Dumb Little Man

Will All of This Matter In Five Years?

Written on 8/27/2008 by Ali Hale. Ali runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university. Photo Credit: striatic

Will All of This Matter In Five Years

A few years ago, I had a lot of trouble keeping things in perspective. A bad day at school, a nasty comment from a classmate, a disagreement with my parents, all had the power to kill my day, sometimes my month. To me, everything was a big deal and I couldn’t just get over the lumps and bumps of life like most people seemed to.

I also never managed to stick to the things I started. I kept “going on a diet” – for all of three days. I began short stories, I began a novel, I began to teach myself Latin, I started designing a website. None of the projects were completed. For goodness sake, I bought some classic novels but never opened them. Why not?

There was always something else competing for attention and none of them, none at all, were important as it pertains to achieving my goals. Simple things like TV or computer games won the daily battles and subsequently were awarded my time.

Then I discovered six little words have helped me through stressful times and kept me focussed on what’s important in my life. Those simple words”Will it matter in five years?

When your day goes south, ask, “Will it matter in five years?” The answer, more times than not, is no – not even close.

As you can see, asking “Will it matter in five years?” is a fantastic way to put things into perspective. However disastrous your day’s been, it’s rare that anything happens which won’t be forgotten long before the five years are up.

What about real catastrophes, though, times when something significant has gone wrong?

The most powerful way to use those six little words, though, is when you’re deciding what you want to spend your time doing. Some activities might be fun or profitable right now – but they won’t matter in five years. Others might seem like a lot of work for little reward in the present – but you’ll reap huge dividends a few years down the line.

Are there worries in your life which just won’t matter in five years’ time? Are there activities which you never quite get round to doing which you’ve now realized will matter? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.


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