The four most important things in life

sunset nilaveli








Dear reader.  Please sit down, relax and take a deep breath.

Now, ask yourself the question of questions:

What are the most important things in life?

Think about that for a moment and then start reading this post of posts. Your life might never be the same…

We move through life…

We all move through life differently. Some prefer to do as little as possible, others live at full speed.

What all of us have in common though, is that we spend our time on something. Isn’t it then interesting to reflect upon how we spend our time and why we spend it in the way we do?

Let’s do a mini-experiment here. Ask yourself the following fundamental questions:

  • How do you spend your time?
  • What are the 5 things you spend most of your time on?
  • What are the main reasons why you spend your time in this way?

It takes a while to answer the above three questions and I recommend spending time reflecting upon them.

Having said that, why is asking these questions so important?

…but, do we know where are we going?

The reason the above questions are so valuable is that moving doesn’t mean we’re moving in the right direction.

Ask yourself the following questions to see if you too find some truth in this:

  • Do you know what you want in life and if yes, what do you want?
  • Do you sometimes feel you don’t have time to do what you really want to?
  • Do you sometimes do things not because you want to but because of others’ expectations or to fit in?
  • Have you ever gone through a mid-life crisis or know someone who has?
  • Have you ever continued a relationship with someone even though it wasn’t good for you?
  • Have you ever spent lots of time working, exercising, or doing something else that you later realised wasn’t all that important?

I’m not saying that we always know or can know exactly what’s right for us. What I am saying, however, is that moving doesn’t mean we’re headed in the right direction.

Even though we can never know for sure what the right direction is, we should spend time reflecting upon our direction, trying to understand ourselves and what we want out of this life of ours.

Perhaps we should even dear asking ourselves the question of questions:

What are the most important things in life?

The four most important things in life are….


This tree in Namibia could certainly be the tree of life. It’s about 10 meters wide!

Below I’ll outline the things I believe are the most important in life for almost every human being alive. Yes, we’re all different, but just as we all need air and water there are certain other things we all need too.

Before we can look at the four most important things in life however, we need to define “life” and to provide the fundamental assumption I’ve built my life-view on.

The way I define “life” is pretty simple:

“Life is the ability and time we have to interact with the world”. Check out this post for more on the matter.

The underlying assumption my life-view is based on is:

“Living a great life means interacting with the world in a way that gives us meaning and positive emotions without causing harm.”

With that in mind; here’s my model of the four most important things in life:


As you can see from the model above I believe “health”, “relationships”, “positive self-view” and “purpuse, values and dreams” are the four most important things in life.

Here at RethinkingTruth I’m going to write in detail about each of these. I’ll start now by briefly outlining why I think these four are the most important things in life.

Take care of your health

“Health is life. Care for it as you would care for your newborn child.”

Poor health will both reduce the time you have in this world and your capability to live the life you want to live. Therefore, if we want to live for a long time with a mind and body that can take us where we want, we must take care of our health.

I’m not saying life can’t be good if we’re sick, disabled or have other health challenges. I’m saying that people would like to feel capable of living the way they value and to live for a long time. Health, consequently, is absolutely fundamental.

Unfortunately, most of us only realize the importance of health when its gone. That’s a great shame. The good thing is that we’re capable of influencing our health and it’s easier than most people think.

Check out this link for a model that describes the key drivers of health and what to do to become healthy.

Invest in your relationships

“Spend quality time with the people you love and the relationships will grow stronger. Don’t, and they’ll slowly fade away.”

rels2My friend Ivi and I taking care of our friendship at a party!

When talking about life we’re used to hearing ourselves and others say that the most important thing in life is family and friends. It’s hard to disagree and the evidence supporting this is overwhelming. What’s not as fully understood or discussed however is the importance investing in relationships have for their ability to flourish and grow. To be frank; many of us have little knowledge about what “investing” means in this respect and consequently how to go about investing.

The above is likely one of the reasons why we see so many people divorce, why the time we spend with our friends steadily declines as we age and why many of us spend more time in-front of the TV or computer than we spend with our kids.

