Have you ever asked yourself, “Is this all there is?” Existential questions like this are common. In a world where the standard is often materially based, losing sight of what means the most can be easy.
In a recent piece, Ryan Holiday may have said it best – “(w)hen we lack a connection to anything larger or bigger than us, it’s like a piece of our soul is gone. Like we’ve detached ourselves from the traditions we hail from, whatever that happens to be…..Ego blocks us from the beauty and history of the world. It stands in the way.”
When we become me-centric, it has a way of limiting our personal satisfaction. Our productivity. Our relationships with those around us. It’s only when we embrace humility, meaning, those values which encourage others and leave a lasting, positive imprint on the world that we break free from the never-ending rat race.
ME and MORE Me
Our greatest contributions are often impacted by a connection to something larger than ourselves. Creativity is regularly spurned on by an intentional change of pace or setting. Walden secluded himself in the wilderness. Teddy Roosevelt retreated to the vast expanse of our nation’s picturesque landscape while in office.
It’s true, the loudest voices, the greatest bravado, they acquire the attention they seek. Eyeballs are drawn to such displays. But this comes at a cost. What we can’t see, feel, or hear is the emptiness that accompanies these individuals in the aftermath of trying to remain in the spotlight. Loud and showy highs can be quickly replaced with corresponding lonely lows.
Less IS More
If you find yourself evaluating your life, your job, your relationships, taking an inventory of what you’re prioritizing and how your time is spent makes for a worthwhile activity. In his recent book, Essentialism, author Greg McKeown outlines the case for the disciplined pursuit of less. He suggests growing comfortable with saying ‘no’ and making the best of what you have to offer the priority. In so doing, family, friends, and the things that matter have a way of naturally falling into place.
Take the time to identify how your life is playing out. After all, we only have one shot at this thing. On their death bed, no one is remembered for wishing they’d spent less time vacationing, more time at the office, or less time playing with their children.
What matters most to you?
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