Is there a right way to live? Most of us won’t argue that we couldn’t each be living better — at least a little bit better. I’m not talking about the level of comfort or wealth in our lives, nor am I talking about our love lives. I am talking about the fact that most people are living their day-to-day doings incorrectly.
How can I make such a claim? It’s simple really; I just take a look at the actions of those around me and immediately notice the inconsistencies, the lack of logical reasoning behind them.
Not to say that I’m innocent myself in committing such blunders, logical anomalies. In fact, this is what led me to write this piece.
I had come to realize that I would occasionally make short-term plans and not follow through fully. I’m excellent with long-term goals, but noticed that from time to time, some of the smaller ones, I let fall from my grip.
We are only allotted a limited amount of time in our lives and with it, we can only do so much. I strongly believe that everything should have a purpose, a direction.
What we do should always be accompanied with a good, logical reason for doing it. The same goes for withholding action; if we don’t do something, then we should have a good reason for not doing it.
Likewise, if we assume that each person only wants the best for him or herself, then it only follows that in each situation when we come across a decision that we need to make — if we are logical — we should always choose the decision that would benefit us the most.
Now, how many of you can say that this is your case 100 percent of the time? How many of you can say that for each thing you do or don’t do, you have a logical reason for not doing it — a reason that guarantees your maximum utility (happiness)? "None of you" is the correct answer; if humans were logical 100 percent of the time, they would no longer be human.
I like to plan out my days in some detail. I understand that this is not the way most people function, but in order to minimize the amount of time wasted, it is best to plan your day out ahead of time instead of rolling with the punches as they come.
The more time you waste, the less time you have to do things that will make you happier. Again, if our main goal in life is to maximize the good times and minimize the bad, then time wasted is — in a sense — inflicting a sort of pain on oneself.
Let’s say that we do plan our days at least generally; we still fail to make use of the planned moments to their fullest potential. Let’s say, for example, that you set aside a two-hour block in your schedule for exercise.
Do you procrastinate before you get started or do you jump right into your warm-up routine? How about when you plan on working on that side project of yours for 45 minutes before you have a business dinner; do you make sure to use those 45 minutes for the purpose that you set them aside for? Or do you end up wasting most of it by allowing yourself to get distracted?
How many times have you decided to go out to party with the sincere intention of getting yourself laid? “I’m going out tonight, having a few drinks and bringing some sexiness home; no excuses.” Then, a few hours later, you come back home drunk, broke and alone…
Somewhere between grooming and prepping and your fourth or fifth Jameson on the rocks, you gave up on your goal for the night. Why did you give up? Too much to drink? Too little to choose from? Or, like most people, do you not have a valid explanation?
Been meaning to clean that apartment for the last few weeks, but never manage to get anything done after a few bong rips? So why promise yourself that you will wash the dishes if you know that you won’t be washing the dishes?
We plan and promise, yet rarely follow through the way we originally wanted to. This is all fine and dandy, except for the fact that such acts are literally a waste of time and, therefore, entirely illogical.
If you go out with a purpose, then without having fulfilled that purpose by the end of the night, your entire evening was a total waste. If you went out with the mindset to network, then if you come home without having made any new friends, you would have been better off doing something else that would allow for a greater boost in your utility.
If the goal is to be as happy as possible and if logic holds to be true, then wasting our time not doing what we said we would do (those things we understand to be important to us) is wrong by definition.
It goes even deeper than this; if your actions are set into motion with a purpose and then fail to achieve the desired result, then you are technically living without purpose. Your actions make up your life. So if your actions have no goals, no purpose, then ipso facto, your life has no purpose.
Making plans and promises for yourself is important in order to maximize your happiness. Idleness equals boredom, which leads to unhappiness. Acting without purpose basically works as a place filler, giving us the illusion that we are doing something, when in actuality, the only thing we are doing is keeping our mind occupied as time passes us by.
We too often do things for the sake of doing them — because we cannot think of anything better to be doing. Even worse, we do things not worth doing because we veer away from the things we know we ought to be doing.
We more often recognize the importance of long-term goals, but fail to realize that such goals are made up of smaller short-term goals. We too often do not take the time to pay importance to the fact that the littlest of actions, when summed up, paint the picture of our lives.
Do yourself a favor: If you tell yourself in the morning that you need to accomplish a list of things, then make sure to have accomplished them by the end of the day.
Otherwise, you are only delaying what needs to be done. In the best-case scenario, you will only fall behind on your dreams. In the worst-case scenario, you will never be able to catch up.
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