This is the question that I have have most asked myself down the years. What is life, and what makes for a good life?
My way of thinking is that I always try and start with the foundations of an idea first and then work through the details. A lot of people seem to get stuck into the details first without any care for the bigger picture. They plough straight into a job they don’t like and because they’re so forceful and strong willed they plough further and further into something which they never stopped to think about really.
After much contemplation, you will see that your life, as a whole, really is the biggest picture. There are many, many people in the world that think that either: football is their life, or their career is their life, or their partner is their life, or whatever it may be etc, but those labels start to own them. When in essence your life is your life. It doesn’t belong to any other person, group or idea. It’s only yours to do with as you please. Now you can make it really simple, and you could say “I could either have a good life, or a bad life”. Now this is the foundation from which you can build from.
We can now break this down into smaller, manageable parts. Ask yourself “Well, what makes for a good life?”. Look to others whose lives seems pretty good. What about the guy with three yachts, ten cars, a couple trophy wives down the years, who owns a Wall Street firm but is hooked on cocaine and stressed out of his mind, do you want to be that guy? The ego would be very satisfied with this. But these types always talk about the empty feeling that have inside, and they talk about still not being happy, even though they have all this money.
So what does it come down to really? It may be happiness. Think of yourself, many years from now, lying on your deathbed. Would you rather look back and say you were happy? Or would you rather look back and say you owned a bunch of stuff but felt miserable and stressed out the whole time? I’d choose real happiness every time.
Now try and look for truly happy people. Truly happy people to me are people who feel alive, who are adventurous, have an abundance of energy, are filled with inspiration, their minds are sharp, their instincts are true, they are authentic and genuine, they have great character and personality. They are leaders in the world in terms of their consciousness and awareness. Ok, Jesus was THE guy 2000 years ago. But now his image is so distorted it’s hard to get a clear picture of him. People of the modern era who I would look to are Bob Marley, John Lennon, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali etc. Real, genuine human beings who seemed inspired and filled with life.
Ok, so take their lives as templates and break them down into manageable parts. They all had: a purpose in life that filled them with passion, an incredible drive, they all were trying to increase the happiness and good feeling within themselves and others, and in some cases they led really healthy lifestyles. John maybe not so much with his Rock ‘n’ Roll lifestyle. But his general attitude to a life well LIVED was healthy.
What these guys have done is that they have left signposts for you. Maybe you could implement Muhammad Ali’s work ethic. Maybe you could use Bob Marley’s philosophy of “Let’s get together an feel alright”. Use Mandela’s ideal of your life’s work directed at improving the lives of your people. And make these ideas daily habits for yourself. These habits will form your general behaviour, character, destiny etc. But they will be yours because these ideas are universal to all people. So, follow the sign posts and start living a good life!