Being here counts. Being kind and considerate counts. Getting through each day without seriously offending anyone or hurting anyone counts. Having the latest technology doesn’t.

Doing something useful with your life counts. Going shopping because you’re bored doesn’t. Yes, by all means go shopping but see what you do as counting or not counting, being real or not being real, having real value or not, being if some benefit or not. This does not mean chucking it all up and going off to some fly-infested swamp to work with locals and catch malaria – although that in itself would count, but you don’t have to go to quite those extremes to make your life meaningful.

I guess this means focusing on what is important to you in your life, and making positive changes to ensure you feel happy with what you are dedicating your life to. This deasn’t mean long-term plans mapped out to the smallest detail. It means knowing, roughly, where you are going and what you are doing. Awake rather than asleep.

There are some things in this life that are important and a whole lot of things that aren’t. It doesn’t take too much trouble to work out which are which. And there are a whole lot more things that don’t count, aren’t really important, to choose from. I’m not saying we can’t have trivia in our lives – we can and it’s fine. Just don’t go mistaking the trivia for what is really important, watching the lad test soap isn’t. Repaying a debt is important, what brand of washing powder you use isn’t. Nurturing your children and teaching them real values is important, dressing them in designer fashion isn’t. You get the idea. Think about what you do that counts and do more of it!

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