The 20 Most Important Things in Life

Learn about the most important things in life and why they are essential to achieve happiness and fulfilment.

Reviewed by Melina Theodorou

Most important things in life

In today’s digital world, many of us are thrown by social status, materialistic items and luxuries – and how can you blame us? We are constantly being shown that the image of perfection includes these things, with edited Instagram images and reality TV shows highlighting the elite.

In reality, however, status, designer products and expensive items are worth nothing; they won’t make you happy nor healthy. So, regardless of where you are in the world, the most important things on your list should include the following.

1. Health

importance of health in life

Being healthy is the single, most important part of our existence – without good health, our lives can be cut short. That said, it’s important not to take good health for granted and feed our bodies nutrients that they deserve by eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can ‘reduce your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and promote your overall health.’

2. Family

While you may sometimes argue and get annoyed with your family, they are your unit and the ones that you can turn to in times of happiness and sorrow. No matter what you go through with your family, they will always be there to guide and support you and to help you learn and grow as a person.

The love from a family member is unconditional and should not be taken for granted. Some people go through life without truly appreciating just how important having their family’s support is and spend the majority their existence feeling unhappy. So, if you don’t usually show your family how much they mean to you, now is the time to start!

3. Friends

Just like family, friends are a vital part of our existence and happiness. They are people that can share the best parts of your life with you and will be there as a confidant when you need to talk about personal issues.

While real friends are hard to come by, most will have a handful of trusted friends that they can rely on. And even though you may outgrow certain friends during different stages of your life, you will have opportunities to form new relationships with people that you come across.

4. Love

Love is the epicentre of every aspect of your life – it doesn’t just relate to having a partner. You will love your partner in a unique way, but you will also have unchangeable affection for your family and friends.

Love is also the feeling that will drive you throughout your career, extracurricular activities, interests and hobbies. Moreover, you will experience love in its varying forms; you may go on holiday and fall in love with a particular city, cuisine or culture. What’s vital is that you embrace everything that you love and enjoy.

5. Purpose

Looking for purpose in life

Having a purpose is a fundamental component of living a fulfilling life. Without purpose, we won’t have the motivation to achieve great things or even do something simple such as getting out of bed in the morning. According to psychologist Steve Taylor, not having a purpose ‘makes us more vulnerable to boredom, anxiety, and depression.’

Meanwhile, having a strong sense of purpose can have a positive effect on our lives. If you take a page out of the books of successful entrepreneurs, most of them made it by having a drive and a sense of purpose. They worked hard because they were confident of what they could achieve – and this purpose is something that we need to follow to feel accomplished in life.

6. Passion

Along with purpose comes passion; our desires, our dreams and our hopes in life. When you’re passionate about something, you’re going to work hard to achieve it. For example, Huda Kattan was a self-established makeup artist, but her passion for cosmetics pushed her to build a beauty empire that’s now worth over $600 million.

That said, passion looks different for everyone; some people will be passionate about giving back to society, while others will have a passion for personal gain. Just ensure that your passion is for a good cause and that it brings joy not only to yourself but to others, too.

7. Wellness

Besides having a healthy body, it’s essential to have a healthy mind also! Luckily, we live in a time where mental wellbeing is at the forefront, and those who struggle with any mental health disorders are being given the treatment and care that they need to lead a happy life.

That said, there are many ways that you can improve your wellbeing. Find activities that help you relax; whether it’s meditating daily, listening to a motivational podcast or simply going for a walk to gather your thoughts. Whatever method you choose, ensure that your wellbeing is at the forefront of each of these activities.

8. Education

Having a good education will help you progress in life. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you must complete higher education to be successful. What it does mean is that you should continue to learn new things on a daily basis.

The method of education is entirely up to you – you might want to watch an education video, documentary or film; read a book or the news. What is important is the knowledge you gain from your education and how you choose to apply it within your life.

9. Time

Having the ability to value time really matters in life. Time is precious and priceless, and it should be taken advantage of. When we have a better understanding of time, we can form good habits and structure our daily activities. We can do things that will help us progress and also schedule time to spend with family, friends and hobbies.

10. Water

vital and clean water

Water is the most critical part of survival – without clean water, we wouldn’t be able to live. Our bodies are made up of up to 60% of water, and it’s used in all our cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate our temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Therefore, to ensure that we aren’t dehydrated and at risk of falling ill, we need to drink at least six glasses of water per day.

11. Food

While food can be an indulgence and a hobby, it’s also a necessary part of our existence. Our body will need carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals and vitamins to function and stay healthy. So, to maintain our health, we need to rely on a healthy and balanced diet.

