Living According to What Really Matters

Living according to what really matters

Guest Post by Life Coach Catriona Futter


Imagine with me that you are at the start of your adulthood, but before entering into that auspicious, shiny new phase of life, an interview is required. The focus is simple – yourself. Time is given for you to dream out loud about your future, and lay out before the panel your hopes, aspirations, goals, priorities and values – the things that matter to you most.  The mood is upbeat and optimistic. You pass into adulthood focused, committed, and full of young energetic promise.


Travelling through adulthood, the path is more tortuous than envisaged, with challenges, growth, new experiences, hardships and many mundanities . The world no longer seems so black and white.


But do those original aspirations remain the focus of living?


Our life priorities and values change as we get older, but how often do we take time to step back from the path to reassess how we are living and the choices we are making?


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Now imagine being back in that interview room, having completed adulthood. Again, the focus is on what really matters to you, this time from the perspective of having lived your life and really understood. A timesheet is laid before you, containing the bare facts of how you have actually lived. And herein lies the rub – where are the gaps between what you originally identified as important, and how you have actually lived? Without coming over all maudlin, is there perhaps regret, disappointment, lack of fulfilment?


What reaction are these questions producing?

What feelings are surfacing?


In my role as life coach, I love to question and encourage below-the-surface thinking – not to make people uncomfortable but to encourage and challenge them to become the best of themselves in the decisions they make. In my previous work as a physiotherapist (physical therapist) I saw countless individuals who were suddenly confronted with what mattered to them most in the raw reality of a cancer diagnosis. Things that consumed much time and effort before their diagnosis now seemed paltry and insignificant. And often, what came into sharp focus were relationships, forgotten goals and dreams, ideas that ended up on the back-burner. Suddenly, the importance of these aspects of life was seen with absolute clarity, and a conviction to live accordingly.



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Now let me be clear – I do not wish a life changing crisis on you! And I fully appreciate that life is busy, complicated, often unexpected and necessitates juggling of many different commitments and demands.


But the challenge is simple – what is it that really matters to you, and does the way you live your life reflect that?

Why do you do what you do?

And what do the choices you make say about what is most important to you?


It can be easy to believe that we have little control over our lives, and the external demands placed on us dictate what we do and how we react. But the key is in that very word. Reacting suggests a passive waiting for something to happen to us, a lack of control. And if we dig below the surface, as I so love to do, perhaps we come across fears that fuel those reactions. Fear of not being liked or approved of if we fail to respond immediately to demands placed on us by others. Fear of failure if we step out towards that long-held goal. Fear of change or rocking the boat. Fear of being vulnerable when we invest in relationships. Tricky I know, and often valid fears, and this is just scratching the surface of a complex issue. But when we live reactively, from a place of fear, the freedom to be ourselves rarely gets a look in.




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There is another way: choosing to live pro-actively, or intentionally, making decisions based on what and who really matter to us. This facilitates a way of living that brings with it a sense of purpose, fulfilment, and freedom.


These are huge issues, so where to start? By beginning at the end, and taking many small steps to reach that goal. Ask yourself –

  • Step 1: What are my life goals and priorities? What matters to me most in life: consider relationships, personal development, health, family, career, service. What legacy do I want to leave behind?
  • Step 2: How do I spend my time currently?
  • Step 3: Where are the gaps?
  • Step 4: The fun bit – pick one small element from Step 1, eg an important relationship, and ask:

What one thing could I do this week to invest in that relationship?

And repeat Step 4 each week, regularly reviewing your goals and priorities, and slowly, gradually and with committed resolve you will find yourself living according to what really matters to you.

Life Coach Catriona Futter

Intrigued and hungry for more? Wanting to make changes but not sure where to start, or how to keep going? I am here to help! I am a Life Coach, passionate about encouraging you to become your best self and live out your life purpose.


Visit my website at to meet me, download your FREE Self-coaching Guide, read my blog and arrange your FREE taster Life Coaching session.

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Chris Delaney NLP Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Career Advisor is available for booking for One to One Private Sessions, Group Training Sessions and Public Speaking Events


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Chris Delaney NLP Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Career Advisor is available for booking for One to One Private Sessions, Group Training Sessions and Public Speaking Events


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