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One Technique To Focus More On What Really Matters In Life

One Technique To Stop Negative Thoughts

A while back, I was thinking some negative (and quite stupid) thoughts, and I stopped to reflect on the time I was wasting stuck in a negative state. The question, “How do I get out of this negative mood?” kept rolling around in my head – in between my long line of negative thoughts.

Meditation came to mind.

Distraction came to mind.

Having a nap came to mind.

But, the thought – “Are these thoughts really that important?” also came to mind.

And that led me to think about what is really important in life. So I asked myself, “What do you really want to remember most about life?” The answer that came helped me instantly get out of my negative state, relax, and focus on the important things instead of the negative things.

Just that one answer helped me remember what my goal is in life, why I get up every morning, and most importantly – how I really want to use my valuable time (and it wasn’t being focused on useless things!)

And ever since then, I’ve used that question and my answer as a technique to help me shake off the bad thoughts, let go of a bad mood, and focus on what really matters.

So, if you are focused on negative things, experiences, or people – then try asking yourself the following question ‘If my memory was wiped clean, except for one thing, what would I want to remember?’

Use your answer to remind you of what is important, and help you rebalance and start using every precious moment the best you can.

You will be surprised at how acknowledging what really matters can shift your whole day.

My answer was ‘All the times I’ve really laughed in life, including with my husband, family, friends, and by myself.’

I asked some of my friends to share what they would want to remember.

Q. If your memory was wiped clean, except for one thing, what would you want to remember?

A. David Leonhardt (President, THGM Ghostwriters)


I would like to remember how it felt to be a child.  I have vague memories, of course, but those are about things that happened.  I have a few very poignant memories, and in a few cases, I do recall how I felt at that moment.  But those are special situations where I felt a sudden surge of one emotion or another.  Those are “memorable” moments.  I would like to recapture how I feel on a daily basis, how I felt about my parents and my brothers and my home and my friends and my school and my neighborhood.

The second thing I would like to remember is how it felt to interact with my girls when they were 3 years old, by far the cutest age.  I do have those memories, but they are more in the form of videos in my mind.  Recapturing those feelings is a very different kind of memory – something that I know I will never be able to do.

A. Riverbedmarketing (Content Marketing Manager)


If my memory was wiped clean, I would want to remember the value in learning. More often than not, those who have their full memory don’t appreciate the value in learning something new. I was a victim of this myself, but in this day and age, there is simply a wealth of free information that anyone can take advantage of if they have the will to do so.

A. Steffi Black

Steffi Black

I would want to remember that I knew and gave love in my lifetime. That it was a continual force in my life.

A. Tat Apostolova


I’d like to remember my family and that includes my husband, my kids and my parents (does that count as one thing or am I cheating?). It would be pretty horrible to find yourself in a world where you don’t love anyone and you don’t feel loved, because you’re surrounded by strangers.

A. Phil Turner (The 5 Currencies Guy)


This is the toughest question I have ever had to answer. My Dad has Alzheimer’s so it strikes very close to home. He has forgotten most things, including his address and the names of his kids.

The only thing that makes life worthwhile for him is that he remembers my Mum is. She looks after him every day.

So the one thing for me would be to remember the woman I love.

A. Anna Fox (Blogger)


OMG that’s a scary and tough question!

But I know the answer, I think. While I have many great memories, I want to keep this one. A couple of hours after I had given birth to my daughter, I was lying on the bed next to her and saw the sun rising right into our window. This is when I truly felt I was a mom…. I’ve changed forever!

A. Dr Elaine Nicholls (Teacher, tutor, study skills coach)


Just one thing- that is really tough! I would want to remember my husband. I love learning and have learned and remembered many things in life. However, if my memory was wiped I figure I wouldn’t miss any of that as I wouldn’t remember that I once knew it or that any of it had any importance. I would want to remember the people that are most important to me and if I had to pick one – my husband.


4 thoughts on “One Technique To Focus More On What Really Matters In Life”

  1. Looks as though most people think the same – Special people are more important than any other memories. The hardest part for me was facing up to the idea of *choosing* what I would remember, because that meant I had to envision forgetting about so many other things. This was a truly useful exercise and thank you for making me ask the question of myself.

    1. It’s true, there are many things that make life so wonderful.

      I picked happiness as my one thing, but the truth is there are many things I want to remember, such as moments I felt true love, my dog’s hugs, or the sound of the rain. The good news is that I can remember them all right now, and when I’m met with a negative situation or person, they are all reminders of what really matters in life.

  2. Your post made me teary. Isn’t it interesting (and predictable in a way) that most of us will choose the people we love above anything else? Great tool to use when we forget to show them the appreciation they deserve, because we’re busy with something that doesn’t matter nearly as much.

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