There’s no shortage of pithy sayings about, or formulas for, living in the world today.
At the risk of adding to the “noise,” here is my basic formula: just A.S.K..
First, be Authentic.
Easier said than done, especially in the Western/Modern world.
In a consumer-oriented culture we are barraged with entreaties to consume this, that or the other – all promising lives of good cheer, wealth, stability and pleasure. Add that to the fact that we are driven to congregate in various groups and tribes (and are loathe to be rejected), we often compromise (or even relinquish) our identities in the service of belonging.
Instead we must learn to know ourselves and be true to what is, deep-down, our true nature. This can mean an adjustment in vocation, the releasing of certain relationships or even a change in address (just remember, in the case of moving: wherever you go, there you are).
Second, be of Service.
There’s no greater gift than to be useful, and no greater tragedy than to be selfish. In a connected – and, ideally, interdependent – world service is the key that unlocks wealth. The wealth of self-esteem, friendship, community and, yes, money.
We are all designed to be creators. Not creators in the traditional sense* of “art” (i.e. painting, sculpture, etc.), but of bringing things into being from potential. Creators in the sense of choices make a life, and relationships, and businesses, and families.
We are designed to work, and labor, and lose ourselves** in making of things, in the doing of the worthy.
Serve yourself and your best life, and everyone you come in contact with. Life energy cannot cannot be hoarded, it can only be expressed. Service is the expression of life energy through action.
Thirdly, be Kind.
Kindness is like a universal spice: it makes everything better.
It’s also a great starting place. If you’re ever confused about what to do, be kind.
Be kind to yo yourself, to your significant other, to your family, to your friends, to your co-workers, to your team, to your boss, to your . . . .
Always remember to discern kindness from impostors.
Kindness is not being a push-over or not speaking up when it matters. It’s not being subservient to the desires of others (especially when that negatively impacts you).
It’s also not expecting less of people. People need (and want) to be challenged. As long as you offer support with challenge you are being of service to someone. Beware the tragedy of low expectations (for yourself and others).
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So there you have it: a simple way to live well.
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* If you’re form of authentic service is “art” then by all means, create away!
** I am referring to losing the Ego-dominated sense-of-self.