What is your world? Is the world subjective? Does everyone’s world look different? What color are your tinted glasses?
Sometimes I wonder about the amount of decisions that “need” to be made on a daily basis. This is probably why minimalism is so attractive to me. Life is simplified, and the amount of work you have to do, cognitively, is reduced.
Is this just the nature of the world we live in? I see people with less, and they seem like they have more. I worked with a guy who was happy to just work really hard for 8 hours, then jump on his motorcycle and drive home. He built his own house, lived on his own land, took care of his wife, and that was about it. I never heard him talking about the new technology he was getting, the movies he’d been watching, or his favorite TV shows. He never talked about books either, but I like to think he was a reader.
What I liked was that he never really seemed over concerned with what he had, as long as he had some work to do. He wasn’t even overly picky about what the work was, as long as he wasn’t sitting around waiting.
I don’t know what this guy was like outside of work. He could have been a really busy guy, filling up all his free time with the worthless junk that I do. He could have been on the go 24/7, looking for something to do every second of the day. But he didn’t seem concerned about things as much as everyone else.
I think that’s what I want… to not be overly concerned. I have concerns, and everyone probably should, but I don’t want to be “over” concerned. Most of my concerns are self-induced. I’m not particularly good with money or saving, so I get concerned about finances. I’m not very self-driven, so I have a hard time sitting down to write or be creative, and I get concerned about failing at my dreams. I lose faith in things quickly, so I get concerned about what I believe in (or don’t). I foolishly measure myself by the success of others and it makes me concerned about my own abilities. I get super excited about ideas, but then lose steam when it comes to implementation and follow-through.
I over-think, I have a hard time finding peace, I intellectualize, I look for mind clutter, and I always want to be stimluated. At the same time, I don’t exercise consistently, I eat an unbalanced diet, and I sleep like a tornado (props to the band Listener).
In short, I don’t find rest easily.
So, in this increasingly busy, complex, stress-filled, drug induced, preservative supported, clogged, polluted, political, international, glocal world– how do we find peace? How do we achieve shalom? How do we know what to cut out, and what to keep? How do we minimize the excess? How do we cut away the fat, while still stretching ourselves a little and not getting complacent (equally bad in my opinion)?
There are probably a few obvious steps to take, something that I want to outline in future posts. Different mantras and manifestos of groups, people, religions, creatives, and leaders. Everyone has something that they live by, even if they don’t make it a formal statement.
I had a great conversation with a friend at work the other day about religion. He outlined his religious history, asked me about mine, and we got into a great discussion about church and faith in general. At one point, he said something that I thought was beautifully phrased. He said, “I feel stressed, and I think it’s because I believe in something, but I haven’t figured out what it is yet. Or maybe I want to believe in something, but I’m not sure if I do. Is that weird?”
I said I didn’t think it was weird, and that I think everyone needs something to believe in, even if it’s not religious. Some people believe in science, some in God, some in both. Some people believe in business, economics, government, or anarchy. For many it’s probably a mix.
But we need something to believe in.