May 10, 2011

Living your life with no regrets

The blinders stay on for most of us, thanks to twisted social norms that keep us projecting our lives into the future and equating personal value with what we produce. As Alan Watts once put it, "Unless one is able to live fully in the present, the future is a hoax." He noted that the education you get prepares you for the future, "instead of showing you how to be alive now."
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The false belief that all value comes from output -- "I produce therefore I am" -- is a lousy measuring stick for self-worth but very effective at squelching your life. Every time you step back from productive endeavor, you have no value. The problem is that the realm of nonproductivity happens to be where your life lives -- fun, recreation, play, love, art, social activities, passions.
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When we crowd out our lives by chasing the yardsticks of outside approval -- money, popularity, beauty, status -- we miss out on the things that provide the only approval that counts, the gratification of our core needs: autonomy, competence, and social connection.
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Worth is a byproduct of internal validation, something you get from the part of life that's supposed to be worthless: your passions, i.e., play.

 

An interesting article by Joe Robinson in the Huffington Post.

1 comment:

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

I don't have words for how brilliant this is. From what I can tell, Joe got it completely right.