What Matters in Your Life?

People who matter are most aware that everyone else does, too. ~ Malcolm S. Forbes

I recently stood behind a woman in line at the grocery store who was being so rude to the clerk. She wasn’t doing somet
hing right with the credit card scanner and it wasn’t registering. The clerk told her she needed to run it through again, and she sighed saying gruffly, “My ice cream is melting, and my husband’s waiting in the car!” The clerk apologized as she re-ran the card through the machine, but she was still muttering under her breath. When it was my turn, the clerk said hello and I asked him how he was. He replied sarcastically, “It’s just such a treat to be up here.” I brushed it off and said “Well, life is too short to get so upset.” He seemed to lighten up when I realized I was going to be a nice customer. As I took my bags out to my car, I noticed the woman had been walking so slow that she was just barely getting into her car and was complaining to her husband as she got in. I felt sad in my heart for this woman, as I have no idea what she was going through or why she seemed so bitter and unhappy. Above everything, she certainly didn’t look very healthy.
It reminded me of the lyrics of a song I recently heard by Rascal Flatts called “Things that Matter and Things that Don’t.” It’s a great song and oh so true. Things in our lives are just that “things.” It’s the people and relationships who matter most. In doing research for this blog, I found a book by Ira Byock, M.D. called The Four Things That Matter Most. Dr. Byock is a doctor who has handled seriously ill patients for numerous years as well as those in hospice care towards the end of their lives. You see he has learned in working with these patients who are facing death’s door the importance of four sentences:

  1. Please forgive me.
  2. I forgive you.
  3. Thank you.
  4. I love you.

Last week I talked about living with regrets and how we’re not guaranteed a certain amount of time on this earth. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wait until I’m knocking on death’s door to think about these phrases and try to make changes then. Now is the time that matters and we can start today. So many people go through life holding on to unforgiveness in their lives, never even realizing how they are keeping others, much less themselves in bondage.

These phrases really do make you think about how you’ve lived your life and how you’ve handled people along the way. We’re not immune to sudden illnesses or accidents that may come our way, so you don’t want to wait until it’s too late to express forgiveness, say thank you and I love you. If someone comes to mind right now, pick up the phone and call them, send an email or even mail a handwritten card or letter. (I think people still do that!) Maybe you’re not forgiving yourself for something you’ve done in the past. If so, write yourself a letter. How freeing is that!

Since we’ve established that relationships are what really matter in life, what are you doing to transform yours? I’m not saying I’ve “arrived” in my own relationships as far as these thoughts are concerned, and there are still lessons I am learning as I go along. However, I do know this much - I have chosen to be a “builder” or an “edifier” in my life. I am so passionate about fitness and total wellness that I hope at least a little of it has rubbed off in your life. Living a life of wellness is not only for your benefit, but for that of your loved ones. None of us want to be a burden on loved ones now or later in life, so keeping yourself as healthy as possibly can improve your ability to enjoy your life and your relationships with others.

I celebrate the friends and family who have impacted my life, and I love and appreciate you very much. And to all of my “social media” family, a big THANK YOU for your support, your comments and enthusiasm in this wellness message that I so passionately try to convey. I am honored that you believe I have something worthwhile to share, and I hope I’m making a difference in your life. Now if you haven’t exercised today…get off your badonkadonk and MOVE!


  1. Great post, Joe. I think that it is all connected and all goes in a circle. Your attitude affects your health and your health affects your attitude. And if you "put good vibes out there" it comes back to you. Life is too short to dwell on the icky stuff. Hug your loved ones today . . .now! MOVE.

    Thank you, Joe. Your post make me happy AND they make me want to kick some butt.

  2. Very nice- I like it. I try to remind myself to live everyday like it's my last, but I sometimes forget, thanks for reminding me today!

  3. Oh gosh. You called me out on this one. Yesterday I was teaching my daughter how to back up into a parking spot. Other cars got impatient and I almost jumped out my car to express my opinions about that. Now I'm the mean, grumpy lady at that grocery store. Ooops! And a very bad example to my daughter. I'll fix that right NOW!

    The badonkadonk did move today. LOL!

  4. Beautiful post! Thanks Joe :) The last line made me laugh (out loud) - Thanks for that!
    ... get off your badonkadonk and MOVE!

  5. Thanks for all the great words of support guys... and yes, I have teenagers myself so I get it! I'm going to start moving my badonkadonk now! ;)