It Doesn’t Really Matter– Where Do You Find Your Value?

by | Jun 17, 2024 | Article, Leadership, Personal Development, Priorities, Relationships, Video

Have you ever found yourself in any of these situations and wondered if it truly matters?

  • It’s your first week of college classes, and you have your first big test coming up. You’ve heard all through high school that college is way harder, so you study every day for two weeks leading up to the test. You take the test, confident in your knowledge. You get your grade back… and you made a D. 
  • You give an important presentation at work, and your audience is made up of company leadership– so this presentation is important to you! You spend weeks preparing, and you absolutely crush the presentation: only to realize you had a giant stain on your shirt the whole time.
  • On the first day of a new job, a coworker tries to make small talk with you. In the conversation, you unintentionally say something embarrassing to your peer. The conversation falters for a moment before continuing… but that moment is the only thing you can think of as you fall asleep that night.


Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there – stressing over something that seemed like the biggest deal in the world at the time, only to look back a few months (or even weeks) later and realize how insignificant it actually was. It’s easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment, but stepping back and gaining some perspective is crucial for maintaining our sanity and focusing on what truly matters.

 If you’ve ever seen the classic comedy “Meatballs,” you might remember the iconic scene where Bill Murray’s character, Tripper, delivers a motivational speech to his camp team. In this scene, his campers have been in a competition with a rival camp, and they are losing badly. Losing morale, the team talks about just giving up on the competition because they know they will lose. His message to them is simple yet profound: “It just doesn’t matter!” 

When you hear this out of context, you might get the impression that Tripper is telling his team that winning or losing is unimportant, and that their efforts don’t matter. 

This would be a strange way to try and motivate a team, wouldn’t it? Rather, the message of this statement is that the outcome of our efforts shouldn’t consume us or define our self-worth. 

Even if we give our best effort toward something, there’s a possibility that someone might still be better than us– and if we give our best effort, we can still be proud of the work we’ve done, and we can even use the experience to learn and grow. The true victory lies in having fun and enjoying the experience.


It Just Doesn’t Matter- A Leader’s Application


As someone in a leadership position, I have applied this concept to multiple aspects of our lives. We often expend an incredible amount of energy and mental bandwidth on things that, in the grand scheme of things, won’t make any real difference down the line. This way of living is detrimental to our success for two main reasons: we get dragged down by our failures, and we spend so much time on things we don’t really care about that we miss out on the things we do. 


Setting Your Priorities

What are your priorities? Take a moment to think about the things that matter to you the most in life– what are they? Most people have similar answers to this question: family, friends, making a difference, and being successful.  

If that’s the case, then why do so many people spend so much of their time doing things that don’t have anything to do with our priorities? If family is a priority, why do we spend more hours working overtime than we do at family dinner? If success is a priority, why do we scroll through social media when we’re bored instead of taking time to learn more about our respective industries? Knowing what matters to you can help you as you set goals and make plans to see those goals become a reality.


Viewing Mistakes As A Tool

Another thing that could be inhibiting your perspective is a flawed perspective on failure. When we do not learn to let go of minor mistakes or turn them into lessons, we tend to ruminate on them– and when we fixate on our shortcomings, we often find ourselves discouraged and defeated.  

When we give more time and attention to our mistakes and shortcomings than they deserve, we often find ourselves incapacitated by them. Instead, when we learn to gauge how much our mistakes really have an impact, we can then use them as an opportunity to learn and grow. 


Deciding What Matters


How can you tell if something really matters or if it’s just a fleeting blip on the radar? Here’s a simple litmus test: Ask yourself:

 “Does it matter in 5 seconds?”

“Does it matter in 5 minutes?”

“Does it matter in 5 hours?”

“Does it matter in 5 days?”

“Does it matter in 5 weeks?”

“Does it matter in 5 months?”


Let’s face it– we all make mistakes, and we all do and say things we wish we hadn’t. With that being said, we can also all also relate to the experience of mulling over these things. We regret that slightly embarrassing thing we said to that coworker, and we beat ourselves up forgetting to send a time-sensitive email.

When we think about these things in the moment, they seem life-altering. Oftentimes, though, everyone forgets about them in a matter of days! When we face disappointment, hardship, embarrassment, or frustration, we can save ourselves unnecessary anxiety through this simple principle: If the answer to all of those questions is “no,” then chances are, it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

Now, this isn’t to say that we should adopt a careless attitude towards everything– if anything, quite the opposite! I strongly believe that passion and devotion to one’s priorities is crucial to success. Additionally, accountability is a quality of a good leader. When you do make mistakes, you should also take responsibility and make efforts to rectify them.  

When we become accustomed to viewing our mistakes and disappointments through the lens of their long-term consequences, we become more mindful of how our actions impact our lives and the lives of those around us. When you take the time to think about the long-term ramifications of your actions and decisions,you give yourself more of your time and energy to devote to more important things. 

There are undoubtedly situations and decisions that carry immense weight and long-lasting consequences. The vast majority of the little things that tend to consume our thoughts and emotions on a daily basis really have no lasting significance in our lives. When you assess a situation and realize that it doesn’t really matter, it’s often better to take a step back, take a deep breath, and let it go. 

However, if something still holds significance even five years or five decades down the line, well, that’s an entirely different story. If you have an important decision coming up, think about whether the effects of your decision can have an impact on your life five years from now. If the answer is “yes,” you might want to take some extra time to think through your decision. 


Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!

Imagine how liberating it would be to approach each day with the confidence and agency to decide what’s important to you. Instead of being constantly bogged down by trivial concerns, you could use your mental and emotional bandwidth towards your relationships, personal growth, and long-term goals. 

When you can be honest with yourself about how much the decisions you make really matter, you free yourself up.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Our minds have a pesky habit of blowing things out of proportion, and it can be challenging to maintain a level-headed outlook when we’re in the thick of it. But that’s where the power of self-reflection comes into play. The next time you find yourself spiraling over something that seems like a catastrophic event, pause and ask yourself, “Will this really matter in five years?” Chances are, the answer will be a resounding “no,” and you can then make a conscious choice to let it go and move on.

Keeping things in perspective is not only essential for living a truly successful and fulfilling life. By learning to discern what really matters from what’s merely a fleeting distraction, we can navigate the ups and downs with greater resilience, grace, and a whole lot more joy. So, the next time you’re tempted to sweat the small stuff, remember Bill Murray’s wise words: “It just doesn’t matter!” and focus your energy where it counts.

If you often find yourself getting bogged down by life’s stresses and losing your sense of perspective, I’ve got the perfect free resource to help you reset. It’s called “Build Your Own House: Building Blocks to Success,” and one of those key building blocks is the Perspective Anchor – a powerful tool for realigning your mindset during overwhelming times. 

Keeping perspective is absolutely vital for achieving real success in any realm, whether that’s your career, relationships, health goals, or overall life satisfaction. My Five Building Blocks lay out a clear framework for mastering perspective and the other foundational pillars like perseverance, continuous learning, and prioritization. Do yourself a favor and grab this free guide – it’s a powerful resource!


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