What Do You Do That Matters?

It is up to each person to decide what is important and what is not. Not everything you do has to be something that matters. However, to lead a meaningful life, you must do some important things.

There are, of course, many different ways of measuring what matters.

One way is to contribute to your community. You might do this through the job that you have, through your relationship with your neighbors, or some volunteer effort. It might be important to you to be an upstanding citizen.

Another way is to recognize and develop your own skills and strengths. That might mean taking classes, being introspective, or seeing a therapist. Being a good person might be what matters to you. Are you hard-working, innovative, or punctual? Or one of many, many other traits?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What gives a person value?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes you you?’


Similarly, how you interact with loved ones may matter the most to you. It might be important to be a good parent to your child or children. Perhaps you are the fun cousin, or the consummate host.

In addition, there are several other ways you can do something that matters to you. And, of course, multiple things can matter to you at the same time.

What matters to you, and what do you do to show it? What do you think is the relationship between what you think is important, and the actions that you take? How might you increase the number of meaningful things you do?

Related questions: What is important? What are you doing to make the world a better place? How do you determine what matters? Everything matters or nothing matters?

 

 

Competition Or Collaboration?

If you want to get the most out of a situation — for yourself, or for a group — is it better to encourage competition or collaboration? Which do you think is more effective?

Share why if you wish.

Competition Or Collaboration?

Avoidance Or Confrontation?

Do you tend to be non-confrontational and avoid conflict when possible? Or do you confront issues head-on to resolve them?

Share why if you wish.

Avoidance Or Confrontation?

Is It Good To Be Predictable?

If someone describes you as predictable, do you think that is a good thing? Do you consider yourself predictable?

There are definitely advantages to being predictable. Primarily, people know what to expect from you. If you are driving in fast-moving traffic, for example, following the rules of the road and not behaving erratically means you are much less likely to be in an accident.

The same thing holds true in your personal relationships. If you behave consistently, your friends and family will find your presence to be stable. If you always show up for work at the same time, then your co-workers will recognize that about you and act accordingly.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘How do you think others see you?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘How can we maintain wonder?’


And yet, there are times when predictability can be a drawback. If you follow the same routine, talk about the same things, and go to the same places, growth can be hard to achieve. To be spontaneous can also have advantages.

There are certainly times that acting predictably can be a drawback. When waging a battle, whether an actual physical skirmish, or a proxy like a sports game or a board game, doing the unexpected can be an effective strategy for unsettling your opponent.

So there are times when each is preferable. In general, do you like one over the other? Can you think of other examples where it might be beneficial, or harmful, for people to guess what you are going to do in any given situation? Is it good to be predictable?

Related questions: What is your five year prediction? Ten? Why do people like games? How do you think others see you?

 

Can We End Poverty?

While poverty is a subjective term, it is a fact that, right now, not the marketplace, public policy, nor charitable giving consistently covers the necessities that so many people in this country desperately need. Millions must choose between healthy food, adequate housing, reliable health insurance, quality childcare, and many other essentials because their job doesn’t pay a living wage, or they cannot work for various justifiable reasons.

Meanwhile, many of the wealthiest Americans pay no income tax and do an outstanding job of converting taxable income into protected wealth, playing a massive role in keeping America’s public coffers without the resources to address this situation, along with other needs. Similarly, tax loopholes allow U. S. companies to create “headquarters” in other (low-tax) counties to escape paying their fair share in this country.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘Are we too busy?’


From a different perspective, many well-intentioned people point to various religious texts that say, in effect, the poor will always be with us. But there is theological debate over whether this means there will always be poor people or, coming at it from a completely different angle, advising those with means to have an affinity or allegiance with those of extremely limited resources over the “needs” of those who either do all right or, more to the point, have considerable resources that could help meet more needs in this country.

On the political front, many wonder if anybody is worth enough to be a billionaire. Did you know that there are 614 billionaires? The wealthiest 400, in fact, hold $3.2 trillion in assets. A slice of those resources could go a long way toward meeting the needs of our poorest neighbors.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, when those in government decide to help the poor, our existing programs do a pretty good job at alleviating their immediate needs?

Can we end poverty? Should we at least give it a try?

Related questions: What is the greatest problem facing humanity? How will the economy be impacted by COVID-19? What is the purpose of money? How do we turn ideas into actions?