The "Life Well-Lived" verses the "Existential Faceplant"
We wanted to dig deeper into this whole “life well lived” topic.
- when it comes to life, how to do it “well” (whatever that means) verses the deathbed-palm-slap-to-the-forehead route.
So we decided to investigate.
We dug up a few comments that some pretty smart folks have made on the matter:
"I just wanted to live so my nights weren’t full of regrets." - D. H. Lawrence
"If a man hasn't found something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live." - Martin Luther King Jr.
"The unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates/Plato
"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death." – Rosalind Russell/Betty Comden/Adolph Green
"To live is the greatest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." - Oscar Wilde
OK, fair enough.
There are plenty more, but that’s enough to get us started.
There seems to be such a thing as a life misfire, however you might define it. Let’s take this as a starting point.
But this also seems a little negative. What if we’d flip this around to the positive angle?
Then we’d say something like: we want to “live well.” We want to live a “good” life, whatever that means.
And not just “good,” but wildly, fabulously, exceptionally, exquisitely world-shakingly, universe-tremblingly knees-turn-to-butter magnificent beyond all words and comprehension.
(Not to be too dramatic.)
Picture a scenario where your life, at the end of it, looks something like the end of Star Wars. (The original, IV). An epic, triumphant, celebratory walk down a huge aisle – in a ceremony filled with throngs of adoring fans – where you receive a big shiny gold medal, to great, thunderous applause.
A cosmic high-five from the universe.
Quarterly professional review from The Almighty: “Your performance exceeded expectations on every level.”
Or more simply: we want a happy, meaningful, authentic, well-lived life. We want to “live well,” whatever that means.
So our starting point is clear: a “life well-lived” on the positive side and not a “life of quiet desperation” on the negative.
So again, the question is… how?
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