Things That Don’t Matter

forest path in winter2020 was a time for reflection on, and amplification of, what matters in our lives. We natural introverts are familiar and comfortable thinking about such things. Of course, actually doing something about dropping those things that don’t matter is a different challenge.

There’s always been a magnetism to things that entertain or make life easier, or provide pleasant diversions from things we should be doing. In small doses such detours can be a healthy offset to the mental and physical demands from things requiring focus and intensity. But in a year that, for me (and I suspect many others), provided an opportunity for reflection and redirection, I’ve decide it’s finally time to offload unnecessary baggage and distractions, and head off down a path to a more meaningful and productive year.

Maybe it’s the wisdom of aging, or realizing my finite energy can no longer power all I’ve been doing that’s behind this major insight about what I should do in 2021. I now clearly know those things that matter to me (e.g., those activities and efforts I can control). Now my task is clear, summarized well by this stoicism guru:

It may take some hard work. But the more you say no to the things that don’t matter, the more you can say yes to the things that do. – Ryan Holliday


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