September 2    

Today's quotation:

Life should be enjoyable; too often we think it's about achievement.  The truth is that making life enjoyable is an achievement in itself.


Today's Meditation:

Sometimes I'm guilty of this problem myself-- when I'm faced with "free" time, I think of what kinds of productive things I might do.  Should I write something more?  Read something more?  Add a few pages to the website?  Write a few more meditations?  The first thing that comes to mind usually consists of doing something, achieving something.  And that's not necessarily a bad thing, because I really enjoy being productive.  I know from experience, though, that if I don't maintain a balance and actually rest now and then, I will suffer consequences later.

So I do things that "don't matter."  I go for walks or bike rides, or I read something that's purely recreational reading.  I may watch a TV show or a movie, or I may play solitaire or a video game.  Because as this unattributed author says, making life enjoyable is very important to us if we're going to live full and happy lives.

Where do we get the ideas that life is about achieving?  Where do we get the ideas that we should be going through our lives following the rules that other people-- many of whom were very unhappy-- have made in our governments and churches and schools?  We lose much of the joy in life when we adopt other people's ways of thinking and chide ourselves for not following the rules they've set down.

Sometimes it's nice just to relax and do something fun.  But on the day we die, do we want our lives to have been something we can look back at as a whole and see that we maintained a good balance between work and rest and enjoyment, or do we want to have simply a list of accomplishments?  Our greatest achievement can be our lives, but not if we don't pay attention to what we're doing with them.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people get caught up in the need to achieve?

How often do you focus on simply enjoying yourself without feeling the need to achieve anything in particular?

Who has taught us that achievement is so important to us?

For further thought:

There are two things to aim at in life:  first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it.  Only the wisest of humans achieve the second.

Logan Pearsall Smith

more thoughts and ideas on achievement



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