Isn’t It Time To Agree Upon The Important Stuff—Doing What Matters Most?

Bill Cottringer

In making the long, bumpy and winding way home in my own reality repair journey, I have finally discovered answers to the two most important questions I imagine we all have. These are:

• What is my main purpose for being here?
• How is the best way for me to live this purpose?

The simple answer to both these questions is: We all want more genuine, authentic, and long-lasting happiness and this is exactly what we get when we do the few things that are necessary to get more of it. The main mistake I have made in this common pursuit is to confuse illegitimate, short-range painless pleasure for the real McCoy—genuine, authentic, and long-lasting happiness.

Although our common purpose involves getting more of this real happiness, that is where the commonality stops and all the private definitions of it and the endless ways to get it start surfacing in a life of trial and error mistakes.

The path to this genuine happiness, regardless of what else you call it, has already been laid out for us to learn and practice. In case you may have not remembered or practiced these tried and true ways to get more genuine happiness, here is the original list:

1. Discovering, growing, improving and applying your special God-given talents to do the few things known to bring genuine happiness to yourself and others.

2. Searching for the absolute truth of something, always viewing it as temporary and incomplete.

3. Stretching your ability to love others unconditionally past just thinking about it.

4. Increasing your understanding and acceptance of certain realities you can’t do anything about and making your best effort to do something productive about the ones you can make better—especially knowing the difference between the two.

5. Practicing sincere forgiveness of yourself and others for the mistakes you have made and always will make.

6. Growing your sense of “oneness” with everything else by noticing the important connections below the surface.

7. Helping to simplify the overload that is burying us all by focusing on doing what matters most.

8. Having hope and optimism that there is some good, positive benefit even in the worst of “negative” events and circumstances.

9. Showing compassion with others who have less happiness, mainly by being graciously and generously giving and being humble by not imposing your pride and “bragging” about your full bucket.

10. Celebrating differences between people, instead of allowing these differences and fears about them annoy and upset you into destructive thoughts and actions, and then building upon the commonalities we all have, mainly this purpose for living and the right way to live it.

11. Making difficult but morally right and responsible choices by willingly sacrificing painless, short-term pleasures for more genuine, longer-lasting, true happiness.

12. Unselfishly serving others in any way that matters most, without needing anything in return.

13. Avoiding all the tempting and distracting sources of unhappiness, you learn along the way; actively searching out new experiences that are likely to bring happiness.

14. Openly expressing generous appreciation for what happiness we currently have, knowing this is the key to getting more.

15. Worshipping a higher power in ways that bring you more genuine happiness to give to others.

16. Exploring your natural creativity to see important truths in ordinary things and then communicating them to others in new and unusual ways.

17. Committing to a lifetime of learning, growing and improving in doing all these other things to get more happiness for yourself and others.

18. Practicing more patience than you want to during this whole process.

19. Expanding your mindfulness and awareness of all that is going on around you to become more of a proactive participant in life than a passive, reacting observer, gradually abandoning the “safe space” in between.

20. Pausing frequently to notice the connection between what you are doing, how you are doing it, and what you get from it.

Engage in any of these activities and enjoy your mind, heart, body and spirit getting more of what you really want, on your way to an eternal now moment of happiness.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA and also a business and personal success coach, sport psychologist, photographer and writer living in the mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, The Prosperity Zone, Getting More By Doing Less, You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too, The Bow-Wow Secrets, Do What Matters Most, “P” Point Management, and Reality Repair Rx coming shortly. He can be contacted with comments or questions at 425 454-5011 or