April 2017, I started a series of post regarding questions that exert us to think more about life (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). I selected the life questions subject because we often neglect to contemplate regarding these matters, with the consequence that we miss out on the growth opportunities that are manifested in these life questions. Even so in this post, I’ll elaborate on a life question by clarifying the importance and answering the question myself. Do not hesitate to drop me a line if you are interested in any further thoughts of mine.
What are you excited about and do you pursue this in life?
In life, especially now, we are flooded with stimuli/impressions. A well-known research state that the number of impressions we process in the year 2017 in one day is the equivalent of the number of impressions somebody processed their entire life in the 19th century. Nowadays, we have a bunch of choices to make daily. We are drowning in the life-breaking opportunities that are thrown our way. Malcolm Gladwell and Barry Schwartz clarify eloquently and profoundly the implication of an abundance of options/choices. I sincerely recommend their Ted Talks.
But why do I introduce the answer to this question with a disquisition about an increasing amount of choices? Because of this abundance of choices, it is challenging to know and pursue the things that excite us. Personally, I am convinced that pursuing the things that excite you results in a sustainable happy and fulfilled life. When you are pursuing the constructive things that excite you, you live a life that suits you.
Let me first clarify what I mean with things that constructively excites you. I refer to activities that are sustainable beneficial for yourself and at the same time contribute to the welfare of your environment. This could be somebody who passionately teaches and contributes in that way to the educational system, what will result eventually in more equality and innovation. Or this could be somebody who enthusiastically does scientific research and contributes in that way to science, what will result in the end in exploiting all resources and knowledge in the world. Or this could be somebody who thoughtfully establishes sustainable businesses and contributes in that way to a sustainable economy.
The outlined examples in the previous alinea could be considered by some as a utopia. Why? Because you need to be highly focussed and determined to achieve a state where you contribute fully to the society and yourself. Nowadays, we have so much noise around us. In other words, all the options that are thrown our way, day in day out, distract us completely. The facets of the choices that distract us are short-term focused and self-centered. For example facets like status, money, instant social acceptance, destructive social activities like excessive drinking and gambling.
Where I am especially excited about is the interaction with other human beings. I really enjoy detecting the uniqueness and inner beauty of every human being. That truly excites me. I try to pursue this by having a job that manifests frequent human interaction and by getting to know new people as frequent as possible. Do I already pursue this fully at the moment? Let’s say there is most definitely room for improvement. As Mahatma Gandi says: Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
What is your advice to me?