Personally, I don’t think these things happen because we want them to. I think they happen because we don’t allow ourselves the time to reflect on what really matters and consequently we’re not fully aware of the impact small choices we make in our day-to-day lives have on our relationships. In order to have good relationships I believe we need to both spend a considerable amount of time with the people we love and be really present during that time.

Check out this post to read about the key skill you need to build great relationships in life.

Install a positive view of yourself

“How we view ourselves is the foundation on which our life is built.”

When we don’t have a positive self-view we typically compare ourselves with other people, feel insecure about ourselves and are too sensitive to the opinion of others. We also tend to make choices based on other people’s expectations rather than do what truly feels right for us.

Having a positive self-view on the other hand means accepting ourselves for who we are and what we believe in. It means having the courage necessary to make our own decisions and to live life the way that’s right for us.

Personally, I realized not long ago that I’ve lived most of my life without having a strong enough self-view. Only during the last few years have I been able to understand and accept myself to the degree where I very rarely feel “below” anyone or feel afraid to say things I believe because of other people’s judgment. I still have improvement areas however, especially with regards to dealing better with negative feedback and rejection.

How you think is one of the key factors that influence the view we have of ourselves. Learn about the four components of thinking and how to think effectively here.

bjarte self-view

Your hair might be long, even red so-help-me-god. Who cares? Be yourself.

Live your purpose, values and dreams

“Reflecting on what kind of person you want to be and what you want out of life will increase your understanding of yourself. Living according to this understanding will give you a sense of purpose, fulfilment and peace.”

Being healthy, having great relationships and a positive self-view is wonderful. But who’s the “you” in you? What makes you different to everyone else?

Let’s talk about purpose, values and dreams.

Your life-purpose

Your life-purpose is a clearly stated, high level description, of what you want to do with your life.

Understanding your purpose is a journey that requires time and reflection. Personally, I feel I’ve only understood my own life-purpose reasonably well for a few years and for all I know my life-purpose might change in the future.

Let me share my personal purpose with you so that you have an example of what a life-purpose can look like:

The purpose of my life is to feel good, do good and leave a legacy.

Why are you here on Earth? What’s your purpose?

Your values

Values are the thoughts and behaviours that define how you want to be as a person.

The following analogy is a good way to understand values:

Picture yourself being in a boat. You’re sailing at night and the sea is rough. Unfortunately for you, the weather is horrible and you don’t know if you’re steering the boat in the right direction. Suddenly you see a lighthouse straight ahead! You quickly steer the other way and get yourself, the boat and your crew out of danger.


Values can act as lighthouses or guiding stars like the Northern Star. Values help you become aware of when your thoughts and behaviours aren’t alligned with the  kind of person you want to be, just as a lighthouse make you aware of where to sail. Consequently, values can help you make better decisions in life

Below are some of my core values:

  • Live
  • Love
  • Learn
  • Give
  • Believe

It’s important that your values are closely aligned with your life-purpose. As for your life-purpose, understanding what your values are is a journey that requires time and reflection.

Personally, I had never thought about values until about five years ago. At the time my life wasn’t in balance and spending time understanding my values helped me make better decisions in my own life.

What are the words that define how you want to think and behave?

Your dreams

Dreams are things you want to experience in life.

Want to travel the world? Want to become a world-class teacher? Want to make the world a place where every creature is treated with respect? I know I do.

Dream a little every day. Think about what you’d like to do, see, think, feel and so on. Don’t let your current as-is situation define what you dear hoping for.

Dreams exist to be pursued! Many dreams do come true and the more positive your self-view is the easier it will be for you to achieve your dreams. Read about how to discover your dreams here.

sunset namibia

Spitzkoppe in Namibia is a place where dreams are born

The four most important things in life are highly interdependent

Health. Relationships. Self-view. Purpose, values & dreams.

All of these influence one another. For example, how healthy you are affects the energy and time you have available to spend on the other three.

Your self-view affects your mental health, how you interact with people and to what degree you “allow” yourself to live your purpose, values & dreams and so forth.

Improvement in any one of these areas will consequently not only have an impact in that area, but the other areas as well.

Are you ready to go beyond knowing what’s important in life?

If so it’s time to for action. Perhaps you want to start by improving your health through eating the right foods? That’s where I’d begin living the four most important things in life.


