How do we evaluate our lives…?
The question is as easy to answer, as difficult it is to understand. Or the other way round.
In every aspect it can have a different answer.
Let’s say, we take the absolute view. Why are we on this planet?
Biologically speaking our prime goal is reproduction for survival of our species. So to evaluate your life you just need to answer the question
1) Have you found your mate yet?
If the answer to this is yes then the next question is:- 2) Are you doing what is required for reproduction…?
Arousing it may seem. I can certainly carry on and I know, you would want me to but sadly this is the only perspective which people don’t perceive as a problem. This perspective is already checked and fixed by our society. (Yes, arranged marriage. And you will do all what is required for reproduction)
PROBLEM SOLVED Not much to evaluate
It was rather a petty discussion and we should widen our vision and speak “morally”. According to many religious texts the aim of our lives is to get beyond ourselves. So to evaluate your life in this perspective ask yourself:-
1) Do you care for the interests of others?
2) Have you kept your promises that meant something to others?
3) Do you pass on what you learn?
But after all, we are not all that religious. What we are really interested in, is personal evaluation. Let’s see…...
If I take a picture of a flying bird, wait 5 minutes, and take another picture of the bird, what’s going to happen?
I’m probably not going to get the second picture because the bird will have moved on 4 minutes and 45 seconds ago. This bird is moving. Almost everything else is moving on planet earth, too – rivers flow, waterfalls fall, the wind blows, and sharks swim up to 50 miles per day. Even the Sloth, with a top speed of .003 miles per hour, moves.
You are in motion.
You might be wondering where I am getting at. At the start of a month, take a snapshot of your life – your health, your finances, your progress on goals, your relationships, everything. Write it down in detail. This is your point A.
At the end of the month, do the same thing. This is point B.
What you’ll hopefully see is the magic of movement from A to B. There would be a lot of events and changes. But if your life is practically the same as it was on the first of the month, you’re not doing much!
Each of us have dreams. Many of us (including me) have lost it in the fog. And by dreams I don’t mean short term things that you want to achieve in year or so. I mean what you want to do that will finally sate your ambitions. Like before coming to colleges, what did you want. So I believe this is the second most important question for evaluation.
Do you have something that you want to achieve in your life?
If not, this evaluation is pointless. Stay still. Think about it and then return to this blog.
Then comes the most important question.
What are you doing to move closer to your dream?
If you’re not taking a step or more closer to your dreams, you’re on pace to NEVER see them happen. That’s a bitter truth to accept, but let it sink in. The only way you’re going to achieve your dreams is if you MOVE towards them in the present (not “someday”).
The only time it’s ok to stand still is to briefly consider which direction to go. But even then, you’re actively thinking and planning your next moves.
Every moment of inaction is actually a step backwards because you lose time and are establishing a standard of chronic failure. You’ll consciously or subconsciously think, “if I haven’t really done anything in the last few weeks, it probably isn’t going to change.” This is something I’ve struggled with and it’s difficult to break through it. I’ve had the best success with “just doing it” when my mind is stubbornly doubtful but I know better.
If your point A and B look eerily similar and you’re afraid you’ll miss out on a better life, what should you do?
Jump into a new current. A current is a way of living, so to jump into a new current is to try something you haven’t tried before. As if we’re at a buffet, we can choose which currents to swim with (and which ones to swim against). There is a kiddie pool with stagnant water, but it’s green and I’d stay away.
An active thinker will recognize a “foreign current” that grinds against his values and swim to a new one. But for a “go with the flow” person, there is a strong risk of living someone else’s life and being miserable for it.
When you do figure out where you want to go, you might be so entrenched in this current that you can’t see changing, and won’t, because it would be uncomfortable.
A great life motto is if it makes you feel uncomfortable, DO IT NOW. Uncomfortable people are the ones jumping in and out of currents, looking for the one they like. They learn faster and gain valuable experiences that enhance their skills and help them decide what they want to do more of.
Everything good I’ve done has involved some amount of discomfort and everything bad I’ve done has been comfortable or easy. If you do what you’ve always done, it’s going to be cushy. Nothing remarkable will happen. Venture outside of the lines you drew many years ago, and you’ll find it very uncomfortable, scary, and absolutely invigorating. Once you master this, go outside the lines that mankind itself has drawn – the invention of the airplane, harnessing electricity, tightrope walking across Niagara Falls, and the people who jump off cliffs wearing a flying squirrel suit are good examples of that.
All I am asking you is to step outside of your narrow boundaries that are there because you’ve never challenged them. The longer you go without trying something, the more intimidating and off-limits it will seem. If I swam competitively from age six to eighteen, so I know swimming is relatively easy to learn and not a big deal, and yet, some people are terrified of the water because they haven’t tried for decades.
Take action right now. Rulebooks have always been about control. They limit behavior to make it predictable. YOUR rulebook does this to you, and it’s making your life a little boring, isn’t it? Look at one of your rules now by thinking of a few things that you “can’t do.” Are you sure about that? Toss the rule in the trash, and jump into a new current. You can always swim out if it’s not for you. You know how to swim, don’t you?