We are tiny (barely visible) specks in the universe and we are stressed about a presentation for work? A bill that “has to get paid?” That awkward encounter we had earlier? Whether what we said 3 days ago was/was not “correct?” Is that how we should live our lives? In constant fear and stress over things that won’t matter in a year and certainly don’t matter now from the perspective of the expanse of the universe?
We miss out on time with loved ones to stay an extra 2 hours at work. For what? To finish something for our supervisor? Perceived job security? We put off traveling and seeing the world because we are afraid to spend the money (whether or not we have it—hello credit!) and afraid to spend time away from work/school. What would we even miss? Stress? Who wouldn’t love to miss out on stress?!
Every day life is so mundane and routine and the world is filled with so much negativity. We get so lost in the shuffle of every day life that we don’t know what this life we are given really means or how to go about living it. What does “every day life” look like? It looks like jolting out of bed from your alarm clock after a night of restless sleep, getting ready for the day, sitting in traffic or in the confines of a congested vehicle of transportation to commute, getting to work/school, doing your “work” whilst dealing with people and their needs, going home to cook (and whatever) and prepare for the next day, and doing it all over again. For days and years on end. People work an average of 35-40 years of their adult life. They do the aforementioned cycle every damned day for THAT long. Maybe they take vacation, or days off, but THAT MUNDANE CYCLE is their life. Why do we do this?
Life should be simple: (It is my opinion that) you are born with a purpose and a role in the world, you fulfill that purpose/role, and that purpose/role should have a positive impact on the world and make it a better place for people to come, and the people to come make it better for further people to come, and so forth. How do you find your purpose? Certainly not participating in a lifelong routine of nothingness and in pursuit of other people’s “dreams” or “goals.” Keeping in mind that dreams and goals are not the same as “purpose.” Dreams and goals are personal. Purpose is not personal. It’s something you put out in the world for everyone (or a large portion of society) to benefit from. It’s selfless and has nothing to do with you, with the exception of the fact that it is tailored to you in terms of your enjoyment of fulfilling this purpose and your ability to do so. Your purpose is bigger than you.
My dream/goal is to travel the world and see the world. That is not my purpose. I don’t know what my purpose is yet, but I do know that living a life filled with meaningless tasks and movement is not and it won’t help me find out what my purpose is. Perhaps, chasing my dreams and goals may reveal my purpose? By doing the things I love and feel strongly about, I can find my purpose, or the path to my purpose. Simplifying my life might. Ridding my life of meaningless interactions, junky material possessions, working to fulfill other people’s goals, will bring me closer. How can I do this? How can I rid myself of a job that allows me to fulfill my dream of traveling the world and pays my bills and allows me to life comfortably?
Maybe right now I (and millions of others) cannot just up and quit my job. But, there are other things that can probably be done. I love nature. It brings me peace amidst the terrible things happening in the world. It reassures me that there is “good” in the world and that there are things untouched by terrible human beings. Perhaps, I can make it a point to get out in nature most (if not all) days. This is a simple, yet effective way to actively participate in the universe and also reflect on your own life and its meaning—nature can be loud, but your heart will be so quiet. Maybe I can ensure that I’m not spending much of my time outside of work thinking about work. This can be hard for some people. But, not worrying about tasks that you have yet to complete and e-mails you have yet to answer is freeing. It also allows your brain a break from work, so you can think about other things, and it will probably leave you refreshed and ready to work when the time comes again. Maybe I can make it a point to call my loved ones and check in, or hang out with people on a regular basis. Interacting with people you love is important. As humans, we are social beings. Talking with people can give you a new perspective on something and may plant a seed that can later grow into your purpose, or maybe even a dream or goal. Interactions can spark so many flames.
Money is a big driver of people pushing themselves to unhealthy exhaustion. If we simplify our lives, maybe our perspective on money can change. Maybe we can find ways to not spend money on things we don’t need. We seem to mostly spend money (in terms of wants and not needs) to impress others and to feel good about ourselves. Maybe we can find a way to feel good about ourselves and to not give a crap about impressing other people to fill that void, instead of money and material things.
Whatever it takes, it’s time to simplify your life.