Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Designing your life

with 2 comments

Zen Habits has an interesting post this morning on designing your life—that is, giving conscious thought and planning to the things and activities you’d like to bring into your life. The post describes one process that can be used.

I think it’s a good idea to think consciously about how you are spending your life and how you’d like to spend it. OTOH, research has shown that people are terribly bad predictors of what in fact will make themselves happy. (See Daniel Gilbert’s interesting and readable book, Stumbling on Happiness for more on this.) This is not to say that consciously thinking about your life is a bad idea, but rather that one should hold lightly to those goals and remain aware of his or her life and state of mind. Be open to serendipity, but do not depend on it. If you achieve a goal (an acquisition or an activity) and find it unsatisfying, don’t cling to it hopelessly, but move on.

In other words, designing one’s life is not, I think, a process that can be completed—it’s on-going, and a daily awareness is an important part of it. Living a life that allows no time for reflection, a life that consists almost totally of distractions, is dangerous: you may well wake up one day wondering where you life has gone, why you are where you are, and what happened to happiness.

Written by Leisureguy

6 September 2007 at 10:35 am

2 Responses

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  1. I do believe that as people are surrounded more and more with gadgets, we are giving ourselves less and less time for reflection and contemplation.

    For example, I love the Ipod and being able to listen to podcasts and news to fill my mind.. but it is also important to unplug it, and simply reflect on things, meditate on ideas, and turn off all the noise. I really wonder sometimes if people born after the attention-span-grabbing gadget-age realize this is even possible, or have done it!


    6 September 2007 at 1:46 pm

  2. Sometimes it almost seems as if people crave the gadgets, sounds, and distractions exactly in order to avoid reflection and contemplation, perhaps fearful of what r & c might reveal.


    6 September 2007 at 2:33 pm

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