Western society is largely driven by the desire to have more and do more. More money, more power, more recognition for their work, more time in the day. Make every sacrifice you can in order to create a long list of notable achievements, awards and things that you own. Then spend lots of time listing all of them in your CV, office wall, LinkedIn and facebook so everyone knows how successful you are.
That seems to be a never-ending race that you’ll never allow yourself to win. Because there’s always more to be had and more to be done.
The older I get, the more I turn my focus to being more, rather than doing more. Being more (for me) means making a more positive impact in the world, investing more deeply in relationships, being more whimsical, giving more, staying fit and healthy and enjoying life’s journey, rather than always focusing on the destination.
The drive to work more hours, get more recognition and gather up more achievements often prevent us from being the person we were created to be. We all have a purpose. And I’m pretty sure it’s not a race to see who can do the most before they die.
There is a happy medium, and that’s the journey we’re all on. Action is necessary. We have to do in order to be. But our lives should not be a quest to gather up things, money and accomplishments.
Think about the happiest moments in your life. Why did they make you happy? With that in mind, how do you govern and prioritize your day?
If you know the goal is a higher quality of life, shouldn’t that be what drives you? Somehow society has conditioned (and convinced) the western world to believe that quest is irresponsible, unworthy and only achieved through financial wealth.
I believe it’s time we put the higher value on relationships and meaningful work rather than finances and achievements. Let’s be more.
Interesting that I just spoke to about 25 inmates at the Women’s Prison yesterday and told them essentially what you just wrote. Told them relationships are far more important than the STUFF they can accumulate. Good post, Jared!
Interesting post and point. Someone asked me the other day if I felt guilty enjoying public parks, libraries and recreation centers when i was unemployed (7 yrs ago) and so many other people where working to fund them through taxes. Haha, why have them if you can’t use them? I responded that everything we have is built upon the backs of others who sacrificed much more so we can have the freedoms to enjoy our life instead of racing to the finish. Now that I have some things to do it is tougher to pull myself away and go hiking on a Tuesday, but sometimes I still do. Thanks for the post.