What Matters In Life?

In a video Marshall Goldsmith (a respected and sought-after executive coach) talks about what he learned in regards to what truly matters in life.

I am going to briefly summarize the six things Goldsmith says are necessary for a “good” life.

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1) Health

I’ve often told myself the best investment I can make in my future is develop lifestyle habits that support my health and vitality. Reason being, no matter what I do now to save for retirement, if I am in poor health, or die early, it won’t matter what my “nest egg” is.

What’s more, to the degree I take care of my health now, I will have increased ability to both save for retirement and enjoy the present day.

2) Wealth

No one wants to be broke. To a certain degree money is necessary in our lives. But, after $75,000/year (for a single person; say $125-50,000 or so for a (small) family), money matters little in happiness and well-being. Meaning, if you’re not doing the things that support satisfaction and contentment, it won’t matter if you make $200,000 or $2M every year.

3) Positive Relationships

People need people. Relationships matter. Ever wonder how some people just seem to enjoy themselves and are patient, curious, even magnetic? I would be willing to bet it’s because they have positive relationships with others. It takes intention, and some work, though. But it’s one of those investments that pay off.

4) Achievement

We are made to do stuff. Making a contribution/difference/impact is important to human beings. I’ve heard it said that work and contribution is the rent we pay for our lives on this planet. To the extent you honor that idea you’ll feel good and lead a good life. If however, you slack off, or merely “get by, “you’ll pay a heavy emotional cost.

5) Happiness / 6) Meaning

According to Marshall these go together. I can agree with that. We need to be both happy, do what matters (to us) and find meaning in our lives and the World.

If we sacrifice one for the other, or neglect one,we will suffer.

But if we find work and activities that support our happiness (contentment and satisfaction) and that which we can derive meaning from we will have a good life.

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What do you think? Have I missed something important? Let me know in the comments below.

Oh, and make sure you watch the video . . . there’s a bunch of good stuff there.

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