth says in this article is much “fresher” than many other articles I see (in general, not on ThoughtCatalog specifically). While yes, the idea of “putting things in perspective” is often seen as a cliche, and yes, it’s impossible to do it all the time, articles like these remind us of the tremendous value of perspective. It is undeniable that we tend to focus on the negative things in life, which build up day by day, and lose track of the things we enjoy and love about life. So I do not believe that this article is a good example at all of “mindlessness”; in fact, I think it’s a pretty apt entry for a website called “Thought Catalog”

    • Amelia

      You are in definite need of taking the author’s words to heart. Do us all a favor and take your negativity elsewhere. I’m confused as to why you even felt the need to share it in the first place. If you don’t like thought catalog, here’s some advice that just might blow your mind… don’t come on this website anymore!

      This piece was fresh and new precisely because writers have thought this kind of stuff is cliche for so long that no one writes in such a positive way anymore. Kudos to you for seeing the beauty in optimism. This was much-needed, for me at least.

      • Courtney

        I agree with Elijah, sadly. This is grade school level motivation, at best. “Be happy what you have”…blah blah blah, the fact is, people in the western world have the highest rates of depression, despite having “a roof over our heads” and owning some fancy electronics. Sleeping in a bed, having water and hot meals does not equal self fulfillment or happiness, at all, actually.

  • http://youlovemercedes.wordpress.com Mercedes

    I’m tempted to send this to my boyfriend’s mother. She’s been a negative Nancy far too long!

  • http://meanderingsofmeg.wordpress.com Meg McNeil

    Reblogged this on Meanderings of Meg.

  • Kate

    This is a welcome break from “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay”, “You’re Not Allowed To Have Feelings” and other such self pitying crud that’s been on here recently.

  • http://okeaynigel.wordpress.com okeay

    Reblogged this on okeaynigel and commented:
    Just something I need to hear right now

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  • http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/10-different-types-of-saturdays-to-have/ 10 Different Types Of Saturdays To Have | Thought Catalog

    […] 9. Matter-day: Spend your Saturday appreciating all of the truly important aspects of like. If you need a refresher on what’s really important, here you go. […]

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/08/10-different-types-of-saturdays-to-have/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] 9. Matter-day: Spend your Saturday appreciating all of the truly important aspects of like. If you need a refresher on what’s really important, here you go. […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on RunningAmok and commented:
    great post. important things are meant to grow in a substantial way whereas fluff just moves in a pointless cycle going nowhere

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