Much of human literature attempts to answer this question. Beauty? Money? Love? Other people?
Ultimately, what matters is what matters to you, since reality is perceived. I will definitely elaborate on this in a future post, but long story short: our perception of the world is contingent on the information we attend to, which is determined by what we choose to focus on. We usually choose to focus on information that is congruent with our previous experiences so we don’t have to expend energy changing our beliefs.
The fundamental premise of a person’s belief system is the foundation upon which their perception of the world is built. All of their resulting ideas, including any subsequent premises and ultimate conclusions, stem from this thought process. Since our actions are based on our ideas, our underlying system of values determines our ultimate impact on the world. For this reason, I think that the most important aspect of our thought processes is our system of constitutional values, the things we believe in that allow everything else to happen.
What do you believe in? What matters to you? How can you construct your life around your beliefs? It is impossible to deduce a sound conclusion from an uncertain premise. That’s how logic works. How can your actions be aligned with your system of beliefs if you don’t know what you believe in? Awareness is key to instigating change. Faith is found while pursuing the ends regardless of means, making any sacrifice, but one shouldn’t believe blindly.
If you want to do something meaningful, you need to create meaning. If you want to do something you believe in, find something you believe in. It’s so simple and logical, but it seems like few people make the time to think about what they want, what they value, and pursue it.
I give a lot of meaning to all forms of life, especially human experience – I consider peoples’ feelings and memories to be very significant. I believe that what we do, how we impact the living world and alter the future is all that matters. I believe it matters because it makes a difference. I think our actions are especially meaningful if they’re able to shape a person’s experience, ideally for the better. I believe love optimizes human experience, so it’s really important to me.
I try to embody these values as much as possible, to love all I can and shape my actions to create the best possible future. It’s easy to write out and explain, so simple and logical in theory, but it’s not as straightforward in practice. Sometimes I forget what I’m ultimately trying to do, and I get lost, influenced by external factors (read: societal pressure and cognitive dissonance). I mess up all the time, but I’m trying to make a positive difference in the world, because that’s what matters to me.