In the previous article we talked striking a “work / life balance” to be able to enjoy a range of pursuits in our lives and Eisenhower’s urgent / important principle to focus only on what is important in our lives. This raises the question:
What is really important in our lives?
1. Modern society, how ridiculous it is
Modern society is occupied by a range of distractions that we largely fill our days with:
- Work, training, and career development.
- Having a partner, children, and looking after our parents.
- Socialising, either as a supportive friends or to share a fun time.
- Hedonistic pursuits such as sex, gambling, alcohol, and drugs.
- Pursuit of nice things, including homes, cars, jewelry, and clothes.
- Collecting things, from books and paintings, medals and stamps, to travel and experiences.
2. Thought experiment
Let’s do a quick thought experiment. In your last dying moments, what sort of life will make you feel that you have lived your life? To live that life, how will you need to fill your days? Which items would feature more heavily from the list above?
We need to look after ourselves, caring for our body through food and drink, have comforts in our lives, a safe place to rest, and medication. In modern society this typically means that we need to perform a job to buy food and drink, buy comforts, pay bills and rent, see doctors and buy medication. We may plan for our financial future, this means saving for a pension and long term investments. The question is how much of these do we really need in our lives? In other words, how much is enough and how do we find that balance?
This is a personal question, but very important to reflect on the answer.