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  • Things That Matter

  • Overcoming Distraction to Pursue a More Meaningful Life
  • Written by: Joshua Becker
  • Narrated by: Joshua Becker
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Things That Matter

Written by: Joshua Becker
Narrated by: Joshua Becker
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Publisher's Summary

#1 WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER • Discover practical steps you can take today to live a life focused on things that matter, from the bestselling author of The More of Less and The Minimalist Home.

Things That Matter points the way to free ourselves from the distractions of everyday life so that we can build the lives we seek to create.”—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

Everywhere around you are distractions: That text you respond to quickly, just to get it out of the way. The newest money-making side hustle to cross your mind. The evening spent organizing your overflowing kitchen cupboards.

Disruptions are the enemies of a life well lived—both the new distractions of our generation and timeless ones that have existed for centuries. They all add up to make you feel restless, tired, and unfulfilled. They’re keeping you from living with joy, from accomplishing the good that only you can do.

But that can change today.

In Things That Matter, Joshua Becker uses practical exercises, questions, insights from a nationwide survey, and success stories to give you the motivation you need to:

  • Identify the pursuits that matter most to you
  • Align your dreams with your daily priorities
  • Recognize how money and possessions keep you from happiness
  • Become aware of how others’ opinions of you influence your choices
  • Embrace what you’re truly passionate about instead of planning that next escape
  • Figure out what to do with all those emails, notifications, and pings
  • Let go of past mistakes and debilitating habits

Things That Matter is a book about living well. It’s about overcoming the chatter of a world focused on all the wrong things. It’s about rethinking the common assumptions of today to find satisfaction and fulfillment tomorrow.

How do we get to the end of our lives with minimal regrets? We set aside lesser pursuits to seek lasting meaning. And we discover the joy of doing it every day.

©2022 Joshua Becker (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Packed with insights and practical examples, Things That Matter points the way to free ourselves from everyday distractions - money, possessions, past mistakes, applause, and fear - so that we can build the lives we seek to create.” (Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project)

“The thought-provoking insights and stories inside Things That Matter will help you live your one precious life with more presence, purpose, and peace.” (Rachel Macy Stafford, New York Times best-selling author of Hands Free Mama)

Things That Matter is a must-read to recenter yourself and filter out the distractions of the world.” (Chris Norton, motivational keynote speaker featured in 7 Yards)

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This changes something inside you permanently

I have recommended this book to both leaders and teenagers. A must read for all

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  • Amazo rrrrrrrrrrr
  • 25-08-22

A ton of preaching about being “selfless”

I follow the author for advice on minimalism on YouTube. This book is simply way too much annoying preaching about being completely “selfless” to the point of ridiculousness. He bashes saving your money for your kids’ college because you need to give it away to help someone else today, and “when the time comes for your kids’ college, it will JUST work out”. No, I can barely save myself with today’s economic condition, let alone save the world. Stop ruining your ideas on minimalism with these lofty, ludicrous goals. Three quarters of the book is about urging you to save the world. *Eyerolls*

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  • Viola F. Lamb
  • 26-04-22

Minimalism

While this book has some good ideas, I am not a minimalist, and don’t plan on being one! I have worked for 52 years and the last 10 years in quite a bit of pain! I am a cosmetologist and feel I have been in service! Retirement should not be something wrong to do! For my efforts I do enjoy the purchase’s I’ve made through the years and am not a hoarder! With every chapter of this book, I’ve walked away feeling worse and worse about myself and the choices I have made that “did” make me feel happy!

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  • Philip Sarsany
  • 26-06-22

What a waste of money!

Not for me! Wasted my money on another "religious"/ non-religious book.

I have followed the author on social media based on his words about owning less, but in this book the fact that he is talking about his "faith" is too much for me.

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  • CJ
  • 07-08-22

Social Evolution

Such an important message, not just minimalism but a teaching for humanity caring for one another.

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  • Va kindlefan#23
  • 13-05-22

Not for everyone.

