The Past is Your Future: The Personal Side

My mother and father, my mentor, a best friend I have had since age 14 and many others. It is easy for me to rattle off the people who have loved me the hardest, shaped me the most and sewn into the good parts of the person I am today.

Perhaps what is more challenging, is realizing what is most important to me in life–what I value. What makes this process even trickier is that what is important to me changes as my life unfolds. Most of my values remain steady over time. For example, I have always valued honesty, loyalty, trust, etc. However, what is important to me evolves as my life moves forward. When I first got married, I would say that my relationship with my partner was of utmost importance. Today, my marriage is still top priority, but I now also have children and other family members to consider in addition to my husband. The executive I mentioned in the practical blog on this topic stated that climbing the corporate ladder was his number one priority until he had children of a certain age. So, while our values tend to hold constant over time, what is important to us changes based on our life circumstances.

You only get this one life. If you are going to live it with ultimate purpose and meaning, it is vital that you regularly take inventory of what matters most to you and then identify practical habits and steps to realize your goals. Here are two easy steps to start identifying what matters to you most. First, think about who has made the biggest impact in your life and why. What do you love about them and what character traits do they possess that you wish to incorporate in your own life. Second, think back on the past 1-2 years of your life. What memories stand out as most cherished? For example, I tried this exercise with my friend and she said that a deep sea fishing trip with her family was her greatest memory from the past year. I was shocked to hear her say this because she rarely goes fishing and tends to get seasick. And, in fact, she had gotten seasick when they first set out in the ocean. However, after delving further into her experience she was able to articulate this memory for me. She said that on this trip her whole family had been together, having fun and laughing and running around the boat as they pulled in numerous fish. She said this memory was precious to her because every person in her family was together and having the best time—all 6 of them! Thinking back on this time, she concluded that right now being with her family and making memories with them is the most important thing to her in life.

If you are struggling to find meaning in your life, or are feeling stuck, an Orlando psychotherapist can help. Our licensed and seasoned therapists can help you identify what it important to you in life and move forward with a plan to live your best life now. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment.


Yolanda Brailey