What's important in life?
Note: I am not satisfied with this post anymore so a rewrite is in progress
In February 2016, I asked people what did they think was important in life. Using Facebook as a mean to reach the biggest possible audience, I got a little more than 50 replies. Now, it's my turn to answer the question. I deliberately waited longer than announced to illustrate a point: in the end, people don't really care about what you do or think. This reality might seem frustrating at first but, when you think about it, it is liberating. It means that you can and should do whatever you want with YOUR life. Other people are too busy with their own life and will only intervene in yours to give dodgy advice or tell you that you can't do this or that (because they don't believe they could do it themselves so why could you?).
When I asked people "What's important in life?" I wasn't looking for an answer. I did have my own answer ready. I asked because I was interested to see how other people's views of life could be different from mine, different from the authors I read and if people still think about this or not.
I'm not gonna lie though. There was another reason: I was frustrated. The more time I spent in this world, the more I became frustrated about the lack of options for a non-traditional, non-conformist way of life. It seems like most people live their life as trains follow railways. I can't live that way. Yet, the pressure to do so is constant. It is there every day. Like the water is always there for the fish to swim in. Every day swimming with the fishes in the sea of conformity reminds me of how dull this feels to me.
In Switzerland, in the professional world, it's all about how many years of practical experience you have. The society revolves around one model which benefits to those who have a clear intention to stay still and do the same work repetitively for many years. Curiosity leads to movement and exploration. Hunger for learning leads to movement and discovery. Dreams leads to movement and risk taking. These are in some (most? all?) of us and in greater shares than the taste for expertise. I believe that there are plenty of people who wish they could go after their dreams without the constant pressure to get back to a more traditional lifestyle in order to get the paper that we call money. I'm writing for these people. To inspire them.
Also, I have been thinking about this question quite a lot. If I could know what was important for me as an individual, I would know better where to sail my boat. And today, I know much more than before. Through experiencing life in as many ways as possible, we get to understand ourselves better which helps with deciding what we want to do out of these about 660'000 hours that an average lifetime represents.
What really matters in life vary from one person to another. Each of us is unique. We were born without asking and we will die without a choice. Life is short – 660'000 hours on average. Everything material can only be enjoyed for a while, then it becomes boring and you need more of it. Happiness shines from within and it does when you do things that you love. It cannot last and it cannot be captured. By knowing what really matters to you and bringing those things into your life, you lay the foundations for your happiness.
– in no particular order –
Love from a partner, friends or family. Giving love to the ones you care about.
I'm a born explorer. When I was a kid I was always curious to know what's behind the next hill. I like to discover new things and I easily get bored if there is no adventure in my life. I'm seeking adventure because it makes me feel alive.
I realized that by constantly uprooting myself that it is important to have roots in life. What I mean is that I think a human being needs to have a place to be or to go back to. And people he trusts to whom he can talk to when he needs it.
BE PRESENT WHERE YOU ARE
You are where you are, doing what you are doing and this is the present moment, now. There is nothing else. If you would rather be elsewhere maybe it's time to decide, either you pack your stuff and go there. Or you decide that you might as well be present where you are and for people around you.
HUMOUR AND LAUGHTER
Humour like adventure is a way to escape the dullness of life. I have seen people who were full of humour and it didn't look like they would ever need anything else. I will keep making jokes and making fun of things in healthy doses – big doses.
I've always been extremely curious. Being curious is rare nowadays as people often think that they are too busy. Be curious as the child you were once. Embark on the journey of lifelong discoveries. Enthusiastically curious.
COURAGE & TAMING FEAR
Fear is always there. But it will only affect you if you let it. It's really important to learn how to master fear and not let it dictate your life. Courage for me is not the absence of fear but more the choice to go beyond it, to go after what is more important. If you are chasing something that is really important for you, you will fight for it despite the fear.
BETTER HAPPY THAN RIGHT
We are constantly in relation with other people. It's important to actively take care of our relationships and try not to damage them. One thing I learned: sometimes it's better to be happy than right. As simple as this.
Like John Steinbeck, I believe in the free and exploring mind of the individual to take any directions it wishes. I question things and do not accept them blindly. I look for my own truth. I have my own values.
Life cannot be controlled and more than once it will go in a direction that we didn't expect it to go. It can get quite dark sometimes and feel like everything is going wrong. Accepting the reality is the first step to creating a new reality for yourself. Once you accept 'what is', you are able to flow with it and can start working toward creating a different reality for yourself.
TELL ABOUT THE POSITIVE
Jim Carrey says that the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. That's why I try to inspire others instead of trying to crush them down. I try to be a supportive element in this world.
It might surprise you to find it here but knowing how to manage money is key – more than money itself. One does not need much money to be happy, he only needs enough. I couldn't have done half of what I have done if I weren't able to manage money.