I’ve borrowed the lighthouse picture from here. Thank you.

144 thoughts on “The four most important things in life

  1. Gwen Davis

    Wow, a very deep and thought provoking post, really appreciate it. I agree that these are the 4 most important things in life, it all boils down to happiness, health, wealth and relationships for me :) btw, I have many of the same mentors/influencers as you :)

    1. Bjarte Bakke

      Thanks for your nice comments and interesting to hear that we have many of the same influencers! I agree wealth is very important, though more more as a means to and end, not an end in itself. WOuld you agree?

      1. Nathan

        Wow, what an incredible article. While reading it I could feel the efforts you made throughout your life to understand what is truly important for you. It’s really enriching as we share the same point of views. The difficulties I meet with self-improvement sometimes is the ability to mentally draw a clear map of the most important things for me in life. Having a structured article such as yours will help me a lot to remember what my values are and what I do want for myself, my friends and my family.
        Thank you for sharing your really interesting ideas.

        1. Bjarte Bakke

          Thanks a lot for your kind words Nathan! You’re right too, I have spent many, many hours reflection and talking to people about these things and it feels great to share the results with you :)

      2. Stephanie

        We all need enough money, without that it can be difficult to enjoy the other things in life but for me wealth is not on my list.

        I would add – to make sure that the most important people in my life know how much I care about them, whatever that takes and to give them any help they need if it is something I can possibly give.

        1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

          I would agree Stephanie. Personally, I find it harder than it sounds. It’s easy, at least for me, to fall back into habits where I forget to put my people first and it’s something I work on. Sometimes knowing what to do is easy but doing it consistently over a long period of time is hard.

    2. Charlie Edward

      The four most important things in life:




      4.Love,Peace, and Happiness

      1. Anonymous

        you forgot about cars, jobs perfumes tv video games and books. Without those modalities you would be 7 years under banjan tree sitting Buddah. Boring uninspiring and sheeyt like British say it.I forgot alcohol and cigarets.

      2. Anonymous

        our outlook here, and although I also think the original post is basically right, and I , too , identify with it, I think yours is more complete in the way of knowledge , wisdom , and understanding; freedom, justice, equality , food-clothing-shelter, love-peace-happiness!! That’s very well put. How did I come upon this site? Well, it’s Christmas day, and my 15 yr old son opened his gifts ……and is now playing his pro. keyboard. I worked hard to provide the most awesome holiday that I could. But, it turned out so well, and events in my life have been such, that it’s given me testimony of the existence of a loving God. So many things could have been better for me, had my parents not been strung-out on booze and valium, and been as emotionally insensitive, jealous and woman- hating, as they had been. My self knowledge was really hindered as a result of this, and after having worked like a dog for 47 years, ( Im 56 ) I reflected, and googled…“ what is most important in life“……The above first post, and this one I mentioned, are all I needed to read , to prompt me to ask myself how Im dealing with just those things. I know what it is, or might feel like, to have been adopted, and have no idea of my roots, or who my real parents were…..although I was not adopted, or left in a basket somewhere and found, I nonetheless felt that distanced from my very own parents, and in fact, if I had known all of the answers that I doggedly uncovered after intensely persevering, in order to get to the root of the dysfunction, and determine what caused them to be the unusual people they were, and decipher just how justified their abuse was, and if, in fact, that I had deserved it. Well, I had to prove to myself that I was capable…I had to delve into psychology books, jobs, groups, and all the vissisitudes of life as a result to produce experience that I could find identity in. I always believed in Christ. When things were beyond my control, as they often were, the only hope that I could imagine out of the gross chaos, was to prey….now, and especially today, being Christmas ( although I know others have thier own belief system, and set of ethics) I know that there is a kindly force that has protected me, and that many of my prayers, have in fact , come to be…not always exactly how I asked, and not neccesarily all at once…but I found that, despite the things in this materially-focused environmont that I did not have, in fact, I do have so very much to be grateful for….and how imperative it is to aknowlege that everything we have ( and of course Computers and cell phones, were not part of the picture while I was growing up ) yes, all we have that sustains us is wisely “on lease“ to us, and how strongly our very thoughts , and how we view the things provided for us by the cosmos, and utilize them, has bearing on the way we stagnate or progress.For those who have never suffered, it might sound insignificant to ones livlihood, but the old saying:“ don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone“……many of us have so very much, already, and I dont mean to ramble. The book that’s helped me get my head together like nothing else, is Kahlil Gibrans’ “ The Prophet“ It’s amazing, and it gave me profound insight, and solace…..this having direct bearing, on what is most important in life…its also a concise little book, and its free online….just google.