12. Sleep

Sleep also plays a vital role in our physical and mental wellbeing. As reported in Healthline, ‘Sleeping less than 7–8 hours per night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.’ But lack of sleep doesn’t only put our health at risk, as it also has a negative effect on our mood. Ever noticed how you’ve been grouchy and irritable when you’ve not had enough sleep? That’s because poor sleep quality is directly linked to mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.

13. Music

Have you ever had tears spring to your eyes when you hear a certain song? I know I have.

Music, in all its forms, is beautiful. It has the ability to bring people together, as it's a universal language that everyone can understand. No matter what culture you come from, music can unite us all. It has the power to evoke emotions and memories, like making you think of your wedding or a road trip you took as a child. It can make us laugh, cry, and dance, which is why it truly is one of the most important things in life.

14. Money

Sadly, money is also one of the most important things in our lives. Money gives us the ability to buy the things we need, like food and shelter. It also allows us to purchase the things we want, like a new car or a nice vacation. Money also gives us a sense of security. For example, if you have money in the bank, you know that you can cover your basic living expenses if you suddenly lose you job.

In short, money is essential for a happy and comfortable life. Granted, money isn't everything and it can't buy happiness, but it can certainly make life a whole lot easier!

15. Positivity

positive sunflower representing importance to life

Positivity is contagious. When you are positive, you radiate good vibes that others around you pick up on. This creates a snowball effect of positivity, making everyone feel better.

Secondly, positivity is essential for achieving your goals. A positive attitude allows you to stay focused and motivated, even when things are tough. It attracts success, as people are drawn to those who have a positive outlook on life, and this can open doors for you professionally and personally.

So, if you want to live a happy and successful life, make sure to focus on the glass being half full instead of half empty.

16. Communication

Communication is one of the most important things in life because it allows people to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas. It also allows people to connect with others and build relationships.

When communication is effective, it can help people to understand each other better and resolve conflicts. It can also make people feel more connected to each other and build trust. It’s important in all aspects of life, from personal relationships to work and school. Good communication skills are essential for success in all areas of life, so it’s important to learn how to communicate effectively.

17. Memories

Why are memories so important? I think it has something to do with the fact that they are one of the few things in life that we can keep with us forever. Sure, we can hold on to material possessions, but eventually they will wear out or be lost. But, usually, our memories stay with us until the day we die. They are a part of who we are, and they help to define our identity.

Think about it: when you look back on your life, what do you remember most vividly? The big moments, of course, like your wedding day, the birth of your child, or that time you won the championship game. But also, the small moments, like sitting around the campfire with friends, laughing until you cried, watching the sunset on a perfect summer day. These are the moments that make up our lives, and they are what we hold on to when everything else is gone.

Creating memories is one of the most important things in life, because in the end, they are all we have left.

18. Compassion

Compassion means being able to understand and share in the feelings of another person. It's about having empathy for someone who is going through a tough time and being able to offer support.

It’s a key interpersonal skill to have, as compassion is about being kind and caring, even when it's difficult. Having compassion is essential because it helps us to connect with others, and it allows us to see the world from their perspective. It also motivates us to help others, whether it's by volunteering our time or donating money to a worthy cause. In a world that can often be harsh and cruel, compassion is one of the most important things that we can possess.

19. Freedom

Imagine for a moment that you are living in a world where you are not free. You are not free to choose your own friends, or what you want to wear, or where you want to live. You are not even free to think your own thoughts. Instead, you must conform to the thinking of those in power. It would be like being trapped in a prison, with no hope of ever escaping.

That is why having freedom is one of the most important things in life. Freedom gives us the ability to control our lives and make our own choices. It allows us to pursue our dreams and build the future we want for ourselves. And it’s only when we have freedom that we can truly be happy and fulfilled. That is why freedom is so important. It is the most basic human right.

20. Gratitude

Importance of gratitude

Why is gratitude so important? Well, let's think about it.

First of all, when we are grateful for what we have, we are more likely to take care of it and appreciate it. Secondly, gratitude helps us focus on the positive aspects of our lives, which can lead to greater happiness and satisfaction. And finally, gratitude creates a sense of abundance instead of scarcity. When we feel that we have enough, we are more likely to share with others, which creates a sense of community and connection.

So, all in all, gratitude is pretty important! Why not take a moment each day to think about three things you're grateful for by practicing mindfulness? It could change your life.

Final thoughts

While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the material things that we think make us happy, science has shown that it’s actually the intangibles that have the biggest impact on our well-being.

Being compassionate and grateful, having the support of loved ones, and living a meaningful life all contribute to our happiness in ways that are difficult to put a price tag on.

By focusing on material things, we lose sight of what’s really important. But by taking a step back and reframing our mindset, we can appreciate all the wonderful things life has to offer.

What do you think is most important thing in life? Join the conversation in the comments section below!