Whose Life Are You Living?
Are there things that concern you more than your time?
This site often features things like cool design, architecture and demographic trends–novel, interesting things, but ultimately things that hint at important things. At our heart, LifeEdited is about an existential query. Beneath the cool designs and analysis is the fundamental question: “What will we focus on during the life we have?” We want to ask whether we are going to focus on stuff we find important–relationships, experiences, health, contributing something unique to the world? Or are we going to focus on stuff that might not be so important–jobs just kept to pay for a house that’s bigger than we need, time spent doing excessive cleaning, reading inane top ten lists on the internet and so forth (you can make your own lists). If we find ourselves spending more time in the latter category than the former, might we be able to edit some of the unimportant stuff out of the narrative of our lives?
A few months ago I wrote about unMonastery, an activist collective that uses disused real estate to provide free lodging; they want to give people the ability to pursue endeavors free from economic concern. As I mentioned back then, the question “what would you do if money was no object?” can be a threatening one for many of us. We might not even deign to answer it lest it create too much dissonance between the answer and how we are currently living. But just because the question is not asked doesn’t mean there’s not an answer. The answer is there if we take the time to ask and answer.
Today, take three minutes to watch this video by writer and philosopher Alan Watts. In plain language, he describes the absurdity of living a life in pursuit of money and the expectations others have of you. Moreover, how this way of life can set forth patterns of behavior for generations to come.
I don’t think the implication of Watts’ statements is that course correction is a simple or easy thing. Merely that living a life that is not aligned with who we are and what we find important is not a path to living a happy, meaningful life.