        1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

          Thanks for the book recommendation and I’m glad things turned out well for Christmas :-) Personally, I was far away from my family this Christmas which wasn’t great. Christmas is family time!

  2. Rita S.

    “Life is the ability and time we have to interact with the world”.
    So simply and eleganty stated!
    A great post. Loved reading and reflecting upon your ideas! :)

    1. Bjarte Bakke

      It is true that I’ve read more litterature made by men but this is not a concious decision. There are a few women on the list though. However you’re making a good point. Do you have any recommendations for me Sofia?

  3. John

    As I seek answers in my own life, I was blessed to find this wonderful post from you. Your travels and experience are greater than my own and, therefore, provide a broader perspective and truth. Thank you for the help I achieved from this post. You have another friend and follower. Kindly, John Colorado, USA

    1. Bjarte Bakke

      John, thank you for such an inspirational and touching message. I sincerely appreciate it and wish you the best of luck. Hoping to hear more from you! :)

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author


      Thanks for your comment. When writing this post I decided against including religion as a specific component. Instead, I reasoned that the “Purpose, Values and Dreams” part would cover religious beliefs for those who hold them important.

      All the best,

  4. Lazy Susan

    Wow, thank you. I move back to NL tomorrow to peace together my life again after a marriage breakdown. This will help to keep focus. Dank je wel!

    1. Bjarte Bakke

      Susan, thank you for your kind words. I hope you’re doing OK. Do not hesitate to contact me if there’s anything I can do to help. I’m sure you’ll come out of this just fine :)

      1. Anonymous

        Bjarte I am Polish and hate you artificial shmoosing peoples online whom you never met. It seems unreal to me. Why would you want to discuss values and meaning of life that at this age are obvious for most of the socialistic Europeans and Americans with access to satellite TV.
        I am Polish that read Erich From Fukujama, and other few philosophers. I like Fukujama. I don’t understand you. Is there some celestial new awarness we here don’t dig. Please awaken me little lost soul.

        1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

          Hi my Polish friend,

          Poland is embarrasingly still on my “countries to visit” list. I’ve wanted to visit for a long time, but still haven’t done it. For example, I hear Krakow is beautiful.

          With regards to your comment: I haven’t read Erich yet so I can’t comment on what he and I may or man not have in common.

  5. Bonnie Harris

    I want more out of my life even though I am helping others. I want to volunteer to do something with meaning and satisfaction. I’m retired but still young physically and mentally. . Young. I volunteer for my church working on the websites and other activities, but it’s not fulfilling my soul.

    1. Bjarte Bakke

      Bonnie, thanks for your comment and I think it’s nice that you spend time helping others.

      What is it in your life that has truly inspired you in the past? And what are your dreams for the future?

  6. Rupali

    Hi Bjarte, Wonderful post read after so many days. Great :-) I created my own blog about how important our life is, tell me do you like my wordings too, it will inspire me lot.

    Thank you.

  7. julius

    Hi, Bjarkte you really touch into my life for the wonderful post, sometime we blind the way we move in our every day life, but according to your post some people may change their life through this guidance. I am expect to read the new blog.

    Thank you

  8. James

    Just a quick question, I came on to this site for some guidance and I completely agree with you, these are very important things in life. I’m a bit stuck though, it seems that my dreams come in conflict with my relationships with family and friends. It involves me moving to a foreign country to live, quite possibly for the rest of my life. I want to follow my dreams but I risk sacrificing many relationships and I may never truly belong in this new country or have the same relationships I do now.

    1. Bjarte Bakke


      Thanks for sharing man. I feel your situation. I have myself been in that situation and so have several friends on mine.

