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ninjacolin's avatar

What does "important" mean to you?

Asked by ninjacolin (13874 points ) February 17th, 2011

I asked myself this during what turned out to be a successful attempt at avoiding procrastination. It was so successful that I wanted to post this question when it occurred to me, but I couldn’t defy my realization.. hopefully this works for everyone all the time. Let me know how you fare.

What does important really mean?
If something actually is important do you have to get it done?
If you don’t get it done, was it really important?

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12 Answers

troubleinharlem's avatar

Google defines it as ”something of great significance or value; “important people”; “the important questions of the day”

If something is important to me, and I mean, truly important, I don’t feel like I have to get it done – rather, I want to get it done because it’s important. If I didn’t get it done then it wasn’t all that important to me.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t apply important to day-to-day tasks.

Jeruba's avatar

Early in my tenure at my last job in high-tech, I noticed how often the word came up in routine use. I made myself a promise that I would not use it at all: I would not say “It’s important that we make the go/no-go call on this without delay”; “It’s important that we deliver this by Tuesday”; “We have [or “need”] to meet to talk about several important topics”; “The important things on today’s agenda are—”; and so on—much less “It’s a privilege to be working on such an important project.” I would work around it, I would substitute words like “preferable” and “desirable,” and I would even halt my speech midsentence before uttering the word “important.”

Because NOTHING we did was important. Not really. I didn’t even believe that other people believed it when they said it, although I’d guess they thought they did. We all have to con ourselves a little to do soulless jobs like that.

I believed their jobs were important to them, and of course their families and personal priorities and so on, but I always thought that if any of them was under oath they would have to admit that what we were doing did not have the characteristics of importance at all.

Got through all ten years there without saying it out loud. That makes me feel pretty pleased with myself.

ninjacolin's avatar

@Jeruba was it important to avoid the term all these years?

Jeruba's avatar

:D

Only at work.

I made it a matter of personal principle and adhered to it pig-headedly, just for my own private satisfaction.

Pattijo's avatar

Important to me means loving myself , my sons and grandchildren and not leaving them to pick up the pieces after I leave this world .

LostInParadise's avatar

Importance is the heart of making choices. We choose to bring about those things that we think are most important, what we most value. So yes, if something is more important than something else then it has higher priority in getting completed.

MartinDep's avatar

For me, the most important stuff is the urge to find out the knowledge then act accordingly which keeps us smooth on the path of life which is always full of obstacles.

ninjacolin's avatar

@LostInParadise, that’s just it. I think motivation has a lot to do with knowing what is and isn’t “important.” And I don’t mean a list of things like @Pattijo made. What I mean is knowing what the concept of “important” is and what it is not. It’s a matter of internal dialog.

I figure that if my definition of important is strong and real enough to me, any one thing I concluded fits into that category would be automatically prioritized… as in, it will be prioritized.

Remembering some of my thoughts from the other night, I was imagining seeing a huge rock falling towards me. No matter what I was doing, I would have to abandon everything and move or else die. That’s the kind of imagery importance is suppose to have.

The definition I came up with was: “Things that are important are things that need to be done right now.”

s321scba's avatar

import-ant; bringing in, inceasing stock
used in reference to a belief or desire to have synonomous reference to necessary or crucial

s321scba's avatar

i want to achieve most happiness, not necessarilly now or overall but eventually

Earthgirl's avatar

Important can mean something that personally has a lot of meaning to you. In that case, it is often something that you don’t have to force yourself to do,but rather, as troubleinharlem says, you wantto do. But it can get a little tricky if it’s something very important to you that is also fear provoking. Then I find the best. thing is to not overthink or overplan but simply to plunge right in and correct course as you go along. Otherwise you could procrastinate endlessly. My biggest challenge is to keep remembering what“s really important to me and not to let mundane things get in the way of the bigger life goals. Like sure, laundry needs to get done and bills need to get paid but if I have a chance to go see Bob Dylan tonight I“m going to drop everything and just go!! My husband trys to get me to be more practical. And I tell him practical, schmactical! Life is too short to miss out on one peak experience.

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