“We don’t answer the really important questions of life with a simple “yes” or “no” but with our whole life” (László Viz)
“Funny thing is, I’ve delivered a million passengers over 40 years in the air and in the end I’ll be judged on 208 seconds.” (Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger)
Our minds are amazed by everything we can measure. We love to throw numbers and we love to get things done with them. We love to finish projects for once and for all.
People easily relate to external goals like I want to have 1.000.000 US by age 35 or “I want to run a marathon by 2019”.
It’s more difficult to measure and introverted goals like “I want to live in harmony with myself”, “I don’t want to worry about money, ever again”, etc.
“We’ve been together for 2 years” is a more serious relationship than “we’ve been together for 3 years.”
Earning 2000 USD a month is better than earning 1500 USD a month.
Having a 220 horsepower car is better than having a 150 horsepower car.
Measuring is essential when you are building a spaceship. When you set speed limits. Working hours. Hotel room sizes, etc.
But how do you measure human happiness? In what currency could you express the value of human life?
The big stories – let it be history books or celebrities- include big-time measurements. Sold one million CDs. His video was watched 3,5 billion times on Youtube. He has 2 million followers. He led an army of 500.000 people. He rules over 100.000.000 people.
Fair enough. These guys have more effect globally than you do.
But do they achieve more than you? What is your greatest achievement?
The first things coming to my mind would be how many countries I’ve visited, how many kilometers I’ve ridden by bike, how many kilometers I ran at once the most, how much money I earned (or gave for charity) and similar.
But thinking a little bit further – does this really represent me!? Single actions that sound good but don’t necessarily end up to be something meaningful?
My greatest impact on the outside world is set by my daily routines. Is the relationships I’m maintaining, the work I’m doing and the daily habits I’m having.
This way all human achievements become more boring, expectable: more human and real.
/If you have little to none – neither external, nor introverted achievements: then ask around a bit, starting with your friends and family. If they agree with you, it’s time to change something radically!/
A dull life full of boring lessons and studies might make you a good lawyer. And you’ll make a lot of money. And people will look up to your prestige and money. But they will, by no means, look up to your real life.
You know why these others don’t become lawyers? ‘Cause they don’t want the boring stuff for years. They rather live it day-by-day but never commit for years for something they don’t like and want.
No wonder that the two great advices I’ve heard about choosing what to do with your life (from Mark Manson I think) are:
– choose wisely what you want to become because it’ll come with incredible amount of suffering. You have to choose the type of suffering you like. (e.g. reading law books for hours daily)
– you have to love the life you get for yourself. All the rest is just fiction and abstraction. What do you get with a billion dollars, world fame, lovers, meaning, divine presence, etc. if you can’t enjoy the whole thing? (e.g. you need to love talking to those clients, being in court, wearing a suit, etc.)
What do you think?
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