      Clearly, your question doesn’t have a simple answer. The best I can do is to ask you a few more questions:
      - Is your dream deeply alligned with your purpose and values (or said differently, does this dream strongly fit with who you are and want to be as a person)?
      - Is it true that you’ll lose your relationships if you move? Would it not be possible to find a solution that would allow you to both follow your dream and keep your most important relationships?
      - What feels right to you and why?

  9. James

    Thanks for such a fast reply, I really appreciate it.

    To answer your questions, yes my dream is partially aligned with who I want to be and what values I want to guide my life but not all of them, one of these values being neglected would be family values. I have reflected on this quite a bit and the truth is I have a small amount of very strong relationships which could work over long distances.

    As of late I’m beginning to wonder if it’s just fear, fear of not belonging, fear of not reaching my goal, fear of reaching my goal and realising that there were more important things in life and fear of not living up to all my values. I’m not really sure what to do and I know it is very hard to achieve all your values. I appreciate all the guidance your giving me, thanks again.

    1. Bjarte Bakke


      Thanks again for sharing.

      Leaving strong relationships behind is something I’d be fearful of. Having said that, if the relations are strong then my experience is that distance doesn’t matter that much. You’ll visit your people frequently right? They’ll visit you frequently too right? You’ll video chat with them, use Facebook, Snapchat and other great ways to stay in touch too right?

      If so then I think distance can work but if you’re never going to return of course this is a massive decision.

      Would you be ok with sharing what your dream is James?

  10. Stefan George

    What a truly inspiring post!

    Mark Twain once said: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

    I believe life is a dream, when we wake up, it becomes a story. We keep asking what dream we want to live in, but what stories we want to tell. Find your stories, and you might find yourself living in the dream everyday.

    1. Bjarte Bakke


      Thanks for your kind words and that quote from Mark Twain.

      I like your perspective on life. Personally, I tend to tell myself:

      “This is what life is Bjarte, this, right here, right now. Living isn’t about the future or the past but about the present”.

      It can be hard to think like that sometimes but I find it valuable. I guess you can relate to that too Stefan.

  11. jennerooo

    after I read this the facts are so true, only if you are disabled through parryless or long term illnesses there are challenges you can reach, after a uni
    compartment in my knee and a 4tj and naviculor fusion too my foot, I still believe that in may I will complete a cycle challenge may not be forty miles but even if I start with ten the ambition too believe in myself is there… good health to you all…

    1. Kathryn Hartwell

      If you could send an email to my address and give me your mailing address I will send you the January magazine in which I will be using quotes from your “The most important things in life” article. We all struggle sometimes with what is important and your article was inspiring to me.

  12. Charlie Edward

    The four most important things in life:




    4.Love,Peace, and Happiness

  13. Ashley S.

    There is something about a new year that makes me re-evaluate the direction my life is taking, and I’m sure it’s the same for many others. I agree with everything you said, and thank you so much for sharing this with everyone. Now to do that most difficult part- live by these guidelines, and analyze them daily.

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

      Thank you Ashley.

      I agree it can be hard and yet just being conscious of these four things will automatically lead to changes I think.

      I wish you a lovely 2014 and I’m looking forward to hearing more about your journey :)

  14. B. Laughinghouse

    Spot on Mr. Bakke!

    Thoroughly enjoyed your article! I am at a crossroad in my life, lost both parents recently, have a wonderful family with two adorable children, created a successful business; one would think, what on earth do you have to be unhappy or unfulfilled about. But that is seemingly the current situation. This article brought to the forefront that I am not currently living my purpose (which is helping others thrive in business, work and life), and the need to get back to the “basics” you outlined eloquently. It’s an odd enigma of how one can help others so much easier than helping themselves. Happy New Year!

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

      B. Laughinghouse, thanks so much for sharing from your life. I’m sorry about your parents, it must have been hard to lose them both in a short period if time.

      I can relate to your purpose and it would be great to hear more about your reflections and experiences going forward.

      Take care :)

  15. Petadez

    Thanks so much for such a nice, thought-provoking post. i am actually in a valley of decision in my life now, where am finding it difficult to really decide on what, where & how,… as things has not being going the way i thought. @ times i even think its useless to dream. however i’ll give your post a thought….. i like it.
    hope to communicate with you more.

