Monday, October 3, 2011

Deciding What Really Matters

While everyone wishes they could live their life in happiness and doing only what it is that really matters to them, they are toiling away at 40+ hour a week jobs, driving too and fro in maddening traffic, and attempting to keep in order their mountain of possessions and likely too-big living space.

When we do the things we think we are required to do, we push what we really want to the back burner and devote maybe a few hours of week to it - if any at all.

After enough time doing this, we may even forget what really matters to us - or it may have changed over the years while it was buried under our lengthy to do list.

While I realize that today may not be the day you're going to change your life, today - this moment, right now - is always the time to think about it.

Putting some thought into a provocative question can help to bring the important things into focus. Here's a few questions to get you started - think about what each question entails, and write down (yes- I mean it - write it with a pen) what you would do in such a situation and how it would affect the way you live your life.

Once you've finished writing your answer to each question, you can close the book and put away your answers, let it stew around in the back of your mind and come back to it when it has leaped to the front of your thoughts. Maybe, when you write down your answers you won't be able to put them away. They might just spur you into doing something right now to change your life.

Here are the questions:

1. If you knew that in about 2 years time resources on Earth would dry up, be restricted, or be destroyed, and food and water would be very difficult to come by, what would you do for the next two years? How would it be different from your life today?

2. If you were told you had an aneurysm, which could burst at an unpredictable point in the future and would likely kill you, how would it change your life today? What would you do differently than you would have without such news? (note this is far less likely today than in the past, as if an aneurysm is detected it can be treated and most likely will successfully reduce chance of death, however most people never know they have an aneurysm and if it bursts survival rate is not very high.)

3. If you knew for a fact that you would never lose your job, assuming you did not quit, that you would never lose your home, assuming you did not move, and that your significant other would happily stay with you forever, assuming you did not leave them. How would that change your life as compared with what you are doing/thinking/feeling today? Would you walk away from any of the three things, knowing they will never be taken from you?

Ponder these questions and see how they make you feel. I realize that they are somewhat dark, but there is also some truth to each of them. For example, with the aneurysm, it is possible for anyone, anywhere, at any time to drop dead from one, never having known that they had the condition. Most of you reading this fall into the category of not knowing, which means you're at risk for this. I'm not saying this to scare you, I'm saying it to make you think about how you would change your life if you knew it could be severely limited.

And the most important question of all -

The changes you would make in response to each of the questions likely reflect things that you really want but feel that since there is no dire circumstance you should continue being "responsible"...

Why not make these things the goals of your life rather than the path you're heading down now? If they differ dramatically from your life as it is, then that means you're living someone else's idea of a good life - not your own.

That's no way to live. That's torture.

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