Sunday, April 11, 2010

50 questions that will free your mind #3

More questions to answer for my challenge.

Question #3: If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

There are a couple of questions implied within this question. The first is, why do we follow rules? Most of us would prefer to whatever the heck we want, but we don't. I think we've agreed to the social contract and obey as many rules as we can. We may not like it, but it may be the best way for everyone to get along efficiently. If everyone did whatever they wanted, we wouldn't be productive and there would be mass chaos. People can't really be trusted to do the right thing since we're inherently selfish.

Nothing is truly free and requires hard work. Most of us would rather just lounge around all day, but then who would feed us? How would we earn money to enable our rest and relaxation? We don't like working forty hours a week or more, but if we don't, then we go without. The trick is to find work which is enjoyable. I've tried to avoid getting a job-job as much as possible and have had pretty good luck. I went to grad school to get a degree which gives me a fair amount of freedom. I gave up roughly six years of earning in order to do so, but I don't regret that choice.

I think we like things we don't do because we're rarely satisfied. I think most of us are convinced our lives would be better if they were different and we would be wrong for the most part. Our happiness is not likely to be solved by having more stuff, but rather by having more meaningful interactions. Some of my favorite things to do, like sports, hiking and going to the beach, are not really that expensive. I just need to pay for transportation and for some equipment. I just as guilty as the average American of getting caught up in consumerism though. It's tough. I think some of us are evolutionarily programmed to be pessimistic because our dissatisfaction motivates us to work. We don't work for the enjoyment, but more to enable us to do stuff.

I really think I should simplify my life in order to concentrate more on what I like and less on what I don't like. I need to be more active and definitely need to be more outgoing.

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