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  17. sim

    loved your views..i was looking for some answers.i am glad that i came across this eye opener!!!thank you so much for sharing.all the best.

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

      Sim, thanks a lot. I’m glad you enjoyed the page and I’m looking forward to your feedback on other posts as well. Let me know if I can be of assistance.


  18. jon

    This entire article is just full of gooey platitudes.

    The truth is that we do not figure out what is important or truly meaningful in life until we hit bottom.

    It may take a loss of a job or an illness to truly reach that point.

    Contentment is often very elusive. To come up with a recipe for contentment that applies to all or even most people is foolish.

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

      Thanks for your comment jon. I agree that there probably exist people who don’t feel these four things are the most important to them.

      I don’t think it’s necessary to hit rock bottom until we understand what’s most important to us but I would agree that hitting rock bottom can lead to important insights about who we are and what’s truly important to us.

  19. fiza

    your ideas are great…. but everyone might not be agree to you. the basic is you have found your purpose and also helped us find ours …thanks

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  21. Julian

    When I was a boy I tried to fix my bike. I needed a hammer but couldn’t find one. In the end I found a hefty pair of mole grips. I proceeded to bash the daylights out of my pedal cotta-pin. My Dad came out and said “what are you doing that for”. He then told me I would ruin the mole grips because they were not designed to be used as a hammer, they have been designed for another purpose.

    What is the most important thing? Surely it is to fulfil the purpose for which we were made. We cannot do that without knowing our creator. Sure we can invent ideas about our purpose – but at best we will be like those mole-grips. A hammer can also be used for all sorts of things, but it is designed for something. The same is true for us. If we want to know what is our purpose, we need to know our designer.

    If we come up with our own ideas, they may seem to work well, and it is certainly good not to harm others – I love the philosophy of the writer of the post above, but we cannot know if what feels good and seems good really is good. The above philosophy is good as far as it goes, but it does fall short of the most important thing. The most important thing is to be reconciled to our maker and designer so that we can fulfil His purpose which is to glorify Him (that is, be absolutely blown away by His love, majesty, power, grace etc) and we do this by truly enjoying Him forever.

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author


      Thanks for your interesting thoughts. I respect that living according to the purpose given to us by God is the most important thing for religious people. When writing this post I decided against including religion as a specific component. Instead, I reasoned that the “Purpose, Values and Dreams” part would cover religious beliefs for those who hold them important.

      Also, thank you for your nice words about the philosophy of the post. Most appreciated.


      1. Elaine Hanson

        Jesus said if you deny me I will deny you before my father. What is wrong with America today is we have forgotten where we came from and all our forefathers did for us. We should never deny or be ashamed of who we were created to be, or who created us. America needs to wake up and we need as Believers to come out of the closet. What is so great about America is the American people and we cannot forget who we are,committed to the will of God. The bible gives us the definition of who we are. If we read the word of God we will find we were wonderfully made but we are a nation gone adrift. The fractured family overworked moms, parents resenting children and so people do not know who they are. Gangs they only want families. Gods judgement is on this nation if we don’t repent and turn from our wicked ways. May God heal our land and us as individuals. It first starts with us. Let us search and try our ways and turn aqain to the Lord. Prayer is for the healing of our nation and souls. If we want change in our lives we must turn to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Elaine Hanson

        1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

          Hi Elaine,

          It would have been great to have met Jesus and to have experienced how he was like. Personally, I don’t know how the Universe was created but I do believe in the importance of community and being good to others. Wouldn’t it be great if the whole of humanity could collaborate towards making the lives of all living beings better? :)

  22. Meriem

    It’s 1am I couldn’t sleep I was thinking about what’s important in my life so I just typed it and saw your article I liked it a lot and when I saw your picture ” wow” .. Beauty inside and outside sorry for my English if it’s not perfect as I’m French. I have one question for you .. Are you single? :D

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author


      Merci for your kind words. I hope the article can be of some guidance. It certainly has been for me as I live by these principles every day. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

      And no, I’m not single; in fact I’m getting married on the 24th of May! :)

  23. Evelyn

    Thanks for your post!!
    I’m down…It’s really useful for me now…
    This post help me to focus on what really important

  24. Aries

    Thanks for your post !
    It somehow woke me up after a pretty long time I tried to close my opened life and overslept on it just because I’m scared of the world out there could ever hurt me again.
    An old me was freaking awesome and Yeah, you’re right, just be ourselves. Who cares?