If you are a woman who gave up her passion so long ago that you don’t even remember what it was so you could take care of special needs kids, aging in-laws or just the day to day of family life, this book might make you a little angry. If you are a middle income man who has a fantastic wife whose passion is raising your kids and supporting you in your career, quick go kiss her and thank her because you are so lucky to have found such a partner. Then, read this book and you can learn how to turn off your TV, put down your cell phone and do some service to help mankind.

I hate to bash this author because I really find value in his minimalist blog. But this book fails to address what real people’s actual lives are like. Many people are so overwhelmed with family “service” that they have compassion fatigue and burnout, and actually need a break from service outside themselves. They didn’t make a bad decision, life just happened and it didn’t happen in a story book kind of way. I know that privilege is a hot topic word in recent years, but I feel that this book is written from a place of privilege and will not resonate with many people especially women who are already giving their all as care givers. I admit that I only listened to about 1/2 the book, but felt that it was better for me to set it aside than be disgruntled by the suggestions.

If you have time and energy and can remember what you are passionate about, it’s a nice listen. But, it is definitely not a message everyone can act on.

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  • Michael Wall
  • 28-04-22

Things That Matter

Well written, without being preachy. Yes, he is a Christian, but states it without preaching. Offers sound wisdom and asks the reader questions throughout the book.
He is a minimalist, but this book is not an intro to minimalism. Check out his previously written books on that subject, such as "The Minimalist Home." Instead, this book delves into "what now?" What are the things that matter and how do I cultivate those things into my life.

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  • Elizabeth Johnson
  • 02-08-22

A needed call to action

As someone in social media as a blogger and influencer as well as a mother and wife, I needed this book to put things into perspective and help me see things in a different way! Grateful to the author for his honesty and thought-provoking perspectives. I’ll be giving this to our adult children. There’s something in here for everyone.

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  • Monique
  • 28-07-22

Life changing

As always a very inspiring book from one of my favorite authors. I have been greatly blessed by all of his books. This book does a great job helping you to focus in on what matters the most in your life.

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  • kschales74
  • 08-07-22

Easy to listen to

I love how good Mr. Becker is at making everything understandable to someone who has been in minimalism for years or just looking into it. His faith is evident (which I share) but not to the point that its a strictly faith based book. I definitely recommend this book to anyone seeking the way to implement minimalism without becoming consumed by it and it's "standards" which, by the way, there are none!

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  • Levi Jordan
  • 18-05-22

A great listen

I have been reading Becoming Minimalist blog for quite some time and immediately purchased the audio of Joshua's new book. I downloaded and listened in one day. I wish I could convince everyone to listen. I am passing along this title as a "goodie" when my book club and others ask what I have read lately that I enjoyed.
The narration was great ( nothing like when an author reads their own book :) ) and loved every bit of the content. I have listened and I intend to listen again. The message was so good I don't want to forget any part of it. - Thank you Joshua Becker.

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  • Dobby
  • 26-04-22

Not a book on minimalism.

I should have investigated this a bit more before purchasing. That's on me not Joshua Becker! It's not a book on minimalism as such more a self help genre about focusing on the important things in life. It's overly long and a bit repetitive and I certainly didn't agree with all the ideas forwarded in the text. However having said all that there ARE things that I shall take away from this book. if it's the first book you read of this type it's definitely a good one. I listened to the audio version and if you think of it as a conversation with an interesting individual it's engaging rather than enlightening. It wasn't what I was expecting but in the end that turned out ok.😁

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  • Luciana Damasceno
  • 11-05-22

A pleasant surprise

I am always sceptical of this type of book because I feel they only recook and rename old ideas. But I've been following Joshua Becker's YouTube channel for a while, so I decided to give it a go. What a pleasant surprise! This book brings so much to the table, especially when he talks about his own/others' personal experiences and how they affect his/their views and choices. The narration, done by the author himself, is also engaging. If you are looking for insights and suggestions on making the most of your life and bringing meaning to your time on this planet, I highly recommend this book.

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  • cee fee dunn
  • 26-09-23

A must for the overwhelmed

I loved every moment of this and did the last chapter exercise…. I’m committed to making a change

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  • Abigail
  • 01-02-23

Great life advice

This was a great book and a great reminder of appreciating the little things in life, living with intentionality and being okay with being different.

