What is really most important?

It's an age-old problem. We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we forget what's really important. We focus on the little things and just leave the big things aside.

But the quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe reminds us:

"The most important must never be subordinated to the least important."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Let's find out what this quote means and how we can apply it to our lives, both personally and socially.

What is meant?

At its core, this quote is about setting priorities. In our personal lives, it means being clear about what is most important to us - our family, our health, our relationships - and not neglecting those things in favor of less important or even unnecessary tasks like watching TV or scrolling through social media.

And in a societal context, it means making sure resources go to the areas that have the greatest impact on people's lives - health care, education, job opportunities - rather than wasting money on things like prestige projects.

The application to our lives

The question now is how do we make sure we get our priorities right? The key is to take a little time each day to think about what you want out of life and see if you are taking steps to achieve those goals.

When you notice yourself getting distracted by smaller tasks or responsibilities, remind yourself why you need to focus on the big picture - because if you don't prioritize what's most important to you now, you probably won't accomplish it later.

In many cases, we intuitively know what's most important, but when in doubt, you can use a framework like the Eisenhower Matrix use to support your decisions.

This matrix divides tasks into four categories:

  • urgent and important
  • not urgent, but important
  • urgent but not important
  • neither urgent nor important.

The goal is to focus on the tasks in the first two groups, as they bring us closer to our goals, while we should avoid the tasks in the last two columns as much as possible.

Learn from this quote

Ultimately, this quote serves as a reminder that setting priorities is an essential part of living a meaningful life. Today, by focusing on the things that matter most to us - whether they are personal goals or social concerns - we can ensure that we don't let trivial things get in the way of our progress and success.

So the next time something gets in your way, remember these wise words from Goethe and focus on what matters most.


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's famous quote, "The most important thing should never be at the mercy of the least important," is a powerful reminder for all of us - no matter who we are or where we come from - to prioritize what really matters in life.

By regularly taking time to reflect, we can ensure that our actions are consistent with our values so that we can make a positive difference for ourselves, for others, and for society as a whole.

So remember - focus on your priorities today so you can achieve your dreams tomorrow.

We after working on the book.

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