    Thank you :)

  25. George

    Hi everyone – especially Bjarte,
    I feel like the French lady Meriem. I have really hit the rock bottom now. Travelled the world, met people, made money, lost money, lost loved ones…..Now completely on my own. After 8 years living in three different European countries I am back in the country I love most (though I wasn’t born in here) – Australia. I am having a very hard time “finding myself” again – born “helper”, but not being able to help myself – ANYONE?! LOL. Anyway – I could write forever. I would like to thank you for such wisdom. I am probably twice your age (judging by your tiny pic), being around the block a few times…..etc BUT you helped me a lot with your blog!!! Thanks a million, man. Keep in touch. I think we both would benefit from our connection. I feel a good connection regarding our views and values. Thanks again. George

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author


      Great to hear from you. Sounds like you are an adventurous guy, exciting! I’m glad you like the blog and if there’s anything more I can do let me know. Also, staying in touch sounds nice; I’ve never even been to Australia!

  26. george

    Hi Bjarte. Thank you for your nice reply. I just have to tell you that TODAY IS MY DAY!!! I had a bit of a health issue and just got my test results today. I am OK!!! You have no idea (you probably do) how that feels. Thought of mortality were on my mind for the last three weeks – not much sleep there. As I have mentioned, many unfortunate things and events happened to me in past. I am nearly broke (financially), BUT I am not broken!!! And that feels so damn good. I am on my way now – no matter what. I feel very good. This is another start. Back home in Oz, recovering and keep fighting. I will win!!! Keeps in touch man and thank you 

  27. george

    Hi Bjarte,
    Thank you for your nice reply. I just have to tell you that TODAY IS MY DAY!!! I had a bit of a health issue and just got my test results today. I am OK!!! You have no idea (you probably do) how that feels. Thought of mortality were on my mind for the last three weeks – not much sleep there. As I have mentioned, many unfortunate things and events happened to me in past. I am nearly broke (financially), BUT I am not broken!!! And that feels so damn good. I am on my way now – no matter what. I feel very good. This is another start. Back home in Oz, recovering and keep fighting. I will win!!! Keeps in touch man and thank you 

  28. syedgd

    Thank you Bjarte, you made my day, recalled the good things that once I read and tried to follow from the book See You At the Top by zig ziglar. You are a good inspirational writer as you have the power to make a long slept person awake and walk in the right direction.

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author


      Thanks a lot for your kind words. In fact, I just bought the book you referred to as I haven’t read it yet. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to be of assistance.

      Regards from Brazil!

  29. Opio Cosmas

    Loved your post. Am in Uganda and a youngman of 20 years, and am glad to know the most important things in life at such an age , things that even some old people dont know. You know most people are too busy with life that they even forget the most important things in Life. Thanx alot. I would love to keep in touch with you via my email coz ive got lots of philosophy to discuss

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

      Dear Opio,

      I’m glad you found the article helpful. It would be a pleasure to stay in touch. In fact, I’m going to Kigali in August which isn’t too far away from Uganda I believe :)

      Take care and regards from Brazil,

        1. olamilekan israel

          Pls how can I be a great person, is it by working hard, or by reading hard, or wat, because I want to be a great person to my self to my family, to everyone around me.

  30. Jan

    this is ur writing ” I’m not saying life can’t be good if we’re sick, disabled or have other health challenges. ” i’m not agree with these because if a person is disable or paralyze and need 1 or 2 persons to take care of him then what is use of life and i know one boy he is badly disabled cannot move and all the family is involved with him to do……… anyway the other things you wrote it’s interesting. thankU

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

      Jan, thanks for your comment.

      I respect your views. Still, I think it’s possible to live a good life even though you have disabilities. I think Stephen Hawkins is an interesting example. I don’t know how he would personally rate his life, but from an outside perspective there’s little doubt that he at least has made significant scientific discoveries. I’m not saying that means he’s had or is living a good life, I just think that disabilities or bad health doesn’t pr. definition mean that you can’t live a good life.

