In computer programming, WYSIWYG (pronounced “wiz-ee-wig”) is an acronym for “what you see is what you get.” A WYSIWYG editor or program allows a developer to see what the end result will look like while it is being created.

Acronyms and mnemonic devices are great techniques to help remember and recall information. Mantras are also wonderful tools for focusing our minds and intentions.

Lately, I’ve been using a mantra acronym that helps me remember what is truly important. It is also great for reducing stress.

I call it WIMIFY.

WIMIFY (pronounced “wim-ih-fy”) stands for “will it matter in five years.”

Whenever I am faced with a challenging or potentially stressful situation, I ask myself if the current issue or problem will matter five years from now.

For example, a boss or coworker says something hurtful and your first impulse is to lash out. Pause, take a deep breath, and WIMIFY it. Is retaliating really going to make much of a difference in your life five years from now? Possibly, but I doubt it.

A careless driver cuts you off, your tire goes flat on the way to work, your favorite restaurant is temporarily out of Diet Coke. WIMIFY. Are these inconveniences annoying? Sure, but not life destroying.

Why let not-so-significant circumstances rob you or your peace? Better to release them and move on.

There is a second version of WIMIFY that I also use. It says, “will it matter in fifty years.”

Think legacy. When working on a task, or developing a project or relationship, ask yourself if your efforts will be meaningful fifty years from now. If they’re not, consider realigning your focus.

Fifty years from now, you might be on your deathbed. Will the 80 hours you spent binge-watching that TV series be meaningful to you? Not likely. But I doubt you’d regret spending that same 80 hours nurturing your relationships or pursuing your passions.

WIMIFY for the present, WIMIFY for the future.

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