This morning I finished Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations.
Another win when it comes to realizing the plans that I set for myself a couple years back (this time: read some ancient philosophers).
But why now but not 4 years ago?
Long term planning is the keyword.
I finally found a goal for myself. I want to be a self-development person.
Not only for the next 3 month but for the next couple decades.
Call me a late boomer (and you’ll be right) but in bare 28 years I’ve reached a stage that many never arrive to. I’m able to string my thoughts towards a goal. Suddenly some of my actions make sense while others don’t. And I’m aware of the difference…
As of Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow:
“[…] But to change all existence into a flow experience, it is not sufficient to learn merely how to control moment-by-moment states of consciousness. It is also necessary to have an overall context of goals for the events of everyday life to make sense. If a person moves from one flow activity to another without a connecting order, it will be difficult at the end of one’s life to look back on the years past and find meaning in what has happened. To create harmony in whatever one does is the last task that the flow theory presents to those who wish to attain optimal experience; it is a task that involves transforming the entirety of life into a single flow activity, with unified goals that provide constant purpose.”
“From the point of view of an individual, it does not matter what the ultimate goal is—provided it is compelling enough to order a lifetime’s worth of psychic energy. The challenge might involve the desire to have the best beer-bottle collection in the neighborhood, the resolution to find a cure for cancer, or simply the biological imperative to have children who will survive and prosper. As long as it provides clear
objectives, clear rules for action, and a way to concentrate and become involved, any goal can serve to give meaning to a person’s life.”
It’s an infinite discussion what are the important things in life (I’ve written about this in Hungarian here and here). Let’s leave it for another time.
So: I think being a serious self-development person is important. I can help people having a happier life, a life worth living.
A serious goal to be taken seriously with education and preparation? Certainly. (This is the phase you’re witnessing.)
– To get a history degree I’d read books for 3 years and attended classes.
– To become a good tour guide I’d prepared for hundreds of hours and worked for several hundreds long full days.
– To get an idea of the planet I traveled several months altogether.
None of these goals seemed very serious – or in any way bigger than I am.
But finally, I have a serious goal: do you think it’s difficult to read a couple books for it!? Not at all.
For getting down to book recommendations I’ve started on my favourite self-development website, Jamesclear.com. He recommends good reading lists, for example on:
– philosophy (6 books)
– self-help (17 books)
– his all recommended books (over 100)
When life makes sense (= you have a purpose) it’ll be way easier either reading the ancient philosophers or finishing the medical school… But choose wisely!
And if it sounds like you need a purpose more than these ancient philosophers, check out the Flow from Csikszentmihalyi! (Read my review here!)
We are interested in your opinion! Comment here or on Facebook! 🙂