I don’t know why we long so for permanence, why the fleeting nature of things so disturbs. With futility, we cling to the old wallet long after it has fallen apart. We visit and revisit the old neighborhood where we grew up, searching for the remembered grove of trees and the little fence. We clutch our old photographs. In our churches and synagogues and mosques, we pray to the everlasting and eternal. Yet, in every nook and cranny, nature screams at the top of her lungs that nothing lasts, that it is all passing away. All that we see around us, including our own bodies, is shifting and evaporating and one day will be gone. Where are the one billion people who lived and breathed in the year 1800, only two short centuries ago?~ Alan Lightman from, The Accidental Universe
It seems obvious to me that apprehending the impermanence of everything is necessary in order to remain sane. Obviously my entire existence is an immeasurably tiny fraction of an instant. Obviously there is no ultimate “point” to all of this. Obviously there is no one true meaning of life.
It removes a lot of baggage and struggle once you realize that reality is in fact the real situation you are in.
…and then you’re free. Free to create, conjure, combine, laugh, love, learn, run, ramble, perable, talk, commiserate, procreate, invent, integrate, mix, mingle and just generally ENJOY LIVING.
Quit your yakkin’ and get busy. Quit wasting time obsessing about pimping your ass and checking your stats. Instead, MAKE stuff. Make AMAZING stuff. Make stuff that is so good that people have no choice but to find out about it. Otherwise, you REALLY are just wasting your time. This game is already TOO hard and TOO BIG a time suck to fritter away on what is, for the most part, a big ol’ distraction.~ Hugh MacLeod, from https://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/2011/08/21/im-sick-to-death-of-hearing-the-phrase-driving-traffic-to-your-site/
At this point, I have left all of the online social networks. I’m busy spending all of my time working on The Work—or at least trying to figure out what The Work is for me— cultivating my mind, writing and spending time with those whose company I enjoy. Unfortunately, that last one is nearly impossible since the vast majority of people are too busy.
I suggest you make a list of what’s important to you. It does not need to be ordered by priority. Simply make a list of things which are important. If that is hard to do, you’ve just learned something important; “Figure out what’s important to me,” would be a good item for your list.
I check my list occasionally to see if what I am doing in some random moment is aligned with my list. I checked recently, and social networks no longer made the cut.
Every day I have a choice between working on pointless little tasks or big meaningful projects. On days that I choose the former, I end each day feeling I’ve accomplished very little, even though I’ve put in a lot of hours at my desk. I’ve kept up, but all I did was spin my wheels for another day. But when I chose to do the important stuff first, I feel great, knowing that I’m on my way to producing major results.
~ Steve Pavlina
More than 25 years ago, Steven Covey included a simple graph in a book. This task right here– is it important, and is it urgent?
Anything that’s not important, well, good– You just stopped doing that. Gaming, television, most of what you do on the internet, etc. If you’re still doing UN-important stuff… I don’t know what to say.
Now the important stuff is where the hard thinking begins. How important? Does it pay off now, or later? Does is pay off for me, my family (but not me), my family (including me), my tribe, the world . . . well, sorting out all the important stuff is IMPORTANT but not URGENT and so it gets skipped and pushed off. I’m happy to be the bearer of great news: You now know the most important thing to do: Sort out what is important to you.