What things really matter to you?
What is truly important?
Is it your stuff? Your phone? Your shoes? Your collection of ceramic elephants?
Hopefully the things that are important to you are not really things at all.
Your health, your family, your children, your friends, the planet, etc.
How can we be more conscious of remembering what really matters in life?
This topic is so cliché. We hear stories of it happening and movies that are based on it. The quintessential husband who works so much just to make a lot of money, all to the detriment of his health and family. Soon his wife wants a divorce, the kids hate him, he gets a fatal disease due to all the stress and his whole world starts falling apart.
He soon begins to realize that life wasn’t about the chase of the almighty dollar but about something much more.
It always begs the question:
Why do we need to wait for bad things to happen in order to wake us up to what truly matters?
There must be a better way!
Let me ask you a question.
If someone were to offer you 10 million dollars in exchange for your health and that no amount of money or technology would be able to buy back your health, would you make the exchange?
Of course not!
The same deal if you substitute your kids or other important things in life.
That goes to show that we value those things over money, yet, people STILL feel the need to chase the money.
Then why do so many of us still feel the need to accumulate houses full of stuff to keep up with their neighbors.
Their very existence seems to be tied to having material possessions.
Some might say you need to hit rock bottom to truly change and I can see the truth in that.
But why wait?
Is that the ONLY option available?
Can you start right now without letting a tragedy hit you with a left hook to your face?
Right now, our society conditions us that money, fame, prestige, status – these are the things that truly matter (perhaps an unfortunate byproduct of the capitalistic system).
But what if your conditioning was that health mattered, relationships mattered, spiritual practice mattered, learning mattered, living mattered, becoming a better person mattered, developing your focus, discipline, and character mattered?
What if that was your conditioning?
And ironically, should you focus on those important things in life, you might have a good shot at making the big money as well, but that would just be icing on the cake. The cherry on top. If having money is even important to you.
And if you didn’t get that, you would still have what truly matters anyway so either way, you win.
You would still be focused on what’s important daily in your life and not stray.
So you need to do 2 things to effectively start reverse conditioning.
On the one hand, you need to cut out all the superficial conditioning that’s getting you to focus on things that don’t matter. Usual suspects include shopping catalogs, glamorous magazines, TV, movies, and one of the biggest being who you hang out with on a regular basis.
Wow, a total shift in the way you live and think but it can be done.
What is truly important to you?? It just can’t be stuff.
Take a look around your social circle and see what they truly value. Do they value the more important things in life or are they still all about the superficial?
If it’s the latter, it might be time to slowly phase them out of your social circle.
There was an article in USA Today that I remember about a wife of an executive who lost his high paying job during the recession. It entailed how they burned through their savings and pension and struggled to stay afloat and the article ended with a quote of her saying how she opened her closet door to see all the expensive purses and shoes and pocketbooks she bought before and realized how silly they were now when they seemed so important before.
That’s the power of deceptive conditioning right there.
You are going to have to dig deep inside yourself for this shift to happen, make no mistake about that. It will be hard and very challenging.
But you can make this change.
Take an objective look at what’s influencing you right now and act as a surgeon to cut out all sources of conditioning that get you to focus on the silly things.
Now you replace all that with sources of conditioning that remind and reinforce you of the more important things in life. You’ll find they’ll mostly come from books and the people you hang out with. Why books? Because books remain one of the few mediums that go in DEEP. Magazines, TV, movies – while some of them can go deep, the way they’re structured doesn’t really allow for consideration of the more important things while books do. Add to that, associating with people who truly focus on the more important things in life who prove it by the way they live and you’ve got a great recipe for reverse conditioning in this society.
Start a collection of quotes, articles, chapters that you can refer to in order to remind you of what’s really important in life. You literally need to immerse yourself in this to reverse the conditioning society has done to you.
Be conscious of what’s going on in your life. What’s the pull in your life?
What are you basing your life on?
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