Sunday, February 8, 2015

A life of quiet desperation

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. -Thoreau

This quote has stuck with me for years. I've felt this quiet desperation. Maybe everyone feels it. There is pressure to conform, to make more money, to own more things, to keep up with the Joneses, to do things better than the next guy. But where does that lead? There is always one more thing to own, more money to make, and someone else to best. Those are the desperate things. It's a never-ending loop, and it doesn't bring me any more happiness or love than I had before. 

So where is my life headed? I'm going to making some of the changes listed below. I've already started exercising more, journaling, trying to learn Spanish, and (occasionally) meditating. I'm going to explore my progress in making these and other lifestyle changes and see where it takes me:

  • Exercising 
  • Meditating
  • Journaling
  • Learning (something new)
  • Moderating (the things I eat and drink)
  • Expanding (my social circle)
  • Making (a difference)
  • Being (selfless and mindful)
Where will these changes lead? Are there other changes I need to explore? Can I stick it out? Let's find out.