Making deliberate choices: How this makes life more enjoyable

That’s right, Gloria, do things with intention and poise.

One of my more recent goals is to spend more time doing what I want and permitting less time for just… coasting. It’s easy to feel lukewarm about things: I’m not sure what I want for dinner today, or I don’t know how to keep myself busy during the summer months. More often than not, this leads to a whole lot of dull “meh’s”, flickering phone screens, and no real action at all. I hear this from people too much: I’m not passionate enough about anything to take action on it. Nothing seems exciting enough to be worth the effort to leave the couch and bag of potato chips behind. Perhaps the trick isn’t to wait indefinitely for some cosmic calling to roar by strongly enough kick you into action, but to get up using your own two feet. Gloria’s courageous goal: I’m putting an end to sleepwalking through my life, by starting to figure out what I want, and actually acting on it. This probably means doing away with the hours of mindless scrubbing through social media or passive consumption of trashy TV. Note — I’m not trying to cut cheap entertainment from my life… because I love that stuff. I’m trying to cut “passive” living. Eric Barker puts things pretty elegantly:

“ Without a plan, we do what’s passive and easy, not what’s really fulfilling.” — Eric Barker, in Barking up the Wrong Tree

It’s not that we don’t ever need leisure in our day, but that leisure should be a conscious choice. I hope that with a little bit of willpower, I’d be able to make the tougher but necessary decisions to chase what will really make me excited about life. What all this leads me to conclude is that deliberateness and the feeling of control is pretty important for self-satisfaction. I’d like to say that we really do have the ability to take control of the wheel and steer our lives in better directions, but only if we seize it.

I admit that I’m being slightly presumptuous and optimistic with my words; taking full responsibility for all the happenings in our lives probably isn’t a good idea. For example, people don’t choose misfortune or illness. Sometimes, our lives suck because of some broken system we live in or because we got shortchanged by the cruelty of “real life”. BUT, I don’t think that doing something about the feelings of lethargy and stuck-ness we encounter in life is beyond our purview. I don’t think I’ll be forced to a life of stalling and sleepwalking if I don’t let it happen.

Writer, Cog-Neuro Research Assistant @ Yale. Presenting my thoughts about self-development and life as a former college student ||

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