David has had a variety of life experiences, which he loves to share with his readers.
Ask yourself this question: 'Will this matter a year from now?'
— Richard Carlson
Will This Matter a Year From Now?
There is a reason why this article starts with a quote. This is a quote I live my life by now. It's helped me in so many situations both professionally and personally. I have this quote in my office to remind me each day, "Will this matter a year from now?".
If you are here, you are here to learn how this quote can help you in your life.
Think About Your Problems
To answer the question, "Will this matter a year from now?", you have to figure out what problems you have in the first place. These are problems or annoyances that really get under your skin, cause a massive amount of stress, or make you feel unhappy.
It could be something as trivial as someone parking in your parking space. Or it could be as big as losing a job. Whatever it is you need to find a way to deal with the problem so you can let go of the stress it causes.
Once you have figured out the problems you are having, you have to decide if it's something that will matter a year from now. The guide below will help you sort out those problems.
If you don't want the stress of a problem eating at you a year from now, you can just "Let it Go".
Problems in Your Personal Life
There are various problems you could be facing in your personal life where you need to decide if it will matter a year from now.
- Family - Family is family. They will matter a year from now. We all have family members we want to cut off because of drama they cause, but it's still family. In times of illness, death, or other catastrophes, family needs to be there for each other. So this will matter a year from now.
- Financial Problems - Unless you win the lottery or earn a lot of money for the rest of your life, there will always be financial problems. I'm not saying to ignore them, but stressing about the situation won't help. There is no point in worrying about something that is out of your control.
- Medical Issues - This matters a great deal. If you fail to handle a medical problem, then it will affect you a year from now. I experienced that a lot. My mother passed away partially because of this. So don't ignore medical issues, as they do matter.
- Texting - Lets say you are driving on a freeway during rush hour traffic and you hear your phone buzz with a text message. You are curious as to what that text is about, so you reach over to read it. You take your eyes off the road for only a second and plow into a car in front of you, killing yourself. As you can see, more than likely that text won't matter a year from now.
- Road Rage - I know how frustrating it is to have someone cut you off, drive very slow, or otherwise be annoying while they drive. But will it matter a year from now? Nope, not at all. In fact, when writing this article I recalled that I honked at someone because they sat in the drive-thru window at a fast food place, not moving. They honked back, escalating the situation. Once they drove off I thought I recognized it as a co-worker's car. That could have been very bad, but luckily it wasn't. In the end I should have realized it wouldn't have mattered a year from now.
- Casual Friends - It's very easy to make friends. I've made friends in my school or workplace, and after leaving, those casual friendships ceased to exist. As harsh as it sounds, they won't matter a year from now. People come and go from our lives. It's natural and it's not worth dwelling over.
- Long-term Friends - These are people who have stuck with you over a long period of time. Even if you lose touch sometimes, you still talk and interact when you can. These people do matter, as they could be the only ones there for you a year from now if something bad were to happen. Or you could be there for them. Close friends do matter, year after year.
- Video Games - People rage from video games. I rage from video games. WIll it matter a year from now? No, of course not. It's a video game. The same goes with TV shows, movies, etc. Things that for the most part won't matter in the future unless it's your career.
- Random Acts of Meanness - You like being mean to others? Perhaps play a cruel prank? Tease someone who is disabled, poor, or whatever? Will it matter a year from now for you? No, of course not. But more and more cases are coming out of scenarios like this that do affect someone a year from now, to the point of suicide. Think before you act.
- Random Acts of Kindness - For both yourself and the person you are giving the random act of kindness to, it could matter a year from now. It could start a chain of positive events in both of your lives. Maybe giving out some food to someone who is homeless, who eventually climbs out of that homelessness. Or teaching someone to read so they can get their GED. Sure, sounds corny, but it's acts of kindness that get remembered and can matter many years into the future.
These are just some examples of things in your personal life that may or may not matter a year from now. Use it as a guide to help determine what matters in your personal life.
Problems in Your Work Life
Work takes up a significant portion of your life, so take it into as much consideration as your personal life.
- Your Co-Workers - As harsh as it sounds your co-workers may not matter a year from now. There is a chance they will end up as friends or even close friends, but once you no longer work in the same office together that connection can be broken. So don't sacrifice your job or a promotion for a co-worker which you may not be speaking to a year from now.
- Your Boss - As horrible as it sounds, your boss always matters. Impressing them matters a year from now as much as disappointing them does. Supervisors remember things that you do, even years later.
- Your Employees - This is a counter to the previous statement, but what your employee does should not matter a year from now, for the most part. Do what I do, once they receive their annual review they start over. Unless they are a horrible employee, what they did the previous year does not matter.
- Your Work - In general, work will matter a year from now. How can it not? It is your livelihood. You can only pay your bills, live in a house, and drive a car because of the money you earn. So your job will always matter. You just have to decide what parts of the job are worth dwelling on a year from now and which parts you can let go.
- Office Drama - Drama in the office is never worth it. So gossip, cliques, etc. mean very little a day later, let alone a year later.
Much more can impact your life at work, but remember to ask yourself the same question, "Will this matter a year from now?"
Ask Yourself the Same Question Each Time
There are many decisions you will make in your life. Small ones occur each day, with major ones coming along every so often. Just remember each time to ask yourself this question: "Will this matter a year from now?"
It could make all the difference in the world.
© 2012 David Livermore
David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on June 10, 2012:
No problem, if it helps one person, then the effort was worth it.
Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on June 09, 2012:
Thank you for this very insightful article. It reminds me not to sweat the small stuff and focus more on the useful and positive things in life, and not the negative useless things.
David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on June 09, 2012:
Thank you for the comment Jules, it is nice to see that others feel the same way.
Jules Gonzalez from From the Concrete Jungle to the Sunny Side of Me! on June 08, 2012:
That is how I am living my life, will this matter next year? Will this make an impact in my life by next year? and so on... I do not want to waste anymore of my time and life doing things that are not going to make a difference for me and my family (my husband and children). I am glad that you wrote this. I see I am not the only one that feels this way.