      Regards from Brazil,

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  32. princess sheyhan

    Waow, a very great write up. Was jux goin thru things that are important to me in life and I saw this, it really helped. Thankx alot

  33. micheal oluseyi

    i have been able 2 note some of the points you dropped,and sincerely i had learn from it….thank you so much

  34. Anonymous

    Nice article, inspirational about life. Thank you.

    I want your suggestion. I am great distress financially. My better half had affair with another person, physical which hurts me most. My children do not respect me for my misbehave.

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

      Hi and apologies for the late reply. I am currently researching while traveling the world but that’s no excuse.

      I am very sad to hear about your situation. It’s not nice to experience such an event and that there’s financial trouble and kids issues too must make things very hard for you. If you’re reading this, how is your situation right now? Remember, with some time and effort any situation can be turned around!

  35. Pingback: The four most important things in life | Scintillations

  36. Tenzin Dhadon

    hi Mr. Bjarte Bakke,
    I would like to thank you for sharing your knowledge and your kindness to assist people in the world. i truly appreciate your hard work and time you have sacrificed on this lifesaving article. Your article has been so helpful to me and wish it will help millions of other. I can feel that you are a very kind person . :) keep it up and never give up . May you always be happy & God bless you .
    – With Regards Dhadon from Canada

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

      Dear Tenzin,

      Thank you for your heart-warming words! As I’m reading this I’m in the Philippines doing deeper research on the topics in this post. How are things working out for you?

      Take care,

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  38. Sigurd

    Bjarte, excellent article! As Always.
    Your insight and abilty to write interesting, and to-the-point is fascinating!
    Lets have a coffe if your in Bergen soon!

  39. erik

    I feel somewhat the same,but the no 1 thing most important above all is to help others who need help,and to help make other peoples lives better before our own.I read one guys comment wealth is important,amassing great wealth is crap unless you help others with it….you need money to live dont live for money.

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

      Hi Erik, nice comment. Yes, I agree helping others is a great thing. In fact, I think life at its absolute most fundamental is about feeling good, doing good and creating a legacy. Relationships, self-worth, health and purpose/values/dreams are key factors in living by these three fundamentals,

  40. Marie Su

    Thank you for sharing, i think it is also so important the sense of knowing you are not alone in this one. There are many amazing people that are truly inspiring and giving sense of hope and making the positive waves… I will share and pass this great article to my friends, was very touched to read it and really felt every word.
    Thank you for creating it for us, people.

  41. Rao

    Nice article.
    I many times asked myself these questions, ” what is important in life ? OR what is the meaning of life? Why we are born, grow young, then older, then die?, why all this is happening?”
    I find your views interesting and useful. In addition to the list you have (health, relationships, positive attitude & views/thoughts) I have one other area which I would like to explore. May be I can call it “spiritual”. I find the mind/thoughts and its working quite interesting.
    Our views do change with time and experience. Wish to hear from you if you have some additions/improvements to this list. Thanks.

    1. Bjarte Bakke Post author

      Rao, thanks for sharing your insights.

      Since I first created this post about two years ago I’ve been working on a more complete “what’s important in life” theory. It’s not done yet and I still stand by what I’ve written in this post, although I perhaps would have made some adjustments.

      With regards to the “spiritual” dimension it’s an interesting one. I enjoy and respect Eastern philosophy and I’d be interested in how you personally define “spiritual” Rao?

      Take care,

  42. sudip

    WOW! WoW! Awesome! really inspirational about life. i asked myself these questions, what actually i am doing in my life? what are the most important things in my life? I find your post is really valuabel and useful. Thank you.

  43. Tulgaa

    Hello, I’m from Mongolia. I couldn’t sleep in my bed because of many worrying thoughts about my current life. I have a lack of perseverance. I think it’s because I haven’t life purpose, so that I live by expectations of others. Everytime when I’m in difficult situations, I feel life is meaningless, and I’m starting to think what is the life purpose, why I was born in this world. But until now I couldn’t find the answer. But your post opened my eyes, gave me idea and, right now my worries are gone. I’m very grateful for you.


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