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Will It Matter a Year from Now?

January 31, 2023

A customer left your business a poor review because you got their order wrong.

You received a note home from school because of your child’s disruptive behavior in class.
You received negative feedback from your boss after delivering a presentation you’ve been working on for months.
You had a fight with your spouse this morning while you were trying to get yourself and children out the door.
You’ve been given what feels like an impossible deadline at work.
You had a disagreement with a friend about a polarizing political issue.
Your sales manager has just informed you that the deal isn’t going to work with the client you worked so hard to land.
Your mom called to complain to you about how little she talks to your other siblings.
Your teammate is making more money than you but works fewer hours.
Your teenage daughter told you she doesn’t want to talk to you about the trouble she’s having with her friends.

What keeps you up at night?


We encounter frustrating situations like the ones listed above every day. Yet, whatever our unique set of circumstances, we should make it our aim to have an appropriate response to each of them. But “appropriate” is a difficult balance to strike. 

Some issues are very important and warrant a lot of our attention. Others? They may be frustrating, but they shouldn’t completely consume our thoughts and emotions.

The problem is, how do we know which problems warrant our time and energy, and which ones need to be let go?

A few months ago, Seth Godin posted a blog, asking some questions that might help us:

“Will today’s emergency even be remembered?
Will that thing you’re particularly anxious about have been hardly worth the time you put into it?
Better question: What could you do today that would matter a year from now?”

So many of us (myself included) lose sleep over things that will not matter a year from now. Instead of being tossed around by life’s daily trials, let’s ask ourselves how much they will matter a year from now.

We aren’t going to get it all right. We’re going to make mistakes, and we’re going to fail. But most of these moments are fleeting and won’t affect us or the people around us in the long run. So here’s my challenge to you and to me today: Let’s make the intentional decision to focus our thoughts and energy on the relationships and the outcomes that matter the most. 

Let’s stop losing sleep over things that shouldn’t keep us up at night.


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