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  • Marcin R
  • 10-01-23

This is probably most important book for these times.

I found Joshua channel on youtube by accident, mindlessly watching different videos, slowly, I have started to think about my own life and its meaning. What is really important or should be. Look around how much of your precious time is wasted on things that doesn’t matter. Just look and think. I hope this book will help you to see clearly what is truly valuable and where to direct your attention. Thank you Joshua for showing the way to freedom. Marcin

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  • Gill Wilkinson
  • 08-01-23

Excellent book

Just the book you need at the beginning of a year (or anytime really!). Totally gets you thinking about the things that matter, your purpose and where to put your time, energy and resources to live out what you’re really here for. So thankful for this book. May God bless you and your family more and more Joshua.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-12-22

Couldn't wait for it to end

The sentiment of the book was nice but i just found it very boring and hard to listen to. Felt like I was back in a cult, listening to an elder guilt everyone into what they should and shouldn't do. I did however enjoy the chapter about generosity.

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  • Daniela Tilbrook
  • 07-11-22

Really enjoyed this book

I really enjoyed listening to this book. So much wisdom in the pages. I am looking forward to taking my life forward with less distraction on more focus on the things that matter to me. Not just less stuff but less meaningless distractions. Joshua is a very inspiring guy.

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  • ness
  • 07-08-22

meaningful changes

After having read other books by Joshua Becker. I excitedly awaited this book. I have been making small meaningful changes to my life and knew this book had the potential to challenge me to make more . It has not dissappointed. After listening to Joshua on his pod casts I decided to listen on audible so that I could read the book quickly. I have a young family and need to multitask. Now that I have listened I can go back and re read and initiate meaningful changes that will be of benefit for the whole family .

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  • LoveBooks
  • 01-08-22

Thank you

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to what Joshua had to say. It all made sense to me, and I have already taken to heart his advice. This is an audio recording I expect to listen to more than once. Life is short, we all know that, so it makes sense to live it with purpose and without distractions. Joshua explains how we can achieve this. Thank you, Joshua. There's so much psychobabble being spouted in self-help books, but your book is not like that at all.

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  • Adrian
  • 18-10-22

A bit generic and preachy for my liking

Having read/listened to some minimalist texts (and no minimalism isn't just about throwing out possessions!), I thought I'd give this a go given who the author is. To be clear, "Things that matter" is not about minimalism, but more so a guide on how to live with purpose. While a laudable goal (and it's obvious that the author is passionate), I found it to be loaded with platitudes and stories that the author considers to be inspirational, rather than being practical. It may be some people's cup of tea, but it wasn't for me.

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  • Kristy
  • 20-07-22

It wasn’t what I expected

I’ve been a fan of the author for close to 6 years and this wasn’t what I expected.
At times it felt very preachy and has taken me 3 months to finish listening too. Often choosing anything else than to be lectured too. I’m sure this isn’t how he meant it but I found it hard to swallow.

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  • Oz NSW
  • 04-06-22

A lot of value, again, from Joshua Becker’s book

As always, a joy to listen to Joshua reading his own work. Content a nice follow up on his previous work and again, a great help in staying on the path of living a more meaningful life, focussing on things that matter. I especially enjoyed how Joshua guides you step by step how to figure out what matters to you and how you can use your talents to make your own and other’s life better. Recommend.

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  • Liisa Bell
  • 05-09-23

Loved this book.

Great opportunity to Declutter your mind and life for a life of purpose. Loved this book

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-04-23

Things That Matter

I liked the book, because it helped me reflect on things I hadn’t thought about.
Living a life on purpose & making more space for what really counts will ultimately make my own life more worthwhile. Therefore I give this book a thumbs up.


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  • Felicity S
  • 05-07-22

more like a lecture than a book but all good

felt like a collection of TED talks strung together. I enjoy his writing and have read a lot of blog posts so very consistent with those

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-05-22

Highly recommended

Such an easy read, with so many concepts presented that help change your perspective on different aspects of our lives. I particularly liked the chapter on work and retirement and how we should change our mindset around how we view them. A very worthy read!

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