5 Things That Will Not Matter as Much to You Later in Life

Ways You Can Reassess What You Need to Prioritize and What You Should Eliminate

Neel Raman
8 min readFeb 28, 2023

As you grow older, your priorities change and you won’t care much about things that will not matter later in life.

You will focus less on physical possessions and more on what really matters to you. Things that may have been important previously no longer have the same importance.

The key is knowing what matters and what doesn’t. Having that clarity can help you make better choices now and avoid disappointment or regret in the years to come.

1-Minute Summary Video

How Do You Determine What Matters to You?

It’s easy to say you should focus on things that matter. But how do you know what they are?

Here are steps you can take to gain more clarity on what matters to you.

1. Reflect on what has given you the most joy

When you reflect on your life, what do you remember most fondly? What were your favourite memories? What was your biggest accomplishment? These are questions that will help you narrow down your interests and passions, which will reveal what you value most.

2. Speak to others who have had similar experiences

Once you’ve figured out what you value most, talk to others who have similar interests. Find out what they love doing and what they enjoy talking about. Figure out how you can incorporate those activities into your life.

3. Create a plan

Now that you’ve narrowed down your interests, it’s time to plan. Think about what you’d like to accomplish in the next few years and create a timeline that includes specific goals. Create your plan so you can set yourself up for success.

Other questions you can ponder on when reflecting include:

  • What helps me be a good person?
  • What fills me with energy?
  • What do I love doing?
  • What brings me peace of mind?
  • What makes my heart sing?
  • What do I believe in?
  • What do I stand for?

Knowing what’s important to you will make it easier to let go of things that will not matter as much later in life.

things that will not matter

Consequences of Giving Attention to Things That Will Not Matter

It’s common for people to get caught up in the busyness of life and not give themselves time to think about what really matters to them.

The consequences of giving attention to things that will not matter in the years ahead include:

1. Loss of perspective

If you don’t pay attention to what truly matters, you’ll lose sight of what’s important. This means you’ll miss opportunities to connect with other people, pursue new hobbies, travel, or learn something new.

2. Unhealthy relationships

Giving too much attention to things that don’t matter can lead to unhealthy relationships. If you’re constantly focused on work, family, friends, money, or status, you might neglect spending quality time with loved ones.

3. Physical health issues

Not paying attention to what matters can also cause problems with your physical health. For example, if you spend all your time working, you might neglect taking enough breaks throughout the day. This could lead to stress-related illnesses, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity.

4. Financial concerns

Not focusing on what matters can also result in financial problems. For example, if your main priority is making money, you might ignore investing in retirement savings plans. This could leave you unprepared for retirement.

5. Mental health issues

Not paying attention to what matters could also lead to mental health problems. For example, being overly concerned with finances could lead to anxiety or depression.

6. Lack of fulfillment

Another consequence of giving too much attention to things you don’t want to change is lack of fulfillment. When you put too much emphasis on what you don’t want to do, you might feel frustrated and unhappy.

7. Low self-esteem

Not paying attention to what matters leads to low self-esteem. If you are always thinking about what you don’t want, you might start feeling inadequate.

8. Stress

When you give too much attention to things outside of your control, you might become stressed. This can lead to feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, or hopelessness. It can also affect your motivation levels.

9. Poor decision-making

Not paying attention to things that matter can lead to poor decisions. For example, if money is your top priority, you might choose to buy expensive items instead of saving for retirement.

10. Disengagement

Disengaging from things that don’t matter is another consequence of giving too much thought to things you don’t care about. It can lead to boredom, apathy, and a sense of emptiness.

So, while it’s tempting to let yourself get sucked into the world of digital distractions, remember that focusing on the things that really matter will lead to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.

5 Things That Will Not Matter Later in Your Life

Here are five things that will not matter later in your life, which should cause you to reassess what your priorities are and what you should eliminate.

1. Always wanting to have everything go your way

There are ebbs and flows in life. Some days you’ll be happy and some days you’ll be sad. Having the belief things should always go your way or as planned can lead to disappointment and a loss of confidence.

Not everything will go your way all the time. This includes winning arguments or needing to be right all the time. Giving mental energy to a short-term win that will have little significance later in life is an example of something that will not matter.

2. Holding onto resentments

People will disappoint you. They will hurt you and let you down. Holding onto resentment towards them will only cause you pain. Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.

Blaming others and having bitterness towards them will never bring happiness. It will only create misery. Don’t hold onto grudges because they will eat away at you over time. Letting go of past hurts will allow you to move forward in life.

3. Seeking validation or needing other people’s approval

You’re a unique individual with skills, talents, and abilities that are different from others. People who seek validation from others or need their approval are often insecure. They’re usually dependent on others and crave external sources of love and acceptance.

If you constantly look to others for affirmation, you’ll find yourself disappointed when they fail to meet your expectations. You’ll also miss out on opportunities to learn things and develop new relationships.

4. Not communicating your truth

What’s right for others may not always be right for you. If you want to communicate your truth, you must also understand how others think and what they believe matters. Then you can speak up and share your thoughts without being misunderstood.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing everyone thinks the same way you do. That isn’t true. Everyone has their own opinions and beliefs. So, before speaking up, ask yourself: “How would I feel if I were in their shoes?”

5. Worrying about what you cannot change or influence

There are things in life you cannot change no matter how much you try and how much you wish things were different. There are also many things you can control, but don’t.

Worrying about these things will only drain your energy and keep you stuck. Instead, focus on the things you can actually affect. These include your health, family, finances, career, and friendships.

Remember, there are things in life you cannot change. You can only accept them and deal with them. The best thing you can do is to live your life so you can enjoy yourself regardless of what happens.

Other Things Will Also Not Matter Later in Life

Here are additional things that will not matter as much later in life.

  • Being overly concerned with appearance.
  • Judging others for how they want to live their lives.
  • Thinking you need to be perfect all the time.
  • Being afraid to fail or to take risks.
  • Feeling guilty for making mistakes.
  • Being too hard on yourself or criticising yourself often.
  • Having unrealistic expectations.
  • Looking back on your life and wishing it was different.
  • Taking things personally.
  • Being jealous of others.

Final Thoughts

Most of the things people think are important in the early and middle stages of their lives often doesn’t matter as much later in life.

What will matter is how well you lived and the difference you made. So, instead of worrying about what you can’t control, focus on the things you can control.

And remember, you can always improve yourself and become a better person.

Action Step: Ask yourself, “Am I giving more time, energy, and attention to things that matter to me or to things that will not matter as much later in life?” Reflect on what matters most to you and change what you know you should to avoid regret later in life.

Question: What do you think are other things that will not matter as much later in life?

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Neel Raman

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