By Dr. Dina Evan

n this time of high stress, what is really important in your life? Do you spend too much time doing life, instead of doing what is important to you?

Like it or not, our world is changing and so are our priorities. As an infant, our only priority was milk, mother and more diapers. These survival needs, remain most important at the bottom of the hierarchy of needs when we are young, according to Maslow, a humanistic psychologist.

As we grow in consciousness, our need for basic survival or material wealth begins to change and we start to explore our need for social connection and spiritual understanding. Somewhere in the midst of our mid-life crisis, the reality that we are all born and we all die, smacks us up side the head and if you are awake you begin asking, ‘Who am I and what am I here for’?

That question becomes as loud as a bass drum banging incessantly in our head by the time we hit our 60’s. This is actually a question we ought to be asking everyday. Who am I at my job and what am I here for. Who am I as a partner and what am I here for? Who am I as a human being on this planet, and what am I here for? Gandhi tells us our actions express our priorities. If true then, on what are we spending the most time and energy? No matter how much life we have left when the question arises, the question moves us to live life fully and do what matters.

But, how do we determine what matters? Trash cans matter. Chocolate matters. Books matter. Teachers matter. Sobriety matters. Friends matter. But, what matters most? Author Gary Hamel in his book What Matters Now says, “Obviously, there are lots of things that matter now. But, in a world of fractured certainties and battered trust, some things matter more than others”.


What matters most to you?

Is it fairness and justice? Is it saving animals or feeding the hungry? Is it living your values? Is it caring for the earth? Is it dignity or peace? Is it the ocean? Is it our youth? Is it revolution? Is it climate change? Is it exploration of new frontiers or new ideas? Is it ending poverty? Is it resolving conflict? Is it gender equality or the right to love whomever you choose? Is it protecting the wild open plains or figuring out how to feed this planet? Is it clean air? On the other hand, is it closer to home?

Is it 10 minutes of meditation a day? Not losing your temper? Outwardly demonstrating the love you feel on the inside? Excruciating truth telling? Is it a more peaceful, orderly home? Your state of mind and quality of your life? Is it your spiritual walk, or healing process? Is it that look of adoration in the eyes of your child or your beloved? Is it doing no harm? Is it the sunset or the sunrise? Is it learning and growing? Is it living in the moment, in the nowness? Is your health and well being? What ever it is…don’t miss it!

I believe we are all intuitive enough to determine what matters most. It may be in that sentence you read from the list above that tugged at your heart, made you want to cry or gave you pause. Perhaps, there was even more than one thing in the list that caught you up. The problem is not so much deciding what matters, as it is what action to take once we know.


Important to remember:

Energy is like a ripple on a pond. No matter how small an action you take, it becomes exponentially larger in its effect. Every action counts.

It’s not about the action, it’s about who you are doing it and the relationships you create in the process. These are the things that raise our consciousness and touch our soul.

There is no one right thing. It all matters. It only takes one person to make that difference.

Living what you believe is most important is really the only goal.

Make a plan and give yourself the gift of meaning in whatever amount of time you have left. After all, that is what we came here to do. I promise it will light up your life!


Dr. Evan is a marriage, family, child therapist and consciousness counselor. She has presented nationwide seminars and workshops, written several books and created meditation CDs for couples, individual and mental health professionals. She has won national acclaim as a human rights advocate. Visit or call 602-571-8228.