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The Good Life

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

“We all have two lives. The second begins when we realize that we only have one.” -Confucius

Truly, youth is wasted on the young. That is not to say that the youth are at fault or should be discouraged from making the mistakes essential in learning valuable life lessons. But in order to genuinely progress as an individual, to really grow and become a better version of oneself, it is of vital necessity to recognize the preciousness of time. This realization acts as a final deadline and is of the strongest catalysts to take action. Our mortality should be in the forefront of our minds. Catholic monks would dig a shovelful of their graves every day to remind themselves of their coming death.

One of the issues I see especially prevalent in young people is the difficulty of time management. However, we all fall short on this matter; the average American spends 5.4 hours on their phone, half the time being on social media. If a person sleeps an average of 6 hours per night, then 30% of their time awake is spent on their phone. Over 60 years, this equates to 13.5 years spent staring at a box. This is not to say that tremendous good cannot come from emerging technologies; I am just putting it into perspective.

In part, this issue stems from a disregard for the shortness of our lives. If we were given one more day to live, it is unlikely that any time would be spent on our phones, especially social media. To help people, especially young people, with their time management, I have compiled a list that will correctly orient a person’s time to bring about the most good. I truly believe that when we put the following in order of importance in our lives, we are happiest.

List for the Good Life:

1. God

· Without God, our lives are meaningless

· If God does not exist, we have no grounds for Morality

· Erratic behavior is the result of a lack of spiritual guidance

2. Relationships

· Close Family

· True Friendships

· For many, a significant other

3. Health

· You are not much good if you are sick or dead

· Illness can hinder long-term happiness (lower quality of life)

· Good physical health leads to a longer & more energized life

· We must be mentally healthy to become our best selves

4. Work & Legacy

· Perform meaningful and engaging work

· Leave the world a better place than when you entered it

· Order of work: God’s work (work that benefits others), Self-work (work that benefits you), Autonomous work (monotonous work)

· “Having money isn’t everything, not having it is.” -Kanye West

5. Giving

· Your life is not about you

· Give time, money, or resources to charity

· Treat others how you would want to be treated

· Occupations that help others report the highest happiness levels

6. Growth, Learning, & Search for Truth

· We cannot change if we do not grow and we cannot grow if we are not challenged

· Recognize and confront fears

· Develop virtues through habit

· Ask tough questions, be curious, and learn through reading and listening

· Develop ideas through research, experimentation, conversation, and debate

7. Hobbies

· Good to have physical or creative outlets

· Should have fun doing these

· The best hobbies incorporate helping others or learning

8. Simple Pleasures

· Good food, good music, beautiful art, and comedy

· Internet, television, and social media

· The best simple pleasures do not offer escape, but aim to provide relaxation and reflection in alone time


Silence Dogood

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